2012 BMW M6 Convertible: 4,508 Pounds of Rocket (Rocket Fuel Not Required)

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BMW opted to bring back their M6 Convertible for 2012, and as expected, it offers up more horsepower, better looks, and increased fuel economy.

No longer powered by a thunderous V10, the 2012 M6 Convertible can reportedly hit 60 MPH in about 4.2 seconds.  With the V10 headed for the dinosaur museum, BMW opted to make use of the same twin-turbo V8 that is used in the M5.  A wet, dual clutch, seven-speed transmission behaves itself rather well, considering that many automated manual transmissions lack the refinement that Americans are used to when getting an “automatic transmission.”  That doesn’t mean the M6 is a slouch by any stretch of the imagination.  With 4,508 pounds of pork to move, the M6 Convertible is an awesome straight line machine but in the twisties you can really feel the heft as the suspension stiffens up to keep the motion in check.  4,508 pounds is a lot to keep under control but BMW offers flavors of M6 for every skill level, road type, and mood if 4,508 pounds of mass sounds intimidating.  I can only imagine the potential that the M6 holds if it were to join Jenny Craig or trade weight for carbon fiber.

Driving around the hilly and beautiful terrain around Santa Barbara gave me plenty of opportunity to check out the multiple personalities encased within the M6.  The M6 could easily be described as a comfortable touring convertible.  The suspension can swallow up road imperfections and provide transportation that your grandma wouldn’t complain about when in full ‘comfort’ mode, all M-settings turned off and the EcoPro mode turned on.  Complete with Start/Stop technology, the M6 Convertible EcoPro mode isn’t much fun to drive but definitely helps keep the power under control.

Moving to the opposite end gives the M6 Convertible some jaw dropping power, as evidenced by someone else on the media event I attended.  The M6 gives you multiple flavors to tailor the suspension, power delivery, transmission calibration, and power steering to your liking.  MDM mode, S3, and Sport+ settings reveal the monster under the hood.  If the EcoPro mode was a kid on a Huffy, the MDM mode and Sport+ would be a ‘juiced’ Armstrong on the last day of the Tour.  The only difference is that the ‘juice’ in the M6 is legal.  The twin-turbos are just as addictive, too.

No, it doesn’t have the soundtrack of a V10 but the V8 provides plenty of aural tones that will easily bring a smile to your face just as it did to me while driving through San Marcos Pass.  The New York pizza pie-sized brake rotors stop the M6 fast enough that a retina detachment almost feels imminent.  Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional.

The interior is typical of BMW models as of late.  Fit and finish was superb and material choices were excellent.  iDrive continues and teams up with a new heads up display designed to keep your eyes on the road.  It’s one of the better systems that I have seen, even with the top down and the sun shining.  The rear seats are better left for a purse or picnic basket.  It’s a tight fit if you want to share an open air experience.  The car is remarkably stiff with no cowl shake or strange vibrations often seen in cars that were never meant to be convertibles, such as the Chrysler 200 or Murano CrossCabriolet.  I mean, this is the ultimate driving machine.

The M6 Convertible looked right at home on the streets of Santa Barbara.  It’s one of the few convertibles that appeals to both men and women, too.  It’s sexy.  It’s fast.  It carries prestige over every high school girl in Santa Barbara driving a 3-Series, as it should, since my tester was over $125,000.  Super car power and improved styling over the last M6 left me wishing I played Powerball or MegaMillions.  The jackpot is $65 million tonight?  That’ll do.  Maybe I’ll buy a Coupe and a Convertible.

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