Last post on May 28, 2012 at 9:06 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)
#10 of 30 Re: Lighten up on the transmission, will ya? [spiritinthesky]
Mar 20, 2007 (11:04 pm)
Sorry ... i got the weight number just by going to the first result on a google search, which was from the car connection. But from the manual the weight is 3909 lbs.
The fact that I don't know how much the car weighs shows that it's probably been much of a problem. Honestly, for a cruiser it's nice to have the spaciousness on the interior and the extra weight comes in handy when s**t happens like I get rear-ended.
Actually, I think it smooths out the car a bit, and since they've done a lot to lower the center of gravity (as have I by lowering it) there's virtually none of the pendular motion that I noticed on the M5. True it's a super great car for the short bendies, but on those longer corners the car is amazing.
If I wanted to turn the flame up a bit on my driving excitement, my car of choice would actually be the f430 (because of it's combined 12.8 m/gal fuel consumption) rather than the gt3, though I don't know whether I'd get the F1 or the manual. Probably the F1 considering the performance is stellar, which is interesting considering that the m6's tranny is probably one of the F430 F1's closer relatives on the market. Well, closer than the tiptronic or DSG.
The exhaust I got was titanium and yes, the BMW's were heavy. If I recall correctly, about 140 pounds. I don't have an exact number for you because I sold it, but I've done some other things to my car and currently it does weigh in at about 3550 -- and with 507 hp this is nuts: about 7 lbs/hp. The 997 GT3 is about 7.4 lbs/hp, while the 997 turbo is 7.2 lbs/hp with the manual and 7.45 lbs/hp with the tiptronic S. Of course I barely put that to use much.
As for the fuel economy, I feel good knowing that the pollution index is actually very low (this wasn't the case for the E46 M3). In parts per million, it puts out less than the M3, but it puts out more millions. Oh well ... actually I get around 22 on the HWY and 13 in San Francisco. Just to give you an idea though, I used to drive a Civic and in San Francisco I only averaged about 16. So that's decent for the M6.
Like I said though, I can't argue with your choice in cars, spritinthesky ... the porsche is the embodiment of blistering, rear-engine, turbocharged, AWD german performance ... and a blast to drive. My wife loves the M6, and it turns a lot of heads because there aren't many on the road ... but on a day at the track I probably would take the GT3 over the M6 any day -- well any day my wife wasn't in the car. Really, she loves that M6. And that 13.7 cubic feet of trunk has come in handy more than once when she's been in the car and we've gone shopping.
I do have one question for you though ... one apparent weakness to me with the 997's and the F430 were the warranties and maintenance. This might seem like a small thing, but it's really true that BMW's warranty service and maintenance plans are out of sight. No matter how hard you drive the car they'll always fix it -- no questions asked. If the brakes wear out they replace them. If the oil's low they fill it up, if I blow the transmission, they'll replace it or they might even give me a new car if there's a pattern... etc. This has been a MAJOR selling point for me on the BMW's and it's why I've stuck with them ... not to mention that they always put me in a 60k+ car when I take it into the shop and can't wait for it.
I heard something regarding porsches and 1200 dollar oil changes and that even though they offer 4/50k miles, they're kinda picky about their warranty service. In other words if they can find proof of excessive wear they don't pay.
With the f430 I believe it comes with a 2 year/unlimited mile year though I believe they offer more comprehensive coverage for a good premium. While I hope the people who buy these cars don't stretch their budgets so thin that they can't afford much else (some do I guess), going out to the car and not having problems is a nice thing, but having those problems covered painlessly is a close second.
Still, it remains a concern of mine that with such a fragile and temperamental car, that there could be major problems if the manufacturer doesn't stand by it vehemently.
My friend had a 996 turbo and it was in the shop 8 times a year. That same friend had a 2006 A4 and it was in the shop 13 times in the first 12 months. Sadly, he babies his cars too.
#11 of 30 Re: Lighten up on the transmission, will ya? [kimchimofo]
Mar 21, 2007 (5:11 pm)
I've got to ask, if you can shave 359 pounds out of an M6 (3,909 to 3,550 ?), can you help me? I'd like to lose about the same amount proportionally.
