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BMW M6 coupé (2011): the new spy photos

Published: 24 June 2010

BMW will launch its new 6-series range later this year – and this is the new range-topping M6, which will arrive at the tail end of 2011.

The new M6 follows the blueprint of the next-gen M5. So it’s bye bye V10, and hello twin-turbo, ‘downsized’ V8.

We say ‘downsized’, but this will be a more powerful engine than the old 10-cylinder effort. It’s the same basic 4.4-litre lump from the X5 and X6 M – heresy, some will say! – tuned to produce around 578bhp and 530lb ft, CAR understands.

New BMW M6 (2011): the engineering story

The 6-series range is rear-wheel drive, naturally. To cope with those sorts of power outputs through a single axle, BMW’s top coupé will  be equipped with a barrage of electro-nannies to tame the thrust and prevent the rear tyres from melting at every roundabout.

Klaus Draeger, BMW’s R&D boss, has told CAR of the decision to drop the V10 in favour of a smaller V8 lump.

‘The V10’s extra two cylinders provided everything we asked for, except in terms of consumption and emissions,’ he told Georg Kacher. ‘Downsizing helps in our new goal, even if going from 5.0 to 4.4 litres is not a huge step, and turbocharging also helps.’

He added that the next M5 – and hence, by extension, the M6 – will receive an Efficient Dynamics package, too. There’s even talk of an active aero package to trim the aerodynamics of the M6 depending on speed and conditions.

The transmission on the new M6?

Munich’s seven-speed twin-clutch transmission is being beefed up to cope with the M6’s grunt. Drivers will be able to tweak the settings on the gearbox, as well as the suspension and throttle map. Today’s system is overly complicated, but BMW is simplifying the M button and its ancillary set-up options.

The new M5 arrives first in spring 2011 – and this will provide plenty of clues to the new M6. We’d expect a price hike to around £90k from today’s £87k. Not cheap, but then this is the sportiest BMW on sale.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet