Last post on May 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM
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BMW M6, Convertible
Article comments for First Drive: 2007 BMW M6 Convertible - Although some will consider it sacrilegious to eliminate the beautiful carbon-fiber cover that tops the M6 coupe, the benefit is sheer aural pleasure. With nothing between you and the harmonious bellow of one of the most remarkable engines in production car history, the only thing left to do is slather on some SPF 50 to keep your dermatologist happy and let the sun, wind and sound prickle your senses. (more)
Apr 04, 2007 (4:45 am)
Last weekend I went out car shopping with one of my senior partners who is in the market for a coupe or convertible sports car or GT.
In addition to Mercedes, Porsche and Aston, we stopped by a BMW dealer to check out the 650i and M6. I have got to say that I was shocked. I really haven't looked closely at the 6-series before - and now I know why. The 650i and M6 may be very well constructed cars of high quality materials, but the design, interior and exterior, is horrible, IMO. And I am a big fan of BMW, especially the Motorsport models (my brother consults for their racing team).
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all of that. But the 6-series convertible looks like it came off the same drawing board as the Toyota Solara and Lexus SC from the rear end. And all of them look like they have posteriors that need to get on Ultra Slimfast. Actually, make that the entire car. The 6-series just looks like a hulking load and it's proportions, for a 2+2 are about as sexy as the fat lady at the circus. The interiors are hardly works or art either, losing their driver oriented cockpits of old and replacing it with i-drive, SMG and a totally uninspired layout.
I know my comments will probably not be taken in the spirit I intend, but I would like BMW to get the word from loyalists and fans (like me) that they have really screwed up on the design side. The previous generations of M3's and M5's were great to drive - and were good looking, sporty driver oriented cars. But now, even the smallest 335i coupe they had on the floor look liked it lost any semblence of a sporty cockpit.
Personally, I'd take a 1980's 6-series over the 2007 for looks. There is no friggin way anyone can think a 2007 650i, or even the M6, is going to be sought after as a collectible in 10+ years. We actually drove the 650i coupe to the Aston Martin dealer and parked it next to a Vantage V8. Talk about the ugly duckling next to a work of art. And I don't even like Astons.
BMW, if you are listening, wake up and schedule an exorcism. No one makes a better sport sedan than BMW, but it's getting to the point that you need to be blind to appreciate that without throwing up.
Apr 04, 2007 (6:46 am)
Yeah ... I agree that this generation isn't as attractive as previous ones. Many people I know still find the design stunning but, for the first time, I've made cosmetic modifications to a car that I owned -- I added the AC Schnitzer rear spoiler, and I think it really makes the car.
I didn't do anything to my E46 M3 though.
Here are some pics with the spoiler:
Some of the photos make the car look a bit ill-proportioned. That's mainly due to the fact that I photographed the car up close with more of a Macro lens. The car is currently in the shop getting a 1" drop via some H&R springs.
Most of the time I don't care because I'm behind the wheel and not standing outside the car, but sometimes I do notice. And sometimes I think they "almost" got it right too ...
You can't really compare it to an Aston though, at least the Vantage, because it's not a 2+2. I guess you can compare it on the basis of it being a GT, but I feel you have to lump 2 seaters in the same category and the Aston is just not compelling enough over the F430 or the 911 GT3.
But then looking at the upcoming E90 M3 (photos were released within the last week) I'm starting to question BMW's direction as well. I was kinda hoping for a good M3 to move to after they'd gotten the bugs out.
Though I do still find *most* of the M6 visually very applealing given the Genre (check out some of the other GT 2+2's out there and you'll see what I mean, though one company I thought solved the problem well was Infiniti with their G35.)
Infinti solved everything pretty well, except for the interior that is ... what did they do, copy an 80's AIWA boombox? And then they messed the whole thing up with the new G37 ... it looks like a cross between a Tiburon and something ...
Where are the designs going these days??? Maybe it is time to go back to something that they've been making for 40 years -- the 911. Call it modernism or cutting edge or even give your design strategy a name like "flame surfacing", what ever you want but the E46 was definitely a stunning car and very modern at the time.
Still, the M6 is a wonderful car to drive, and though I didn't consider an Aston or a Bentley but I have driven both and prefer the M6, at least behind the wheel, to any other high performance GT car. But having owned both the E60 M5 and E63 M6, I'd say keep the sedan unless you really only want two doors (this is me) or really, really love the M6's design (I like it ... and am starting to love it, but it sounds like you don't )
My wife loves this car, and sometimes I get it in my head that it's ugly ... but then when I occasionally see one on the street I think WOW. I think it's just different, and takes some getting used to. It might very well be a beautiful, in a very unconventional way, car. That said, it could also be ugly in a very conventional way.
About the bloating ... it's just the genre. It's a big GT 2+2. There's only so much you're going to be able to do to make a big car that accomodates 4 passengers with a nice trunk. The 612 Scaglietti (>4000 pounds) and the Continental GT (>5000 pounds) are like this too. I'm curious to see what Porsche does with the Panamera.
