New BMW M6: Like an M5, but better looking

2013 M6 front 3/4

BMW released photos and technical information on the new M6, a 6-Series coupe and convertible souped up by the company’s M Division. Like the previous M6, the new car wraps the hardware of the M5 sedan in sexy two-door bodywork.

The M6 shares an engine with the M5, as well as the X5M and X6M SUVs. The 4.4-liter V8 is twin-turbocharged and direct-injected, producing 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. That’s 60 more horsepower than the 5.0-liter V10 in the old M6 and, according to BMW, the V8 is also 30 percent more fuel efficient.

The new engine will also improve drivability. It delivers its peak horsepower between 5,750 and 7,000 rpm (redline is 7,200 rpm), and peak torque between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. That gives the V8 a power band three times as wide as the V10, and a very flat torque curve. So whatever speed the engine is running at, there will always be plenty of power available.

All that power is sent to the wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (a manual may be available in the future) and what BMW calls the “Active M Differential,” which can automatically vary between open and full lock to give the car more traction on slippery surfaces. Both items are shared with the M5.

Slowing the M6 down are massive brake rotors: 15.7 inches in diameter in the front, 15.6 in the rear. An optional extra will be the M Division’s first carbon-ceramic brakes, which weigh 42.8 pounds less than the standard cast-iron pieces and are more resistant to fade.

2013 M6 convertible side view

Chassis upgrades include stiffer mounting points for the suspension, and a host of electronic aids, including Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), and others. Confused? All of these systems can be controlled through the master Dynamic Stability Control, which is programmed for three levels of electronic intervention, including one that turns the system completely off and lets the driver rely on talent alone.

On the outside, the M6 gets some minimal changes from the already good-looking 6 Series, such as wider front air intakes and bigger wheels to accommodate those huge brakes. More importantly, the M6 has aluminum doors and front fenders to reduce weight. As with the previous version, the coupe also has a carbon-fiber roof.

The 2013 M6 coupe will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, while the convertible will debut at the New York Auto Show. However, the convertible will go on sale first, in June 2012, followed by the coupe. Pricing has not been announced but, given the base 6 Series’ $102,000 MSRP, don’t expect the M6 to be cheap.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review

Twenty five years after the demise of the V12-powered LM002, Lamborghini rejoins the sport-utility segment with the Urus, a veritable tour de force of technology, luxury, and speed.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Cars

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Audi’s self-driving car unit teams up with Luminar to go driverless in 2021

Audi's self-driving car unit has teamed up with Luminar to develop and test autonomous technology. Luminar provides its lidar technology, which sees farther than the sensors offered by rivals, while Audi brings its own software.