The 2013 BMW M6 Coupe (F13) launch was held at Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas, California. What better place to showcase the M6 than on a racetrack of this caliber. With Laguna's elevation changes and variety of turns and straights, all aspects of the car would get an intense shakedown. And with a blessing to show no mercy, it definitely did.
From the press of the start button on pit lane, the 4.4L Twin Turbo V8 fired up with a low rumble. Game on. I gripped the wheel, gave the paddle a tap to call on the DCT, and put my foot down. The combination of motor and exhaust notes, and being placed firmly into the back of the seat upon acceleration really got the adrenaline rushing. Pit lane disappeared and it was onto the rollercoaster ride.
Around the track, the M6 delivers with aplomb. You don't get the sense that you are piloting a 4250 lb. car; it feels lighter and quite nimble. Steering is precise and turn-in is quick. The M Steering wheel really feels great in your hands. The suspension feels tight and keeps the car very well planted, most notably in the corkscrew, with the quick left and then the quick right downhill. For such a plush car I was impressed with the amount of feedback it offers. As for the power, with 560 hp at your disposal, and 500 ft.lbs of torque coming on at just 1500 rpms, everything starts to happen real fast when you press down the gas pedal.
To quote Bill Auberlen, with whom I had the pleasure to join in an M6 for a few laps later in the day, "when you put your foot down, you've got to be careful that you don't just roast the tires off."
Once you've made it past corner exit and start grabbing gears, shifts are lightning quick and straights get really short. You get rocketed into the braking zones before you know it. Not a problem though, as this M6 was fitted with the optional carbon ceramic brakes. They grab hard lap after lap, giving good feel and inspiring the confidence to carry more speed and push deeper into the braking zones.
At the end of the day, I left Laguna with many stories to tell, a huge grin on my face, and a yearning to make the F13 my new commuter car. BMW truly created the ultimate driving machine in the latest M6 coupe.