My history of cars in the past 3 years has been that of competing luxury/practicality. I went from a 2005 M3 to a 2006 X5 4.8is, to a 2006 M5 to a 2007 M6. Now I'm considering taking my own advice and getting that Porsche GT3 and throwing practicality out the window.
Unfortunately I need extra room from time to time and I can't convince my wife to get a big car so I can have a small one (no would I want to ... she's happy). Having more than 2 cars in San Francisco is a horrible siuation unless you're filthy rich, and even then ...good luck! I'm a man of some means, but even though I could afford to stable a third car, I'm not crazy. I was looking to buy a place in SOMA last month and for over a million dollars I only got two parking spots ... and after my car was parked there was about 2 inches between my car and the next one.
When I bought it the M6 seemed to be the best combination of size/luxury/performance on the market in a coupe, and I still think it has no rivals. I do like this car!!! But that doesn't mean I don't have some stuff to say about it.
#23 of 30 OK, you're right I'm wrong !!!
Apr 25, 2007 (8:32 am)
Sorry spiritinthesky et al for my ridiculously stupid defense of the M6. I got rid of it and got a Carrera 4S, and I now it all makes sense. The car is absolutely stunning and I wouldn't go back to the M6 for all the bratwurst in bavaria.
And how are you all right, let me count the ways:
1) it's a blast to drive
2) the styling is fantastic
3) 40 years of constant refinement is not a bad thing ... we get the benefit of having an "evolved" car.
4) it's a blast to drive
5) 997 is a great luxury car
6) Gas mileage is great
7) Insurance is 80 bucks cheaper a month
8) It's a blast to drive
9) It's a blast to drive
My words of advice, get one if you can live without the back seats and the trunk space.
There are a couple of things that it would be nice to see in the 997, Bluetooth cell phone and Auxilary input for audio devices, but I don't use the phone much in the car anyway and the ability to play WMA/Mp3 files in the Bose System (which sounds great, by the way) is a good workaround.
For those of you looking to pick up an M6, get an M5 instead ... if you are going to take on the extra weight then you might as well have the extra space. If you want a convertible, save the 55k and just get a Boxster or spend a bit more for a C4S cab.
The Porsche AWD system is astounding and it improves the balance and stability of the car while only adding minimal weight. Not only that but it pulls 0.99g in the turns instead of 0.97g like the Carerra S.
Forget about the M6, unless you're in love with it. Besides, P-cars are better for the environment.
Again, ... sorry for all the BS. I'm fairly young still, and like a young wine I haven't mellowed yet.
#24 of 30 Re: OK, you're right I'm wrong !!! [kimchimofo]
May 04, 2007 (12:24 pm)
I'm guessing you are way too young to remember the TV show "Laugh-In". There was a regular skit in which a news commentator (Rosanne Rosanadana) would go off the deep end about why a previous news story was nuts, crazy, wrong, etc. Like, "I don't know why everyone is swearing about vacuum cleaners...". After 60 seconds or so of monologue, the anchor would finally interupt and point out that the previous news story was about the "Hoover Dam", not "Damn Hoovers". To which she would sigh and reply, "Oh. Nevermind".
I hope you enjoy your 911 C4S. You seem to change expensive cars more frequently than I uncork $40 bottles of wine.
But, just for the record, I took out a C4S Cab while my C2S was in getting new rear tires installed a few weeks ago. Exceptional car, but I still prefer the lighter feel, more nimble and quicker RWD than AWD version. I think you could toss a coin and find half of Porsche enthusiasts on one side and half on the other regarding AWD vs. RWD. Turbo vs. GT3. Cab vs. Coupe. Base vs. S. The beauty is, there's one for everybody. Enjoy yours.
#25 of 30 Re: OK, you're right I'm wrong !!! [habitat1]
May 04, 2007 (2:47 pm)
Laugh-In was a great show, but I don't remember Arte Johnson or Goldie Hawn ever co-starring on TV with Gilda Radner. You're thinking of SNL...
#26 of 30 Re: OK, you're right I'm wrong !!! [fedlawman]
May 05, 2007 (7:11 am)
I think you are right. Guess now that I turned 50 my memory must be failing. But I still think Goldie looks pretty good.
#27 of 30 Re: OK, you're right I'm wrong !!! [habitat1]
May 05, 2007 (7:19 am)
A mind is a terrible thing...
Aug 10, 2007 (1:00 am)
If anyone is interested, I have two M6 plates for sale:
If interested, post up here....
May 28, 2012 (11:41 am)
new m6 owner here, i get more looks from girls than i did in my benz E-class... plus it drives much better
May 28, 2012 (8:06 pm)
Looks like the new generation will be out in a few weeks, with the coupe to follow next year. BMW released a new video of the convertible in action at Lime Rock Park: http://youtu.be/VrWD6uQu0zc