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      09-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Lightbulb UK's First M6 Competition Package and Review

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Well, at least I think it is...not many people buy these over here! As you may know from an earlier thread, ths is my second F13 M6 (the first being a very early launch-spec car).

Contrary to the majority of car nuts (in the UK anyway!), I do like my M6's, having also owned a previous E63 shape a few years ago - they just seem to suit what I like in a car very well.....breathtaking thrust mixed with impeccable build quality and refinement without being as barge-like as the even bigger coupe's like the Bentley GT or Mercedes CL.

After driving it for the last couple of days, I reckon the differences between the 2014MY and Competition Pack upgrades are very obvious compared to my previous 12MY version. Here are my main observations so far:

The first M5/6's received a bit of slating for their relatively poor steering feel and response, some of it I feel justified as I felt the steering in my '12 M6 was barely OK in comfort, and too heavy and artificial in the other settings. Whatever the setting though, I never found it a particularly responsive or accurate rack and my '12MY example used to give a slight shimmy through the steering column over certain bump frequencies (interestingly, Chris Harris mentioned this in his review of the M6 vs. SL63, stating it made the car feel less structurally stiff than it probably was). As I mentioned on here before, I also had an insistent steering wobble (much like unbalanced tyres) at around 90-100mph - whilst this may have been a fault or imbalance somewhere in the front axle or steering (it definitely wasn't wheels or tyres after having them road force balanced twice), reading on the M5/6 forums indicates mine wasn't the only example with this trait.

All in all, the steering was the weakest point of an otherwise exceptional car and the promise of this area being vastly improved in the CP was good enough motivation for me to buy one.

The first thing I noticed on blasting away from the dealer was the level of feedback transmitted from the road surface is a surprise in an otherwise hugely refined car - you can feel the vibrations of the road surface much more than in my E39 M5 that I've bought to drive in between M6's. This feedback I don't mind, but it made me fear that the high speed wheel wobble would be ever present in my new car....however I'm delighted to confirm it's 100% not present in my new car

The rack in CP is much more direct than my 12MY, it instantly responds to inputs off-centre and you can steer the car with noticeably less arm twirling. The quality of feel is also much more natural and, as mentioned above, there's more of it (which could initially be deemed as a lack of refinement but it really is just a case of having more of it than you might expect in such a car). To top off the positive changes, BMW appear to have mounted the rack much more solidly as I haven't felt any of the slight steering shimmy that afflicted my previous example - as a result, the car now feels resolutely rock solid.

I'm conscious that BMW also made improvements to the non-CP 14MY steering so I assume the improvement in feel and robustness are across the board. I believe the CP-specific improvement is the more direct action of the rack.

I reckon the M6 rides and handles very well for such a heavy car but there's always going to be a compromise and it certainly doesn't respond anything like a lightweight sports car. But thats not why I bought a car like this.

The ride quality of the standard car was pretty exceptional however it wasn't immune to body roll or vertical movement on bumpy roads. The CP adds stiffer settings all round (springs/dampers/ARB's) and, honestly, I can't detect any significant trade-off in ride quality. This is a great result as the additional stiffness ensures the body movement is much improved - hit a bump and the car just deals with it, containing subsequent vertical body motion very well for such a heavy car.

Theres also very little roll now, to the point were it's a non-issue. In fact, I reckon the tighter control of body movement is why I don't feel any deterioration in ride quality because, whilst it's stiffer in theory, the reduced body movement makes it feel more comfortable in practice.

The CP supposedly has a sports exhaust compared to the standard car and I'm 99% certain my previous one didn't have the flaps or the actuators in the exhaust shown below (I coud be wrong about this...anyone with another M6 want to confirm?). It sounds marginally louder but nothing like you'd expect an aftermarket system to sound like.

I know some people give these new M5/6's a bit of a hard time for their 'synthesised' sound but I see no problem with it (and this is coming from an AMG fan!). Whilst it's not a traditional V8/muscle car tone, I like its sophisticated and technical sound and thats whether we're talking about the real noise coming from the exhausts or the synthesised sound inside the car....both are remarkably similar so I don't think we have much to worry about when BMW are getting the 'fake' sound so accurate!

