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The BMW M6 Convertible

BMW's fastest ever soft-top, the new BMW M6 Convertible, takes centre stage at the British International Motor Show.

../../JPG/BMW/bmw00200.JPG, photo by bmw 2006 On sale in September 2006 and powered by BMW's multi-award-winning 5.0-litre V10 engine, the new M6 Convertible brings the joy of open-topped motoring to BMW's M6 uber-Coupé. With an engine that takes its inspiration from Formula One, the new BMW M6 Convertible promises owners one of the fastest open-top cars available. But the M6 Convertible is more than a one-trick pony. It is officially powered by the best engine in the world. Its V10 powerplant has been awarded the coveted International Engine of the Year title for the second successive year - a first in the history of the awards. The new car also heralds the first time an M version of a BMW 6 Series Convertible has been built and three examples of this new car take pride of place in the BMW Group Plaza at the British International Motor Show.

Zero to
BMW M6 Convertible 507 520 4.8 18.6 366 £86,400


Powered by a 4,999cc V10 engine developing 507hp, the M6 Convertible engine is a technical tour de force. Using BMW's innovative Bi-VANOS variable valve technology and individual throttle butterflies on each of the engine's 10 cylinders for optimum breathing, the M6 Convertible delivers true supercar performance. The 0-62mph sprint is achieved in 4.8 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Unchecked, the car could continue to a top speed approaching 200mph. Managing the engine's operation is the MS S65 engine management system, the most advanced electronic control unit ever fitted to a car. Capable of up to 200 million individual calculations per second - a record for a production car - the unit, along with associated electronic components, monitors the entire operation of the engine from throttle inputs to exhaust gas management. Other innovations include engine oil pumps designed to operate despite the high g-forces generated by the M6 Convertible, a unique exhaust construction that improves engine efficiency and the extensive use of lightweight materials that save weight. Power is fed to the rear wheels via a seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) with Drivelogic - the world's first such transmission and one that has already seen service in the BMW M5 and the M6 Coupé. The SMG system's Drivelogic function offers the driver a choice of 11 different gear change options - five in auto mode and six in manual mode - each offering a different speed of gearshift. On its fastest setting, the driver of an M6 Convertible can make gear changes in just 50 milliseconds - a much faster time than could be achieved by an experienced driver using a conventional manual gear box.

Lightweight Design

The new BMW M6 Convertible showcases many lightweight materials that reduce unsprung weight, thereby improving ride and handling while minimising consumption and emissions figures. Thermoplastic front wings and Sheet Moulding Compound, another form of hi-tech plastic, form the boot lid and spoiler, and reduce unwanted mass. The use of lightweight aluminium components throughout the car saves further weight while retaining the same levels of strength offered by heavier steel. In comparison to a standard 6 Series Convertible, the M-variant has revised front, side and rear bodywork for enhanced aerodynamic efficiency and to help engine cooling. BMW M's signature quad exhaust pipes protrude from the restyled rear valance. The M6 Convertible also features a triple-layered hood with a middle component of polyurethane (PUR) foam for the most refined closed-roof driving. The hood has also been designed so that the roof-up profile has a near identical silhouette as the M6 Coupé.


Even with its soft-top configuration, the M6 Convertible offers one of the most rigid chassis available. BMW's renowned Variable M differential, used on all current BMW M cars, ensures the BMW M6 Convertible offers the driver the highest levels of traction and stability. The Variable M differential permits up to 100 per cent of drive to be fed to a single rear wheel to optimise traction. In its optimum MDynamic Mode, as a part of the Dynamic Stability Control system, it permits a greater degree of wheel slip for safe and exciting driving. BMW's familiar double joint strut front axle is used on the M6 Convertible, while, at the rear, an integral axle with longitudinal arms with springs and dampers feature. In common with all previous BMW M developed cars, the BMW M6 Convertible is fitted with a hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering. For ease of driving and manoeuvrability at slow speeds, the steering system is supplemented by BMW's Servotronic speed-proportional steering system.


../../JPG/BMW/bmw00202.JPG, photo by bmw 2006The BMW M6 Convertible offers the highest standards of passive safety. A-pillars made of high-strength steel and rollbars behind the rear headrests form a top-level safety cell in the event of a rollover. Active rear seat head restraints also pop-up in extreme circumstances should the Dynamic Stability Control system detect an imminent rollover to provide the optimum occupant protection. The M6 Convertible is designed with deformable body panels to absorb impact energy while high strength steel is used at key points of the chassis to prevent any intrusions into the passenger compartment. Fitted as standard with four airbags, the driver's and front seat passenger's intelligent airbags offer two-stage deployment, depending on severity of impact. The safety belts on all four seats come with belt force limiters and the in-tegrated restraint systems on the front seats also feature belt latch tensioners. The M6 Convertible is also equipped with Adaptive Headlights as standard. This innovative system turns the car's headlights in relation to steering input by up to 15 degrees when cornering. As a result, the direction the car is travelling is illuminated for greater nighttime visibility. The M6 Convertible is further equipped with Brake Force Display and Head-up Display. The former illuminates additional lights at the rear during heavy braking to warn other road users, while the latter system displays speed, navigation, cruise control settings and check control messages in the driver's line of sight for safer driving. With no spare wheel and tyre, the M6 Convertible features BMW's Tyre Puncture Warning System (TPWS) and a second generation M Mobility System (MMS). The former gives an audible and visual warning if a loss of tyre pressure is detected, while the latter provides the driver with a get-you-home method of tyre repair.

Market and history

The M6 Convertible is unique - it is BMW's first ever M-badged high performance 6 Series Convertible and comes to the market at a time when demand for soft-top cars has never been greater. In 1993 UK car buyers bought 22,510 soft-top vehicles, while in 2005 108,618 convertibles were sold. The UK has traditionally been the third largest worldwide market for M-cars and the second largest European market for soft-tops. The introduction of the M6 Convertible is, therefore, a logical step for BMW. The M6 Convertible promises to be one of BMW's most exclusive cars and, in its first full year, BMW UK expects to sell 150 cars.

BMW PressClub United Kingdom
August 2006



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