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      05-22-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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Arrow BIMMERPOST First Drive: 2012 BMW M6 Convertible (F12) Review

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BIMMERPOST First Drive: 2012 BMW M6 Convertible (F12) Review
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The 2012 M6 convertible (F12) is big, it's heavy, and it's for showing off. But, courtesy of the usual magic from BMW M GmbH, it does not feel as big, heavy, or just for showing off. What it is is a super high performing GT convertible and a hell of a looker.

At the invitation of BMW, BIMMERPOST spent two days this week in Santa Barbara, California to check out and test drive the all new 2012 BMW M6 and 6 Series Gran Coupe (see our previous review). After over 100 miles of highways, backroads, and mountain twisties, here were our impressions.

Leading with our biggest reaction is that the F12 M6 is a seriously fast car! Car and Driver just published their test numbers, which have the F12 M6 convertible clocked from 0-60 mph in 4.0 sec (BMW quotes 4.1 sec), 0-100 mph in 9.2, 0-130 mph in 15.5 sec and standing 1/4 mile in 12.4 sec @ 117mph. These are very impressive acceleration figures for a 4,255 pound car (U.S. curb weight).

Propelling the F12 M6 is the same 4.4L 560 horsepower / 500 lb-ft torque S63Tu engine from the F10 M5. This is the first time we've experienced it and it's as good as billed. The S63Tu pushes the M6 around easily and without fuss when you're just cruising, but switch into Sport Plus mode, drop the hammer somewhere above 2000 RPM, and it makes a ridiculous amount of fuss, instantly. If you're a Spaceball (the movie) fan, Ludicrous Speed appears to be achieved once you hit 4500 RPM. It's super car fast. Triple digits comes up on the HUD scary fast while you're compressed into your seat. Unfortunately, to get the most thrills in the F12 M6, it may mean a foray into very high (illegal) speeds. The car provides such a composed and refined ride that 80 MPH feels merely like 50 or 60 MPH; and just seconds after you've planted your right foot the car has already rocketed to triple digit speeds. But man, would this car be fun on the unrestricted Autobahn. If you're wondering about our gas mileage from all this fun, we averaged 17-18 MPG from 100+ miles mixing highway cruising, very spirited driving and several full out acceleration runs.

Engine (throttle) response, steering, and dampening are all 3 way adjustable in the M6 - from Comfort to Sport to Sport Plus. Having the throttle response in Sport Plus mode provides mad fun at speed, but it's sometimes overly sensitive at very low speeds. Around town, Comfort and Sport modes are the more suitable throttle settings. Being an M car, the M6 convertible is pretty stiffly sprung even in Comfort mode. You will feel road imperfections even in Comfort mode. But, in our opinion, you want to be able to feel the road in any M car, even in the most comfortable settings. During spirited driving, the higher the dampening setting was turned up, the less the M6's weight was felt. In the Sport Plus setting, the car handled excellent through the mountain canyons for a 4200+ pound GT convertible, albeit a bit jarring on very uneven roads. The car inspired confidence in the corners like all late model Ms.

And if you want to feel more of the road through the steering wheel as well, switching the steering into Sport Plus tightens up the M6's hydraulic steering for a pretty communicative and never too heavy steering experience. As comparison, the weight of the M6 convertible's steering in Sport Plus mode feels lighter still than that of the current M3's 'normal' servotronic (steering) mode, but it's entirely appropriate for this segment of car.

Our M6 convertible was stopped by the standard M compound brakes - 6 piston front calipers and single piston rear calipers, with cross-drilled rotors. It proved to be adequate and sharp, but we weren't able to evaluate fade as there was no track evaluation performed. Optional M Carbon Ceramic Brakes will be available beginning with July production vehicles.

The M6 sounds terrific. You may have seen videos of the M5/M6 exhaust, but it would be premature to make your final judgment until hearing it in person. Bass of the type coming from the M6 exhaust does not make the same impression over computer speakers. My hotel room looked out onto the hotel's long entrance road. I was always able to hear when an M6 was coming or going from its distinctive and bassy sound punctuated by a nice exhaust pop on throttle lift. In the two days of driving, I purposely lifted throttle countless times just to hear and feel that popping. Unlike the predecessor E63/E64 M6, the F12 M6's overall sound definitely consists more of exhaust than engine noise, however.

Now about that showing off part. Convertibles get noticed. The M6 convertible gets ogled. Perhaps it was because the car is not yet known or seen by most of the population, or perhaps college students are just excitable about anything shiny, expensive, powerful, or loud, but a top-down drive through UC Santa Barbara's campus elicited an almost uncomfortable amount of staring, double and triple-looks, thumbs ups, and compliments lobbed in my direction. It broke my heart to tell them it was not mine.

