Via the MDrive system, the driver has fully 279 combinations of control settings to choose from – and an MDrive button on the steering wheel that allows 1-touch selection of the driver’s preferred combination of same. Here’s how it all works:
Power and throttle response. Three settings: P400, the default mode, allows a maximum of 400 hp and gives “normal” throttle response. P500, the “normal performance” setting, allows full maximum output of 500 hp, with quicker throttle response. Both these settings may be selected conveniently via the Power button on the console, next to the shift lever.
The third setting, P500 Sport, also allows full engine power, but provides even quicker throttle response. It is selectable only in the MDrive menu on iDrive.
Transmission. SMG provides 5 automated programs in Drive, D1-D5; 6 programs in Sequential, S1-S6.
Electronic Damping Control. Normal, Comfort and Sport settings. Steering assist is linked to these: Its Comfort mode (more assist) goes only with EDC’s Comfort setting. The steering’s Sport mode (less assist) goes with EDC’s Normal and Sport.
Dynamic Stability Control. Three settings: Normal, M Dynamic Mode and de-activated (though ABS always remains active).
How does MDrive arrives at those 279 combinations? 3 power settings x 10 SMG programs (excluding for the moment S6) x 3 EDC modes x 3 DSC choices = 270. Then, transmission program S6: Because it can be selected only with DSC deactivated, 3 power settings x 3 EDC modes = 9. Add these to 270 and you get the full 279 modes. One might even see the total as 280 by counting Launch Control – itself accessible within S6 – as a further program.
Selecting modes in MDrive. Within the MDrive menu, the driver can select every one of these settings and link them to the MDrive button on the steering wheel. Then, regardless of which individual settings have been selected previously, all these choices are instantly set to what the driver has programmed in MDrive. Conversely, the previous settings will be restored when the MDrive button is pressed again.
Power settings P400 and P500 can be summoned by pressing the appropriate button on the console. So can the EDC and DSC modes; likewise the SMG program, which can be set via the shift lever and the mode selector behind it.
Additional MDrive settings. Two optional features – the M Head-up Display and the M Multi-function sport seats’ Active Seat Backrests – can also have their settings programmed onto the MDrive button via the MDrive menu.
Abundant luxury accompanies definitive performance
The 6 Series interior presents luxurious, ergonomically engineered 2+2 accommodations for its driver and passengers. In an atmosphere of tasteful design and high-caliber materials, typical BMW attention to instrumentation and controls supports attentive, yet relaxed driving and pleasant, comfortable riding. To this elegant space, BMW M adds its heightened emphasis on performance driving and even more sumptuous materials.
Both main instruments have unique fulltime-illuminated white scales and red pointers. The speedometer scale reads to 200 mph, the tachometer to 9000 rpm.
With such a high-performance engine, oil temperature is a critical factor – and the one to which the variable rpm limit is calibrated. Accordingly, an oil-temperature gauge is set into the lower portion of the tachometer. As a further distinction of M6 instrumentation, via the On-board Computer the driver can select oil temperature (instead of average speed) to be shown in the instrument-cluster display.
M sport steering wheel
The M6’s power tilt/telescopically adjustable steering wheel is sized, proportioned and designed to be “as sporty as it gets.” Its distinctions include:
- Thick rim, padded leather with M-color stitching
- Thumb contours at 10 and 2 o’clock
- SMG paddles above lateral spoke: right for upshift, left for downshift; “+“ and “-” markings illuminated at night
- MDrive button replaces one of the 6 Series’ programmable buttons.
BMW’s finest leather grade, Merino, is available in two versions and with unique M colors making up most of the palette.
Standard equipment is an Extended treatment of Merino leather, with this beautiful leather appearing not only on the seats, head restraints and door panels, but also the center armrest. In the optional Full treatment, leather is applied to expanded seat, door and console areas as well as extensive portions of the dash. The color selection is:
- Extended Merino leather – Black, Silverstone II and Sepang Bronze Light
- Full Merino leather – Black, Portland Brown, Sepang Bronze Light, Silverstone II and Indianapolis Red.
In all M6 interiors, the headliner and roof pillars are in Anthracite color; with Full leather, they are in luxuriant Alcantara material.
With the Extended leather upholstery, the standard interior trim – appearing across the dash and on the door pulls – is Walnut Madeira wood, which is reddish brown and has a relatively linear grain. Optional are:
- Olive Carrara Natural, a medium-tone wood with burl grain
- Carbon Fiber Black, matching the carbon-fiber roof panel.
Walnut Madeira is standard with all Full leather treatments; Olive Carrara and Carbon Fiber are available with certain interior colors.
M sport seats
BMW M sport seats embody comprehensive design and features for supporting the driver in sporting driving.
The standard M front sport seats include power-adjustable backrest width, which enhances their adaptability to various human statures; power 4-way lumbar support; manually adjustable thigh support; and 3-stage heating. Along with the steering wheel and exterior mirrors, each driver’s preferred position adjustments are stored in Vehicle & Key Memory and are reset to those adjustments when that driver unlocks the vehicle with his or her remote.
Navigation System and premium audio system, standard
BMW pioneered the installation of GPS Navigation in motor vehicles; the BMW On-board Navigation System has been developed continually to enhance its user-friendliness as well as its scope of functions. This system is standard in the M6; in brief summary, its features include –
- GPS Navigation System with DVD database
- High-resolution (640 x 240 pixels), 8.8-in. Control Display
- Controller with Force Feedback (incorporates tactile feedback into controller movements)
- Voice Command of numerous features and functions.