The standard cars' erformance is outrageous and the CP, with it's colossal 15bhp extra appears, erm.....exactly the same. Honestly, these cars must be underrated by BMW as the level of thrust on offer feels as strong as my 911.2 Turbo. The 911 was over 10% less powerful but weighed a good 400kg less...the M6 would need around 600bhp to match the performance of the lighter Porsche. Now, as my 911 was manual, the M6 could feel as quick solely because of it's DCT (which lets face it, is phenomenal) but, it's so much more refined than the Porsche that to feel anything like it in terms of thrust is impressive.

Theres going to be very few standard production cars, outside of the really high-end hypercars from the usual suspects, that'll outrun one of these (to it's limiter anyway!). What I really like about this engine is it's ability to pull very hard from nothing and then build on this with ever-increasing force, revving to a level almost unheard of for a production turbocharged car. It's like the best of both worlds - the low down guts of a turbo with the higher revving capability of a N/A engine and I reckon it's quite unique in this respect. The CP upgrade gives it's all at above 6k rpm so I can't currently say if the difference is at all noticeable.

I haven't had chance to see if theres any valuable difference from the changes to the tuning of the CP-specific diff and MDM functionality - no doubt that both are things I'll rarely feel the real benefit of on the road.

However, outside of the Competition Package there's a few other options which are worthy of mention.

Firstly, the ceramic brakes are outrageously good (I believe its the only UK M6 with ceramics). If anyone claims that ceramic brakes are useless on the road or lack feel then they either haven't experienced a set of the latest-gen ceramic brakes or they need their head reading. I can feel the benefit of these brakes every time I drive the car, they also look staggeringly good and should give no brake dust. Worth the money? Well no, of course not (the standard ones are more than adequate), but they are a very satisfying extravagance.

Then theres the B&O audio system. I had a bad experience of a B&O system in my previous SLS AMG which was dire - truly the worst audio I've had in a car in many years. In the M6, the standard audio was already very good but I reckon the B&O is on another level and is the best factory-fit audio system I've heard to date. It delivers really deep and tight bass, combined with crisp and clear highs and level of power that's beyond what anyone would need. It's also easy to listen to very loud, without being bright like so many systems can be when cranked up.

One thing I didn't consider when ordering the B&O was how the design of the speaker grills really uplift the interior - in pictures, the grills just look like silver plastic but in reality, they're all machined out of metal and mounted in a way that gives them a 3D-effect. Very avant-garde. The illuminated pop-up centre speaker is a gimmick, albeit one that looks pretty cool.

On the subject of the interior, the 6-Series design is pretty decent anyway but another thing I didn't realise was, in ordering a BMW Individual interior (Opal White, which bizarrely was the same price as the non-individual full-leather interior), I'd get contrast stitching on the seats and dash. It looks magnificent, right up there with almost anything I've seen from any other manufacturer, as is the quality of materials throughout (the carbon trim and how it curves around parts of the interior is a masterpiece - I can't believe they make that standard!)

And finally.....the wheels. A subject of considerable concern as I have to admit, they look crap in the BMW press pictures. I ordered them on the basis that they a) surely wouldn't look that bad in real life , b) they define the Comp Pack and, c) if I really disliked them, it would be easier to change to standard wheels than the other way round. I'm happy to say that I don't plan on changing them as I reckon they look really good on the car and actually suit the coupe shape (I don't think I'd like them as much on the higher-sided M5 though).

Disappointingly, I removed the wheels to see if they're forged and it seems that's a big fat negative Scandalous on BMW's part when you consider the non-CP 20" wheels are forged and these CP wheels were part of a 6k+ option.

