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Preview: 2006 BMW M5 by Henny Hemmes (7/5/2004) Ungodly power with demigod moves – that’s the... Read more »
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Preview: 2006 BMW M5 by Henny Hemmes (7/5/2004)
Ungodly power with demigod moves – that’s the promise.

Motorsport fans who hardly recovered from looking at and reading about the jubilant first impressions of driving the BMW M5 saloon beware: there is more excitement coming in the near future with the M6.

The unveiling of the motorsport version of the 6-Series coupe wasn’t even history last month when BMW sent out the invitations for the first media drives of the M6 on the road and on the Ascari race track in the south ofSpain. And who wouldn’t grab the chance to drive the latest M — and to escape a cold spring in Amsterdam?

Focus, please

Let’s focus first on the mighty 5.0-liter V-10 powerplant that generates 507 hp. Reminiscent of BMW’s Formula 1 racing engine, it is, of course, more civilized and runs “only” at a maximum 8250 rpm instead of 18,000 rpm. That means the pistons do not have to cover a distance of some 984 inches per second, but “just” 787 inches per second. It also means the difference between an engine that only has to last one race and an engine that has to last the car’s lifetime.
The ten-cylinder develops its maximum output of 507 hp at 7740 rpm, but offers 80 percent of the maximum torque of 383 lb-ft at 5500 rpm. Although the 90-degree V-10 easily reaches the goal of 100 hp per liter, with a weight of 529 lb it can hardly be considered a lightweight engine.

Optimizing the weight of the pistons — they’re cast of high-temperature-resistant aluminum alloy with an iron coating on the surface — is one of the measures taken to achieve even that weight. The connecting rods are weight-optimized as well, as are the single-piece aluminum cylinder heads.

Important for a performance engine like the V-10 in the M6 is the lubrication, so there has been a lot of advanced engineering put into the V-10. A special lubrication system supplies oil under extreme acceleration and in bends where the M6 can easily achieve lateral acceleration of well over 1g. Engineers also had to consider negative acceleration, or deceleration when braking, which builds up to 1.3g.

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