Purists Be Damned, This Is A Proper M The new BMW M6, and to an even greater extent this M6 Convertible, often causes automotive apoplexy in your typical armchair motoring enthusiast. That's because as soon as the M badge is applied to any BMW, all sorts of expectations are heaped upon it. Mostly those entail remembering what we, collectively, loved about the E30 M3, the E28 M5 and to a lesser extent, the E24 M6. Then cue bemoaning the added weight, complexity and unasked-for modernity of the new M. Of course, those perceived infractions are all tantamount to treason for lovers of BMW history, but they're also critical elements of building a new, safe, stunningly competent luxury car that real buyers in the segment will take seriously. And the really good news is that, despite the sheer bulk, turbocharged engines, the continued existence of iDrive and a lack of manual transmissions, cars like this 2012 M6 Convertible are – shock, horror – far better overall than their storied precursors. Let us immediately jump into defending that last statement, lest we be pilloried into early retirement by our razor-tongued commentariat. There are two real missions for this M6 droptop: go really, really fast, and make your driver look and feel like a million bucks. The convertible even more than the coupe, is meant to be a special-occasion car; where the occasion in question is a grand touring road trip more often than a day at the track, for instance. On these fronts, the 2012 version of the M car is far better off than was its ancestor, which was objectively slower and less richly appointed. An impossibly long hood, aggressively raked windscreen and longish rear overhang all cause the body to appear about 50-feet long. Whether or not the M6 Convertible rises to the level of "specialness" required from a visual standpoint is truly an open question. This is an unmistakably large vehicle, especially for a 2+2 that isn't overly endowed in the rear-seat quarters. An impossibly long hood, aggressively raked windscreen and longish rear overhang all cause the body to appear about 50-feet long (especially in profile). The M-spec body kit, most notably its front fascia, makes the 6 Series seem more aggressive, certainly, but not more beautiful in our opinion. The standard 650i convertible is such an arrow-straight, thin-hipped thing that the M6 treatment almost causes the car to seem cartoonish from some angles – albeit in a particularly brutal and fast kind of a way. Frankly, if we were judging by sheetmetal alone, we'd take any one of the Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or Jaguar competitors here. Inside the cabin is a totally different story, however, as BMW has created a space that is at once lovely, useful and utterly rich. There's no question that the driver's seat is the best in the house, especially with the M-specific three-spoke steering wheel to hang on to. The rim offers a pleasant thickness while still having a great open space at top …
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|MPG||14 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||560 @ 6000 rpm|
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