Whilst on the subject of things I'm not happy with, I'm stunned that my '14MY M6 doesn't have the new iDrive does have the latest iDrive NBT upgrades (so it operates a lot faster and with better functionality than in my 12MY example) but theres no touch controller . Infuriating when I consider BMW are now fitting this to 1, 3 and 5 series yet they find it acceptable to exclude it from the latest MY of their most expensive car

I'm also really unhappy with the typical BMW paint finish - the level of orange peel is truly shocking. I had this (but even worse) on a new M3 a couple of years ago and I took the brave decision to have it wet sanded, after which it looked exceptional. I'll need to be feeling very brave to do this again on the M6!

Enjoy the pics......

Current: '11 Merc SLS AMG | '12 Merc ML63 AMG
Previous: '14 BMW M3 | '13 BMW M6 Comp Pack | '11 Merc SLS AMG | '12 Jag XKR-S | '11 Range Rover Sport TDV6 | '10 Jag XFR | '11 BMW M3 DCT | '08 Maserati Granturismo S | '10 Porsche 911 Turbo | '10 Merc C63 AMG PPP | '09 Merc C63 AMG PP | '06 BMW M6 | '08 BMW M3 | '07 BMW 335i | '04 Alfa 147 GTA + Many others
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      09-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Great car! Thanks for the informative post.
I hope you drive the heck out of it!
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      09-03-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing! Nice pics!!
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      09-03-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post gives me something to consider when my MY13 lease is up in two years. And don't feel bad about the iDrive touch as (1) most people who have it are not impressed and (2) my $150k Alpina B7 delivered 2 weeks ago doesn't have it either although the brand new 750li on the lot has it with the new LCD dash.
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      09-04-2013, 01:24 AM   #5
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Congrats to your car and thanks to the picturs. Now i am sure that i ordered my M6 cp with the right wheels601. Havefun to drive
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      09-05-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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Beautiful car. The interior with cross-stiching is just amazing. I wish the M5 had the front seat cockpit and design that the M6 has.

Also great words on the CP... makes me happier with my build choice.
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      09-05-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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I picked up my new CP M6 GC last weekend .. traded 13 M5 specifically for the CP and ceramics.

This isn't just a minor upgrade but a major step up in dynamics, ride, feel and control. The ceramics are also so much better than the standard. (I noticed the same improvement when I changed my 911 to ceramics)

Still running the car in but even sticking to the 5,500 rpm limit you can feel the difference just pulling away from the dealership. I went for a drive through the Malibu canyons on Labor Day - this drives so much "smaller" than the M5

I have been an M5 guy for 20 years now and this is the best sorted M we have had since the E39 (and I think it is even better than that)

can't wait to have it run in
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      09-05-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
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Wow, Opal White leather is amazing. Could you please share your experience on keeping the leather clean?
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      09-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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beautiful car

i know amazing detailers, who will change your exterior to INSANELY WOW conditions
PM if you need info

hate orange peel as well
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      09-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Good photo series.
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      09-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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Looks great , thanks for sharing
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      09-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #12
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Great information/comparison, thank you!

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      09-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #13
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Excellent write up, thank you!!
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      09-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #14
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Just beautiful!!
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      09-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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Awesome color combo and options!
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      09-06-2013, 01:23 PM   #16
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Very well done comparo! I just love your San Remo Blue/white leather combo.

I also agree that the CP wheels look way better on the M6 than they do on the M5. Enjoy your ///M.

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      09-06-2013, 01:33 PM   #17
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You honestly aren't missing much with the touch controller. I have it on my '14 F30. It allows for alphanumeric searches, but, the reality is that by the time you input the letters/nos, you could have already scrolled the wheel and got to your desired input.

Is it cool, yes. Could it be implemented further and become more useful over time, yes. Are you missing much now, No.
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      09-06-2013, 01:35 PM   #18
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Excellent write up and comparisons. Enjoy every mile
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      09-06-2013, 01:52 PM   #19
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The comp pack wheels look 100% better on the M6 than they do on the M5. Beautiful car man, enjoy.
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      09-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #20
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*scrolls down just for pics*
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      09-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #21
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I feel you on the 1st generation M car refinement issues
Great car but no idrive touchpad?
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      09-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #22
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stunning car mate! but the steering wheel is on the wrong side
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