At the end of my time with the F12 M6, I still understood that it was big, heavy, and showy, but I also learned that like the X5M/X6M, M engineers have managed to bend and work with physics in a way which provides for a proper M driving experience, while BMW designers were able to create a beautifully styled car for showing off in… should an owner actually be able to drive the M6 slow enough for it to be admired.

The 2012 M6 convertible is priced in the U.S. from $113,995 ($895 destination and handling included). See ordering/pricing details @ http://www.6post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=688440.

For the technical highlights of the F12 M6 convertible, see our Official Info Thread, as well as the M6 presentation given to us by BMW and which we've reposted below. Also see our previous 6 Series Gran Coupe Review.



BMW Presentation
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2012 M6 Convertible and 6 Series Gran Coupe - BMW US Press Launch - Santa Barbara

2012 M6 Convertible (F12) in San Marino Blue

Singapore Grey M6 Convertible

Havana M6 Convertible with Sakhir Orange interior

Silverstone II M6 Convertible

Alpine White M6 Convertible with Sakhir Orange interior and Cohiba Brown Individual interior

Imperial Blue M6 Convertible with Cohiba Brown Individual interior



Bonus Pics of BMW M1

BMW M1






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      05-23-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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Great review! Does the convertible also have the Active Sound as the M5 does? I'm kinda curious as to how that would work with the roof down if it's even necessary.
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      05-23-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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looks great - i guess the one concern is the weight. It kind of sucks that it weighs more than the M5, despite being a smaller car. I know the droptop adds weight, but that seems excessive.
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      05-23-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX78703 View Post
looks great - i guess the one concern is the weight. It kind of sucks that it weighs more than the M5, despite being a smaller car. I know the droptop adds weight, but that seems excessive.
Agreed (as you can see in the review), but I don't think most buyers of the M6 convertible will care about the weight. For those who want a sportier ride and experience or maybe for some tracking, there's the M6 coupe which is almost 300 pounds lighter.
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      05-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fndrsn View Post
Great review! Does the convertible also have the Active Sound as the M5 does? I'm kinda curious as to how that would work with the roof down if it's even necessary.
It does have Active Sound. It was my first time experiencing it and even having the knowledge that it was active didn't make me constantly think of it or detract from the experience at all. If BMW didn't say anything about this feature, 99% of the people out there would not be able to tell.
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      05-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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I love this car. After seeing it and hearing it in person at bimmerfest last weekend this is going to be one of my top cars from BMW to date I think. Can't wait to get some seat time.

Glad you got to visit my area of Santa Barbara. It was cool to see all the BMW cars especially the 6 series grand copue in different colors as well driving around. Where you at the event at the Bacara?
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      05-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Not being a convertible guy, I always considered the MB SLS to be my token "high performance 'vert" if I won the lottery and decided to create a stable of vehicles.

Well, move over MB because I have a new token.

The San Marino blue is stunning and it is so nice to see something that could be considered the aesthetic heir to the beautiful E24 M6/M635CSi.
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      05-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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BMW 6 series models have officially become BMW's Sexiest line !

it's just missing a shooting brake, then the circle would be complete!

As such, furthering in anchoring the desirability of BMW!
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      05-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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gosh that track is gorgeous!!!!
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      05-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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Such a good looking ride.
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      05-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Future classic, I love this car.

The M-HUD is awesome.
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      05-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #12
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      05-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #13
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Holy Crap!!!!! If only I were rich!!!! This car is beautiful and looks like a blast to drive!
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      05-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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I'm sure you are rich in many ways, even without the car, but I'm with you sir!

Sooo sexy for a vert.

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Holy Crap!!!!! If only I were rich!!!! This car is beautiful and looks like a blast to drive!
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      05-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Nice. Thanks for the review!
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      05-24-2012, 03:07 AM   #16
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Yeah, BMW did very well with the new 6'er lineup.
So much better than the E63 ever was imo.
Not only looks, but much more premium as well.
I think the sales numbers will be more than decent, i'd love to see one in RL, specially in san merino blue.
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      05-24-2012, 10:54 AM   #17
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Lots of great pictures and good information in there!
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      05-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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      05-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Nice.. Thanks for the Review
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      05-25-2012, 06:10 PM   #20
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argh! when you do driving video, do not put the music on top, want to hear the car instead!
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      05-27-2012, 01:34 PM   #21
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Is the car in the video San Marino Blue as well?
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      05-28-2012, 02:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Is the car in the video San Marino Blue as well?
I think it's Tanzanite blue.
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