No dejan muy bien a los españoles,.... al M6 si,.... :roll: http://www.mphmagazineonline.com/features/16 SPANISH FLY We get loose in the 500-hp BMW M6 on some of Spain's finest pieces of asphalt. There are two big questions here, so let's (in traditional mph style) skip the foreplay and get 'em both asked. First —is the new M6 as good as we'd hope an M-badged BMW should be? Number two, the curve ball — why, precisely, in a world that already contains the ultra-talented M5, does the M6 need to exist? And, abandoning all pretense of suspense, the answers are, in order, "yes, it is," and "after 400 miles, we're still not quite sure." The differences between the M5 and M6 are obvious. The '5 is a four-door sedan capable of moving four people and their luggage faster than anything not registered with the FAA; the '6 is a coupe-lower, meaner, and slightly faster, based on the same underpinnings and with a dose less practicality. Reduce the differences to a metaphor about schoolgirls and the M5 would come out as the over-achiever-captain of the field hockey and debate teams, good looking but way serious— while the M6 is the harder-partying and (you guessed it) far dirtier-minded younger sister. Of course Mercedes-Benz has long been able to pull off the neat trick of selling a big coupe for a healthy mark-up over the sedan on which it's based. BMW is a bit out of practice-the previous generation 6-series died in 1989, and it shows. With such obvious similarities between its two 500-hp babies, Munich's attempts to extract a substantial premium for the coupe appear destined to run into some serious skepticism. Yes, it's got a carbon-fiber roof to save weight-but the M6 is approximately two percent faster than the M5, has 50 percent fewer doors, and wears a 20 percent fatter price tag. "Zis is ze wrong question," senior execs tell us when we asked why they did the M6-officially these are two different cars aimed at completely different markets. The M5's role is to go out and play tag with the Mercedes E55 AMG and the forthcoming Audi RS6. The M6 is a different, more exclusive proposition-an alternative to a Porsche 911 Turbo, Maserati Coupe, or even, in a couple of months' time, the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage. "It vill be priced for ze market conditions it faces," we're assured. Or, if you prefer, BMW figures that any M6 customer would be positively insulted to be charged any less for their car. We'll return to sibling rivalry in a moment. But first, we took the chance to make friends with the M6 over some of the most demanding roads that Europe can offer. Andalusia, in the far south of Spain, is separated from Africa by barely ten miles of water-this is where Euro manufacturers flock during the winter months to launch their new products under near-guaranteed sunshine and some commendably liberal-minded traffic-law enforcement by the local police. Imagine a type of road and it's here, from high-speed Autopista to tortuous mountain passes that were last resurfaced in the late '60s by the lowest bidder's second cousin. Oh, and local drivers are all insane, too-todos locos. Imagine the way you'd drive across a desert to reach the nearest oasis with a smoldering fire in your pants and you've got a pretty good idea of how Andalusians drive Common origins ensure that the M6, like the M5, is one of the finest pieces of automotive engineering yet created. The spec sheet looks like the technical design team got really drunk and started to play truth-or-dare one night: "Okay, you've got to make it vit ze V-10 engine," "Ja, for sure-and you do a 7-speed sequential transmission and full launch control." The onpaper figures are getting towards the outer edge of the adjectival envelope: certainly somewhere north of "awesome." A very slight performance advantage over the M5 makes the '6 the fastest road-going BMW of all time. zero to 62 mph takes just 4.6 seconds (4.7 in the M5), 100 mph comes up in under ten, 125 mph arrives in a shade less than 14 and-if it wasn't for that pesky speed limiter-BMW is happy to hint that the M6 would crack 200 mph. Most differences over the M5 are-like, duh- the same fundamental non-similarities between the 5-series and 6-series. If you like the chunky looks of the standard 6 then you'll probably be a fan of this turned-up-to-11 M version, especially running on these gorgeous 19-inch five-spoke rims. We still think the front end looks too much like a beer gut hanging over a pair of too-tight jeans, though. The M6 is four inches lower than its sedan sister, one-third inch wider, and, getting precise, 0.623 inches longer. It's 264 pounds lighter, due to the use of some lightweight materials and the muchvaunted carbon-fiber roof and fenders. That's not a huge savings (it still tips the scales at a substantial 3770 lb), but mass has been concentrated low down in the car to lower the center of gravity. BMW proudly figures that it's capable of lapping the Nurburgring Nordschliefe a full eight seconds quicker than the M5. Impressive, until you realize that works out to a difference of precisely 0.11 seconds per corner. Our first mission is to drive to the Ascari Race Resort near Ronda, which BMW has kindly booked to allow for some on-the-limit dynamic assessment. In truth, we probably learn more about the M6 on the road that takes us to the track. Heavy traffic as we battle our way out of Seville gives plenty of opportunity to soak up the interior ambiance. In essence, it's a well-laden 6-series, although the M-ification has provided some neat carbon-fiber trim detailing, leather sports seats, and a seriously thick steering wheel. The normal stuff that you'd expect a $100,000 car to do all gets done: the driving position is superior, the ventilation shrugs off the best efforts of the springtime Spanish sun, and, excepting the Europop-only choice of stations (sample track: "I'm waiting to be filled by you"), the stereo is brilliant. Pick up the new issue of MPH for more. Now available on newstands!