£102,755 Price range
The BMW M6 Convertible is possibly the closest you can get to a speedboat for the road. It’s a worthy rival to other larger-than-life drop-tops such as the Mercedes-AMG S-Class Cabriolet, Jaguar F-Type R Roadster and Bentley Continental GTC.
What the M6 Convertible holds over them, though is the way it drives. Yes, an F-Type R Roadster can match it for sheer speed, but the rest of the time the Jaguar can’t match the supple ride of the BMW. The steering, gearbox and throttle can be fine-tuned on the M6 Convertible so you can set it up exactly to your preferences.
Under the long bonnet lies the same 4.4-litre V8 that you might find in an M5 and it’s a real gem of an engine. There is hardly any turbo lag to speak of and the noise it makes is both pleasing and quite civilised – you never get those looks of disgust from pedestrians that you normally get in an F-Type R once it starts popping and banging as you are slowing down in a sleepy village.
The interior may look a bit old hat next to the swooping forms and double digital displays of the S-Class Convertible, but everything is wrapped in soft leather and the build quality is superb. You can also just about fit an adult in the rear seats, but once the roof is up, it’s pretty claustrophobic back there. The boot isn’t huge but won’t have problems with golf bags, provided you keep the roof up.
This is a six-figure car so it’s only expected that it has BMW’s most advanced iDrive infotainment system, a head-up display and a Harman Kardon stereo as standard. There’s still a huge range of options so you can really make the M6 Convertible yours.
The M6 Convertible’s interior is standard BMW M6, which is to say comfortable, well-built and just a little dour. The three-spoke sport steering wheel is a highlight, as is the use of subtle carbon fibre trim – the real stuff, rather than a stick-on vinyl affair.
There’s plenty of space for both driver and passenger up front, with adjustment in virtually every direction. The back seats aren’t really suitable for adults though, particularly when the roof is in place. That roof also cuts down on boot space a little, so the M6 Coupe and M6 Gran Coupe are the more practical M6 options here. With the roof up it’s nearly as refined as the coupe though – quite an impressive feat. With it stowed, there’s a little buffeting even with the wind deflector fitted.
The BMW M6 isn’t a hardcore sports car, but then again you don’t buy a fast convertible to go racing. You buy it to get to your favourite spot in the south of France before the person who got the ordinary 6 Series Convertible manages to get there. Or so we imagine.
There are few complaints about the quantity of its performance, but the nature of its performance is less impressive – it just doesn’t feel very special.
The good news is that there’s lots of grip, it rides well and the damping is well controlled. But it merely feels very capable rather than captivating, a little heavy, and not as alert or involving as rivals like the Porsche 911 or Maserati GranCabrio.
You only get one engine option in the M6 Convertible. Is this a problem? No – not only are other engines available in the regular 6 Series Convertible range, but the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in the M6 is a bit of a cracker.
There’s 552 horsepower on tap, and a hefty lump of torque – 502 lb-ft, to be precise – developed from just 1,500 rpm. While the V8 engine note is more cultured than hellish there’s certainly masses of performance on offer – the 0-60 sprint is dealt with in just 4.3 seconds. When you’re travelling a little slower, the M6 also settles down to be a fairly refined cruiser.
Maximum power tops 552 horsepower and there's 502 lb-ft of torque on tap before. It summons up torque "from the bowels of hell", making the M6 a "devastatingly quick tool". Flat out you'll reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. There's an exciting exhaust note too, yet it's an "excellent" cruiser when you're not setting any speed records.
If you’re interested in the M6 Convertible you may also be interested in the coupe version, the Gran Coupe or the M5 saloon. For some buyers, the M6 Convertible will be hugely appealing.
But in the cold light of day it’s a rather expensive way of going quickly even within BMW’s own range, and can’t compete on emotional appeal with rivals from Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar and even Mercedes. It’s quick and superficially fun but lacks the thrills you’d hope from a 550-horsepower convertible.