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M6 Cabrio - E64 (2006 - ...) - Muscular, sporting, elegant

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M6 Cabrio - E64 (2006 - ...)
Muscular, sporting, elegant
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Muscular, sporting, elegant.
Measuring 4,871 millimetres or 191.8´´ in length, the BMW M6 Convertible is more than 5 centimetres or 2 inches longer than the BMW 650i Convertible. This extra length is attributable above all to the aerodynamically optimised rear air dam giving the entire silhouette of the car an even sleeker, stretched look. As on the Coupé, the sideline initially moves up steeply and then gently follows the contours of the engine compartment lid. The A-pillar moved slightly to the rear and the wide C-pillar give the closed roof a sporting and elegant look also from the side. Fully retractable side windows merging into one another without a visible edge or dividing line give the entire silhouette of the car a touch of lightness, as if it were almost hovering in space. At the rear the sideline ends in a short spoiler integrated in the rear lid and emphasising both the entire rear sculpture and the rear lights wrapped around the side of the car. The upper edge of the rear lights merges smoothly into the V-shaped shoulderline extending down in a gentle curve.

Aerodynamic perfection to the last detail.
Widely flared to the outside, the side-sills give the car a very sporting, low-slung appearance. The lift forces acting on the front axle are incidentally also lowered even by the striking rear-view mirrors optimised in the wind tunnel, while at the rear the most significant eye-catchers are the four exhaust tailpipes again so typical of BMW M. The diffuser and the flaps on either side again serve to improve the car’s aerodynamic qualities. Acting in conjunction with the spoiler integrated in the luggage compartment lid and the smooth underfloor, this likewise serves to reduce lift forces on the rear axle, the diffuser at the same time ensuring a smooth flow of air from the final drive. Compared with the BMW 650i Convertible, the light units in the bumpers are slightly higher up and the numberplate is integrated in the rear air dam. Thanks to their airflow contours, even the rear lights improve the car’s aerodynamic qualities. In particular, however, they serve to enhance driving safety with a particular effect, two-stage brake lights helping to prevent collisions from behind: Whenever the driver applies the brakes hard, the area illuminated in the brake lights becomes correspondingly larger, clearly showing motorists following from behind that the driver is braking hard and telling them to do the same. Incorporating very bright and fast-acting light-emitting diodes not requiring any maintenance and free of wear, all other lights at the rear of the car ensure a clear and reliable signalling effect.


Quality, not quantity: optimum mix of materials.
Combining a wonderful balance of innovative materials, the BMW M6 Convertible offers virtually perfect weight distribution. Apart from tailored rolled blanks keeping panel thickness at various points exactly in line with the respective requirements, an intelligent combination of aluminium and special plastic materials provides all the features and qualities required. One example is the lightweight aluminium front section of the car weighing approximately 45 kilos or 99 lb less than a conventional steel structure at the front. The next example is the spring support bearing both the front axle and dampers and made of pressure-cast aluminium alloy. The doors and front lid, in turn, are made of aluminium, the front side panels of thermoplastic, the rear lid and roof compartment lid of a sheet moulding compound (SMC). The front and rear bumpers are made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic manufactured exclusively at BMW’s Landshut Plant north of Munich. In this process individual layers of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic are applied one after the other on a core segment, cast in resin and hardened before the core is removed. The result is an extremely light and strong hollow profile support offering the same function, strength and efficiency as a heavier support unit made of steel or aluminium. Special support arms such as push and pressure rods as well as double side-sills give this open four-seater superior body stiffness under all conditions. A further feature exclusive to the BMW M6 Convertible is the additional reinforcement on the underfloor. Two of the support arms already featured on the “standard” BMW 650i Convertible have been further reinforced, and both the front axle subframe as well as the engine supports have been adjusted to the higher loads and forces of really dynamic motoring. These improvements are sufficient to take the enhanced level of dynamic performance – with an increase in engine output by 140 horsepower over the BMW 650i Convertible – into account. The bottom line, therefore, is that the M6 Convertible is fundamentally just as stiff and resistant to vibrations as an extremely strong and sturdy two-seater roadster, and at the same time offers optimum vibration comfort and a very high standard of safety in a collision. With unladen weight (according to the EU standard) of 2,005 kilos or 4,421 lb, the BMW M6 Convertible weighs 220 kilos or 485 lb more than its fixed roof high-performance counterpart from BMW M. The reason for this difference lies almost entirely in the roof structure – while the BMW M6 Convertible “only” has a softtop, this also means a strong and sturdy bar structure and an electric motor to open and close the roof. Compared with the BMW 650i Convertible, however, the M6 Convertible is just 80 kilos or 176 lb heavier, since the engineers at BMW M have succeeded in almost completely setting off the extra weight of the more powerful engine and ensuring a harmonious balance of weight. As a result, the BMW M6 Convertible boasts axle load distribution of almost 50 : 50, that is very close to a perfect balance.

Maximum safety, even in a rollover.
Benefiting from its stable body structure, the BMW M6 Convertible meets the highest standards also in terms of passive safety. Ultra-strong bearing arms use their full deformation length at both front and rear for optimum safety and protection at all times. The entire front end structure is designed to give the car’s occupants optimum safety in a collision, the intelligent combination of high- and ultra-high-strength steel, aluminium, thermoplastics, and SMC also serving to enhance the car’s safety qualities. As an example, two V-shaped extrusion-pressed aluminium bars in the doors significantly reduce the risk and extent of intrusion in a collision from the side. The windscreen frame is made of profile sections optimised through interior high-pressure moulding to withstand maximum loads. Together with the A-pillars made of high-strength steel and the rollbars behind the rear headrests, the windscreen forms the basic structure and configuration providing a safe passenger compartment also in the event of a collision. Tailored rolled blanks on the rear bulkhead, on the seat supports and longitudinal arms strengthen the body panels at all points where loads and forces flow into the body. High-strength steel, in turn, reinforces the side panels inside, in the middle, and in the extension of the side-sills leading out to the front. The rollover safety system made of a high-strength aluminium alloy, finally, extends across almost the entire width of the car, incorporating an extrastrong crossbar, holding the rollbars as such in position, and serving in conjunction with the bulkhead in the body-in-white to enhance body stiffness. In the event of a rollover, the rollbars move up within fractions of a second from a module behind the rear seat headrests and rest firmly in position, held in place by positive engagement. Proper activation of the rollbars is ensured by Advanced Safety Electronics ( ASE), instantaneously moving up the rollbars and tightening the belt latch tensioners as a function of the wheels resting firmly or possibly losing their touch on the road. This initiates the safety function required even before the car as such has moved to a potentially dangerous angle. Should the car not roll over, the belt latch tensioners are deactivated and the rollbars return automatically to their initial position.


ASE: optimum protection at exactly the right time.
The safety belts on all four seats come with belt force limiters, the integrated restraint systems on the front seats also feature belt latch tensioners. The reinforced front seat backrests, in turn, smoothly convey forces and loads to the floorpan of the car. The upper belt pivot point is connected to the headrest and thus adjusts perfectly to the body size of the respective passenger, ensuring optimum belt geometry and an ideal belt angle. Both the driver and front passenger are protected by two-stage front airbags adjusted in volume to the severity of an accident. Additional airbags at the side serve to reduce the risk of injury on chest and hip level. All safety components are enhanced in their action by BMW’s innovative Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE), a networked airbag control system featuring lightwave conductors and decentralised satellites for precise recognition of crash conditions and quick, target-oriented activation of the car’s restraint systems. These superior safety qualities are finally supplemented by BMW Assist sending out an automatic or manual emergency call in the event of an accident.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:37  

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