It’s only a matter of time before BMW turns its fresh new 6-Series coupe into a Bahn-storming M6, and with our spy shooters capturing prototypes like this one on the open road, it appears that time is drawing nigh. Telltale signs that the car seen here will wear that holiest of monikers, the M: a unique front air dam up front, quad exhaust tips out back, massive 10-spoke wheels similar those seen on development M5s, and massive, cross-drilled brake rotors that would be more than a touch hard-core on a standard 6er. Not as easy to discern beneath the squiggly camouflage is whether this prototype is capped by a carbon-fiber roof, as is the previous M6.
The third-generation M6 will share much of its inner workings with the upcoming 2012 M5 sedan—which we expect to debut at the Shanghai auto show this April. That means the M6 should sport a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, estimated to produce 550 hp (perhaps more) and 500 lb-ft, as well as a dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox. No word on whether a three-pedal manual will return for duty, but if it does, it may even be exclusive to the U.S. (Demands from the American market led BMW to include a stick in the last-gen M5). Don’t be surprised to see the M6’s 0-to-60 time crack the four-second mark, while fuel economy should improve on account of active aerodynamics within the front air dam, an engine stop/start feature, and electric power steering.
BMW remains mum on when the next M6 will appear, either on a show stand or in showrooms, but we expect to see it officially revealed by this fall, and be on sale by summer 2012.
Thanks to: Car and Driver