Seriously, how in the heck did you shave the equivalent of nearly 10% of the weight of an M6? Even a third of that would have seemed like a physical impossibility to me without taking a chain saw to the back seats and every non-essential item in the car. For all of the weight saving efforts Porsche puts into the GT3 (removing rear seats, aluminum body panels, etc, etc.) it only weighs 55 lbs less than a C2S. Am I wrong, or didn't BMW offer a stripper "competition" version of the E46 M3 that practically took out the headliner and carpets for a total weight savings of maybe 100 lbs?
As for your concerns regarding the horrors Porsche maintenance and service, I am pleased to report they are greatly exagerated. I purchased a new 997S Cabriolet in September 2005. I had to insist on bringing it in for an oil change at 10,600 miles last October. My dealer said, "not necessary", as did the factory rep. The first scheduled maintenance is 2 years / 20k miles! I said I didn't care and wanted them to do it anyway - so they reluctantly charged me $265 for the oil change (including 10 quarts of Mobil 1 and $40 filter) plus a complete check of all fluids, belts, etc.
Other than rear tires which are nearing replacement my total maintenance costs over the first 18 months and 15,000 miles will be about the same as my former Honda S2000. Although the "major" 40,000 mile service will be a biggie at about $1,500. Not sure what kind of lemon your friend had with his 996 Turbo, but I - and all of my friends and colleagues - have had excellent experiences with the 911. Boxsters, not as much so, but still pretty good.
#12 of 30 Re: Lighten up on the transmission, will ya? [habitat1]
Mar 21, 2007 (9:08 pm)
well ... the old exhaust, as i had said, was something like 140 and what i replaced it with a titanium one (which was about 60), I saved about 80 pounds. The other 270 came from just taking out stuff i didn't need, but to get it down to its lowest weight i have to also put in some carbon fibre front seats i picked up ... which is a pain both to do and a pain in my butt -- literally, so i don't do it often. It's not too hard for me to put the back seats back in in the car too. I have a carbon fibre panel i put in when the back seats are out.
in case you're wondering, i have a friend with a high-end body shop so it costs almost nothing for me to experiment, and it's good for him because he uses the finished product to promote his business, but for the rest of you i wouldn't recommend going too nuts with the m6. I can put the car almost back to stock easily, and I do really like it that way. Sometimes i just get parts and put them on the car for the heck of it and then swap them out later.
as most of you know, most of the exterior of the car was already geared towards weight savings by the m division: carbon-polymer trunk, rear and front bumper, front fenders, hood, and along with the carbon fibre roof and aluminum suspension and engine there wasn't much i could do (or wanted to do) on the body.
truthfully, i'm surprised that they couldn't shed more weight than they did, but that carbon fibre roof does lower the center of mass by 1/2 inch, and along with the 30mm drop i did with a new set of springs, physics puts the car darn close to the ground.
Honestly, like i said before, if i wanted a smaller, lighter car i'd get one. I wanted something a bit more practical because in san francisco, even if you own a house parking is a pain to come by, and i'm already parking for me and my wife ...
The m6 is a pleasure to drive, extra weight or not, and there are so many porsches, audi's, and normal bimmers around here it's nice to have something different. Besides that, the car truly is a delight. My only complaint is that the roads around here make any nice car very sad.
The only porsche i'm really, really fiending for is that new gt3. I'm not enamored with any of the others, except maybe the c2s. But since my wife loves the m6 so much I might get a gt3 before the year's out and give her a nice, black birthday present. Of course before i do i'll put the good seats (and the back seats) back in.
my friend really did have a bad experience with both his porsche/audi products, and since the same 3 things didn't go wrong with it (or some technicality) he couldn't excercise his lemon-law rights. Not only that but they wouldn't even pick up the rental for him a couple times when his cars were in the shop and when they did they stuck him in something bad ... I'm not going to name names, but the porsche dealer was north of the bridge and the audi dealer was a big one in the south bay.
whatever you drive, do it safely ... don't talk on the cell phone, and if you do watch for stopped cars in front of you. hopefully not too many of your fates out there will be like mine:
2006 M5 - Hit and Run
2007 M6 - Rear ended by someone talking on their cell phone.
In 17 years of driving I've never had one accident (and I really do push it sometimes) and now I've had 2 in 6 months, both of which happened to my car when I was at a dead stop.