BMW’s acclaimed Logic7 audio system, also standard in the M6, includes –
- Abundant audio power
- Very high-caliber speakers (aluminum-membrane type for all but subwoofers); 13 speakers, including 2 subwoofers
- Digital Sound Processing (DSP), adjusted along with other Logic7 parameters on iDrive Control Display
- Surround Sound simulation
- 6-disc CD changer, accessed through the glove compartment.
In terms of safety and security, the M6 – along with the 6 Series – is a state-of-the-art vehicle from a state-of-the-art vehicle maker. Key features include –
- Dual front-impact Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) with dual-threshold deployment of 2-stage Smart Airbags that are optimized for shape and deployment characteristics.
- Advanced seat-occupant detection on front passenger’s seat.
- Front safety belts with automatic tensioners and force limiters – standard.
- LATCH attachments for child restraint seats at the rear seating positions.
- Active Knee Protection – Two dedicated airbags, positioned underdash ahead of the driver’s and passenger’s knees, provide knee protection primarily in frontal impacts. Because they are normally in an uninflated state and inflate only when actually needed, they free up space in the footwell area.
- Interlocking door anchoring system for side impacts.
- Front-seat side-impact airbags – door-mounted.
- Head Protection System – head protection for front-seat occupants via a tubular airbag that deploys from ceiling and is suspended on a “sail.”
- Energy-absorbing padding of body-pillar and roof areas – at the A-, B- and C-pillars as well as along the roof above the doors.
- Fuel-tank design and location. The fuel tank is designed to remain sealed in severe impacts; its location was chosen for optimum protection from impacts.
- Advanced Crash Safety Management System (ACSM) – employing 14 sensors to achieve a precise “tailoring” of safety devices’ deployment to actual accident circumstances.
- Battery Safety Terminal – in case of a severe accident impact, breaks the high-current connection between the battery and starter cable. This helps prevent a possible short circuit in the electrical system.
- Automatic fuel-pump shutoff upon severe accident impact. The doors are automatically unlocked; interior lighting and 4-way hazard flashers are switched on. Even after an accident, BMW’s safety strategy is still at work.
- Coded Driveaway Protection – The multi-function remote is equipped with a tiny transponder which stores an electronic code transmitted by an antenna at the ignition slot. Each time the remote is removed, this code is changed; the next time, the engine can be started only if the remote matches the new code.
- Central locking system with double-lock feature. When the vehicle is locked from the outside, the double-lock feature prevents individual door-lock buttons from being pulled up; thus even if a thief has broken into the car, it isn’t possible to open the doors.
- Alarm system with interior motion detector – standard.
- BMW Assist – BMW’s comprehensive system of customer services and in-car telematics is standard. Includes a 1-year subscription to the BMW Assist Safety Plan, after which the customer pays an annual subscription fee.
Because the M6’s standard equipment is so extensive, its options list is relatively short. Yet certain features are optional, some unique to the M6.
Comfort Access. Eliminates the need to activate a remote to unlock or lock the vehicle, or to insert it into the dash slot before starting the engine:
- Vehicle access – User enters vehicle merely by pulling a door handle, or opens the trunk by pressing the trunk release. Presence of the remote (say, as in the user’s pocket or purse) has confirmed that the user is authorized.
- Starting – User authorization is confirmed by the presence of the remote inside the vehicle; the driver starts the engine by merely pressing the Start/Stop button.
- Engine switch-off and vehicle locking – Driver turns off engine via Start/Stop switch, and presses a door handle to lock the vehicle after exiting.
If the user has left the remote in the interior, the vehicle will not lock. If the remote has been left in the trunk and the trunklid is closed, it will open again as a reminder to retrieve the remote.
M Head-up Display. A virtual image in color is projected from the top of the instrument panel onto a 6 x 3-in. field in the windshield; the driver can observe the information with essentially no diversion from the road ahead. Via the iDrive control display’s i-menu, the driver decides which information is to be displayed here and the brightness of the display.
The M6’s Head-up Display is a special M version, in which either the standard selection of information or a special M set can be displayed:
- For the standard set, the user selects any or all of Navigation instructions, cruise-control set speed and current vehicle speed.
- The M set includes –
- Dynamic engine-speed band in green, yellow and red
- Upshift indicator (engine-speed band flashes as the rpm limit is reached)
- The gear currently engaged
- As with the standard 6 Series Head-up Display, the vehicle speed.
Sirius Satellite Radio. Provides 120 channels of digital entertainment, of which 65 are commercial-free; 50 channels of sports, news and entertainment from content partners; and other features. The option includes a 1-year subscription to the Sirius service.
High Definition Radio. BMW is the first automaker to offer this feature, which provides digital-quality sound on FM and improves AM sound to quality approaching that of conventional FM.
In contrast to Satellite Radio, HD Radio is broadcast from terrestrial towers by radio stations that offer it, and requires no subscription; the compressed digital signals open up the possibility of more stations within the bandwidth used by one station today. Presently, some hundreds of stations are broadcasting digitally, and the number is expected to grow.
The in-vehicle equipment for BMW Assist includes GPS technology and SOS/Assist functions in the front overhead console and iDrive control display. Vehicle occupants may request emergency or other services simply by pressing or clicking on a button; the BMW Assist system then transmits the location and vehicle information to the BMW Assist Response Center. A response specialist will speak with the occupants to coordinate dispatch, notify emergency contacts on file, and link BMW Roadside Assistance or emergency services as needed and requested. Deployment of an airbag automatically activates BMW Assist as well.
A year’s subscription to BMW Assist Safety Services is included with the new vehicle; after the initial year there is an annual fee. In addition, customers may subscribe to BMW Assist Convenience Services and can then call a toll-free 800 number to avail themselves of many BMW Assist Concierge services, from travel planning to dining reservations, weather reports, shopping assistance and event tickets.