Review of the 2014 M6 Competition Pack, from Estoril, Portugal
It looks like BMW's M division couldn't leave well enough alone. Always striving for the ultimate in performance, this time they have turned their focus on the already stellar performers, the M5 and M6. We got to take some laps around Estoril Circuit in BMW's hot-rodded M6 and experience the fruits of their labor.
The M6 comes out of box powered by a 4.4-liter V-8 utilizing BMW's M TwinPower Turbo technology, that churns out 560hp and 500 torques. Power gets routed through an ultra quick and smooth shifting 7-speed M Dual-Clutch Transmission as standard, and for the purist, an optional 6-speed manual box. An Active M Differential controls the rear wheels and the handling is kept tight through a well-tuned chassis.
This all sounds fantastic, phenomenal. How does it possibly get better? Glad you asked. For the new Competition Pack, the 4.4-liter V8 was boosted 15hp to 575 and torque stays pretty much the same, but extends for a couple hundred more RPM. The twin scroll turbo really pours the boost on quickly. All that torque still kicks in at 1500 rpm, hurling you out of the corners and slingshotting you down the straights. If you aren't careful, you can even melt the tires off in a billowing cloud of smoke. With the competition package you better the stock 0-62 by 0.1 second and 0-124 comes down by 0.2.
The 7-speed M-DCT still delivers lightning fast, smooth, and precise shifts, minimizing disruptions to the chassis. The M6's chassis has also been tuned specifically for the competition package. Damping and spring rates were increased, along with 10mm of lowering to drop the center of gravity a bit. This gives the M6 the stability and control to handle the loads placed on it by hard track use. Stiffer sway bars add to the stability and reduce body roll, improving turn-in. Also, the Active M-differential receives a unique tune to help improve traction and Optional M Carbon Ceramic brakes handle the brake zones without a problem The M6 feels tight, composed and planted through the turns and under baking. This inspires the confidence to really enjoy the experience and also to push the M6 closer and closer to the limit. I felt I could get on the gas earlier and keep feeding a good amount of throttle through the apex, to dropping the hammer for the straight. The M Dynamic Mode of the Dynamic Stability Control has been re-mapped for sportier handling and higher intervention thresholds. If you are brave and have all the driving aids off, you can really have fun with back end out and more tire smoke. Excellent!
Piloting the M6 with all these changes wouldn't be the same if the steering were kept stock, would it? BMW optimized the steering ratio for a more direct feel and better feedback to the driver. The steering was precise and had a great feel. Through the quick left/right of the uphill chicane it felt flawless, letting me know when I gave too much input instantly, so I could correct.
Rounding out the Competition Package is a set of 20-inch light –alloy wheels wrapped in some reasonably sticky rubber, and a sport exhaust with the M quad tailpipes in Black Chrome. The sport exhaust adds to the already symphonic sounds coming from under the hood.
If you are looking for an M6 with that something extra, maybe you plan on doing some track days, maybe you just want to have more power than your friends, the Competition Pack is great way to go. It adds just enough without sacrificing everyday driving comfort. Hey, 41 years of race-bred experience can't be wrong.
While we didn't get to drive the M5 on this particular day, the M5 gets the same treatments as the M6 for the competition package. M6 Gran Coupe models can be optioned with the Competition package for $6,000. The Competition Package for the M5, M6 Coupe and M6 Convertible is priced at $7,300.
On track video still to come!
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