I'm about ready to trade my m6 in for a really heavy vehicle -- the bus!!!
p.s., yes a good way to shed weight on your car is to shed weight on the human driving it. I weigh 150 pounds and i'm 6 feet tall, but i swim 8 times a week and watch what i eat (no pizza, doughnuts, or burritos). if you really are serious about losing weight the best thing to do is focus on raising your metabolism.
1) count the calories you take in each day
2) figure out the average number of calories you burn in one day with a heart rate monitor and some old-simple-crude formulas
3) don't let the number in (1) be greater than the number in (2) for a given two-week cycle.
4) don't starve yourself ... your body will fight back because it thinks it won't be eating soon and it'll react by dropping your metabolism.
5) try to eat lots of small meals and keep your blood sugar constant rather than a few large ones, causing it to spike all the time. don't both snack and eat large meals though!!
6) get daily, areobic exercise with a tiny bit of anerobic thrown in for sculpting. find something you like to do so it's more fun than work, and get a good idea of how much you burn while doing it.
#13 of 30 Re: Lighten up on the transmission, will ya? [kimchimofo]
Mar 28, 2007 (12:28 pm)
By the way get your numbers straight if you're going to call me out on mine ...
According to RSportscars.com, the M3 weighed in at 3415 pounds an the M3 CSL weighed in at 3052.
Weight M3 - Weight M3CSL > 100 pounds.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt that your claims about the Porsche might be well founded (as the current 997's have been so welcome in the driver's world), I went out and test drove a 997s and 997 turbo, and was prepared to lay down the bucks if indeed they did pan out.
My opinion? Well .. it was nice being in a lighter, more "mechanical" car for sure, especially after hauling around the weight of the stock m6 until I decided to do something about it. The m6's electronic gagetry, though great for its everyday luxury, feels sometimes a bit out of place on the hardest of driving.
But the thing i noticed most with the porsche, was that big heavy rear end following behind me ... and threatening to swing out if I pushed it just a bit too hard on the bends. And it reminded me once again that, yes, the laws of physics still apply.
...the Cayman S though, it really delivers if you all are wondering. That mid-engine layout is great. The cornering is unbelievble. I just wish they had a bit more muscle under the hood.
I expected a lot more from a push on the pedal with the Carrera S, but found that every time I wanted to "get on it" I had to downshift 1 or 2 gears. I'm not used to this with the 5500 rpm flat torque range of the M6-- I get a gratifying amount of acceleration even in 6th and 7th gears and only have to downshift a lot if I really want to go. I realize we're talking about 507 hp and much more torque in the case of the M6, but with so much less weight and a fair amount of HP, I'd expected the Porsche to be a bit peppier in the mid range. The M6's v10 is a high revving engine too so I was puzzled.
In case you're wondering, I drove the 911 turbo too, for about 30 miles as I did with the Carrera S, and though it was an incredible "speed appliance", after a fair amount of seat-time in the car I couldn't find its soul. I was surprised to find, however, how much the addition of the AWD system actually helped the car. I really prefer the RWD layout, but in the Porsche's case with the rear-engine the AWD might just be what the Dr. ordered.
There is one porsche that I have no complaints about ... my friend picked up a 997 gt3 last month. That car still suffers from that hideous rear-end weight, but it's a dream anyway and I might not be able to resist it much longer. I haven't owned a porsche since they were air-cooled but this gt3 might eventually make it into my garage.
But for all but the gnarliest of driving I still prefer the M6. I could see the porsche appeal right away, it's a very romantic car that's easy to get worked up about. But there's nothing like cruising on the freeway effortlessly at 90 in the M6, the knowledge that you could do 200+ if you wanted to and weren't speed limited, and the bite the car has far into even the most gnarly of our public road system. All this and the car still can satisfy the most demanding of enthusiasts when it comes to road feel.
I was doing 80 in the porsche on the test drive, and there wasn't one moment that passed that I didn't feel like I was doing 80. Every time the wind blew, or the highway changed, the car jumped and shook. I know some of you would call this being in tune with the road but there are plenty of cars that are far more stable, that deliver just fine ... I think it comes down to a light, rear-engine car with stiff shocks they've tried to use adjustable dampening to correct.
