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BMW M6 Competition Package (2009) review

Published:05 March 2009

BMW M6 with competition package
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

The M6 came out aeons ago (well, 2005), so BMW has seen fit to give it a refresh with the optional Competition Package, a collection of enhancements that ups the M6’s £83,700 sticker price by £2135. For that you get uprated suspension that’s 12mm lower at the front and 10mm lower at the rear. There are also more lenient stability control and ABS settings (ie the electronics will wait a little longer before jumping in to save your bacon), a gorgeous new bonnet complete with clamshell-like central strakes, a fresh twist on the brilliant M differential and 19-inch alloys that look the same but are half an inch wider.

Can you tell the difference between this Competition Package-equipped BMW M6 and any other?

Yes and no. We couldn’t pluck up the courage to do 100mph powerslides on our local slip roads, so the benefits of the revised differential elude us. Track time with the standard car does leave us a little confused, however – the regular M diff offers up to 100 percent lock-up and works brilliantly. What’s more, the handling nuances of the half-inch wider Pirelli rubber was also lost on us. But the competition pack is categorically not a waste of time.

>> Click 'Next' below to read more of our BMW M6 Competition Pack first drive

The suspension’s the key, then?

Absolutely. Yes, a car that comes with three-stage dampers – comfort, normal, sport – as standard should have the bases covered, but our previous drive in the M6 revealed a tendency for the nose to go light while accelerating hard from an already high speed. Strange, especially since the ever-so-similar M5 didn’t display the same characteristics. The Competition Package cures this flaw.

The trade-off, of course, is a firmer ride, even in the most comfortable setting. It’s nothing you can’t live with, but I guarantee that you’ll always default to comfort. That makes the normal and sport modes seem pretty redundant and unnecessarily complex – much like the clunky semi-auto gearbox (the dual-clutch gearbox in the M3 is so much faster and smoother) with its endless and pointless levels of adjustment.

Verdict

Yes, the Competition Pack essentially cures something that should have been sorted as standard, and it’s a shame that the suspension’s comfort setting doesn’t offer a little more, erm, comfort (couldn’t the normal mode just be recalibrated to tally with the current comfort mode, leaving comfort for the daily drive, normal for fast road use, and sport for the track?), but all things considered the competition pack is £2k well spent.

The M6 is still an extremely good car, and now it’s just a little bit better

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and have your say on BMW's Competition Pack-equipped M6

 

Specs

Price when new: £85,835
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 4999cc 40v V10, 500bhp @ 7750rpm, 384lb ft torque
Transmission: 7-speed semi-auto, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.6sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 19.8mpg, 342g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1785kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4871/1855/1372

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  • BMW M6 with competition package

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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