My guess is that *most* of you porsche touting enthusiasts (though some of you might) won't even push your cars to the point where they really excel at anyway, so with all competition aside it boils down to what it always does ... personal preference.
By the way car and driver gave the 911s an observed fuel economy of 15mpg on its initial test. My m6, while drinking its fair share of fuel to be sure, is about the same as that. I doubt any car would do well here in San Francisco, where I do the majority of my driving. I have a mercedes c230 on loan from the shop while my car's being fixed, and it's supposed to get something like 18/26 also and it's been averaging 11. Nothing like those starts and stops on the hills. My m6 gets about 13.2 in San Francisco and 23 on the hwy with the reduced weight. Of course I'm sure it would do better still if I observed the speed limits better ... Sorry CHP, in this car 100 feels like 55, I try to do my best when I can and even set an alarm for when I exceed 86mph, ...
For me the M6, though less practical and almost as heavy from the factory as my M5, is still a great car that I'll be keeping for a while.
#14 of 30 Re: Lighten up on the transmission, will ya? [kimchimofo]
Mar 30, 2007 (5:37 am)
Interesting coincidence - I had my dealers personal M6 coupe again last Friday and Saturday while I had my M5 for new front tires to go along with the rears he gave me. He wanted me to "give it another try" as he has another customer/friend that really wants to buy my 2003 M5 and has offered a price well over blue book value.
My assessment is even stronger after 2 days of driving all types of roads - the M6 is a large, heavy GT and absolutely positively not a "sports car", by any stretch. If that's your cup of tea, fine. But I can assure you that if you attempted to do keep up with a 911S in anything other than a 1/4 mile drag race, you'd be left in the dust. And even the 911S's tested 0-60 times of 3.9-4.2 would be a couple of lengths ahead of the SMG hampered M6. Granted, I've taken both BMW's and Porsche's performance driving schools, so I don't find the rear weight bias of the 911 nearly as restrictive as the obesity of the M6 and its extra body roll, even with the M suspension. You'd have to be drunk to call this car agile in the twisties. More like ponderous.
Frankly, I was happy to get back my (merely) 400 hp, 6-speed manual, non i-drive, M5. It's more of a driver's car than the M6, IMO. As I've said, I've been a loyal BMW fan since buying one of the original M1's nearly 30 years ago. But the 6-series in general is not BMW's best effort - reminds me too much of the ridiculously depreciating 850ci - and even a great V10 in the M6 doesn't help much relative to the feeling that this is just an oddball car. If I really wanted a GT oriented sportscar, I'd consider the Vantage V8. It's performance is more than adequate for a GT, it's gorgeous inside and out, and a lot more exclusive. The 6 series "Toyota Solara on steroids" look from the back is the worst Bangled image in the line-up, IMO.
Even my dealer wouldn't try to sell his M6 as a serious sports car. The one time he took it to Summit Point Raceway and ran several timed laps, his less accomplished son beat him by 3-4 seconds with his $32k Honda S2000. The 911's were practically lapping him.
Mar 30, 2007 (9:49 am)
Spritinthesky ... I'm not attacking either your appreciation of BMW's, or your assesment that the Porsche is a better track car. You obviously are not a fan of the current M generation cars, and I'd be silly to say that the M6 will beat a Porsche on the track given a) the current weight of the current M cars, b) the fact that most of the fastest times on the Nuerburgring are held by Porsches, or c) the fact that the roadholding numbers of the M6 don't compare to that of the Porsche.
So, what it comes down to is arguing abou taste and preference, and whether you really want a "serious track car" for daily use. But if that's the case, then why don't you get yourself a Le Mans car and be done with it? Or a GT3 RS? Obviously this is ridiculous, so at some point you have to choose what's important to you and move on.
Personally I'd take the Ferrari F430 anyway...
And I'm going to take a leap here, but other than saying to yourself, "look ma ... I'm cool, I'm in a Le Mans car," would you even know what to do with one anyway? I wouldn't ... not without some serious training.
What I can say is this. I have a dealer who is very kind to me and who will take me out of my current car and put me in a porsche if that's what I really want. So I took him up on his offer to let me drive the porsche for a while over the last couple of weeks because I was going to make the leap of faith that all that rear weight was worth it and jump into one.
But honestly, with Porsche's low rent interior and 40 year old design that they seem to be merging with the TT styling that I so much loathe, is any Porsche but the GT3 going to get my dollars? Probably not. I took my dealers new 997 out on the freeway and it jumped all over the road, blew around in the wind, and threatened to swing out if pushed hard on a corner.
I took a CPO 2006 997s out and it was a rickety piece of crap. At 70 the car felt like it was going 90, and when i stepped on it at 4000 rpm it felt like the bases were loaded and I struck out at home plate.
I'm dropping that kind of serious dough on a car I'm going to drive every day, I want something that's sleek, smooth, and mean. At 100 the M6 feels like it's going 55, it's quiet and civilian on the inside, except for that exhaust note always reminding you that the car is ready to pounce, and the steering balance is near perfect (not to mention the car's weight distribution).
About your claims of the M6's acceleration, I just don't think you know how to drive it. And besides, you can't compare the worst numbers for the M6 to impossible numbers for a Porsche 911 to make your point. I'm willing to admit that I don't know much about current Porsches, and don't have much love for them. But it's obvious the same is true for you and the current M6's.
But since you insist on claiming stupid things about the M6's performance, you asked for it ... watch this video.
First, a few words about it ... it was put out by the folks at M5board, from a track day in Europe where several people got together at an airstrip and raced from rolling starts. Why rolling starts? Because it's not as hard on the cars, it's less likely to give AWD cars the advantage off the line, and is more indicative of what the cars can really do.
Secondly, the car being driven is an M5 (which is slower than the M6), but it has been modded. How much? Well ... no turbo or supercharger. It's been given some reprogramming and some exhaust as far as I understand.
But these topics are always hotly debated on M5 board, and since you're a self-professed bimmer fan maybe you should join.
#16 of 30 re: last post [kimchimofo]
Mar 31, 2007 (7:34 am)
It appears that you've gone beyond irrational exuberance for the M6 straight to arrogant obnoxiousness. I don't really care to play that game, but perhaps you ought to get a few of your facts straight:
"I took a CPO 2006 997s out and it was a rickety piece of crap."
Well then, just where does that put BMW on the feces scale? According to JD Powers, Porsche surpassed Lexus in 2006 as #1 in quality for 2006. BMW? Oh, there it is, #28 out of 38, 13 slots below the industry average and 3 slots below that premium brand, Kia. Check it out for yourself:
And, speaking of feces, maybe you should just stop shoveling it with respect to your weight loss heroics and BS numbers. In fact, the M3 CSL is 243 lbs, not 363 lbs lighter than the M3 coupe. And it didn't get there by a few pieces of carbon and a "titanium exhaust". They cut just a few luxury items, too, like
"Gone for good are the navigation and audio systems, as well as power windows, mirrors, and door locks. The plush carpet and most of the sound-deadening material have been excised as well, as have the foglamps, the tire-pressure monitors, the side air bags, and the air conditioning."
So I guess now you are going to claim that your ubber comfortable M6 doesn't have A/C, power windows and a sound system?
RS Sports M3 CSL
Automobile - BMW M3 CSL
I happened to drop a friend off to pick up his BMW that was in for service at the Washington areas's premier independent BMW shop, BMW Excluservice. Lothar Schuettler is considered a BMW legend, having raced for BMW in the 1970's and worked for the Motorsports factory as an engineer before coming to the US in 1984. When it was still legal, he converted dozens of high end German models in the 1980's to meet US requirements for executives and celebrities. I asked him about your claim of having knocked 300-400 lbs off a factory M6. He just laughed and responded, "Bulls__t. Either the owner is an idiot for believing it or the shop is committing fraud for claiming it. Have them call me personally - I'll be happy to debunk this crap". Lothar's number is below, call him if you want:
The fact is the BMW M6 is a very fine car, as is the Porsche 911. It's just too bad that someone lucky enough to get an M6 is an obnoxious ___. If, that is, you actually own one. I find it hard to believe that, with all your slinging of wild figures, you didn't know that the curb weight of the M6 was 91 lbs short of 2 tons before you supposedly bought one.