BMW M6

The M6 is the perfect motor for megalomaniacs, says Michael Booth

Would suit: Alan Sugar
Price: £80,755
Maximum speed: 155mph, 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds
Combined fuel economy: 19mpg
Further information: 01344 426 565

I've not always been very kind about BMW owners. While their cars are usually hard to fault - apart from the 1-Series, of course - they seem to be driven by angry businessmen and skinny women (role models: Alan Sugar and Teri Hatcher). In a rash moment in one piece, I may actually have branded all BMV drivers as "bad people". This was a stupid thing to say, for all sorts of reasons, not least because I used to own a BMW.

My model had little in common with the new BMW M6 I tried this week, however. It was an old crock that had escaped from a scrapyard under cover of darkness and spent some time foraging in the woods before being trapped by the second-hand car dealer who sold it to me. It went very, very slowly. Because it had an iffy carburettor and dodgy brakes, it did this even when I would have preferred it to have stopped, so I often had to plan ahead to ensure there would be a bollard or wall to bring me to a halt, at which point I would jump out, lift the bonnet and fiddle with the carburettor until the engine died. Visits to marinas were a no-no.

If the throttle were to stick open on an M6 - assuming it had something as rudimentary as a throttle - it would probably keep going until the petrol ran out. This is a mighty thunder-hammer of a car, not only unimaginably fast but very big and heavy as well. There would be M6-shaped holes in buildings and walls in a straight line from here to, well, not very far actually. On several occasions, the dashboard told me I was burning petroleum at a rate of 7mpg, which made even me feel a little guilty. But, I mused, as I pumped my family's weekly food budget into the tank, perhaps its horrendous thirst and piddling 70-litre tank are some kind of safety feature: in the event of the driver falling asleep with the cruise control on, the damage will be minimised.

Actually, heart failure would be a more likely scenario involving a runaway M6. The technological trickle-down from Formula 1 to road cars is usually overstated - mostly by advertising copywriters - but the 5-litre V10 engine that powers the M6 owes more than usual to BMW's synergy (as they most likely call it) with Williams, not least its electrifying shriek and super-quick, seven-speed paddle-shift gearshift. Press the magic "M" button and those shift times are tightened even further, the throttle response is quicker, the dampers become firmer and the traction control lets you scare yourself a little more than is strictly necessary. The M6 is Ferrari-quick in a straight line. Despite its considerable bulk, and thanks, in part, to those steamroller rear tyres, it corners almost as quickly too - faster certainly than an M5, which carries an extra two doors and is 50kg heavier than its rakish two-door sibling.

But is the M6 worth £18,000 more than the M5, bearing in mind it is less practical and will probably depreciate more? I suspect only a small minority of bad-tempered, chippy millionaires will be inclined to think so (although, compared to the Bentley Continental GT, it's a bargain), but nevertheless I found it intoxicating. "You're fired!" I hollered at my two-year-old as he spilt Ribena on the carpet, a day after the M6 arrived. Then I commanded my wife to "pull her finger out" when unpacking the dishwasher. Funny how you bruise so much more easily as you get older...

It's a classic: BMW Z1

For all its macho posturing, I have a sneaking affection for the M6, but the BMW I yearn for more than any other has to be the Z1. This pert little two-seater roadster was never meant to be a production car and, in fact, grew out of a test bed for a new suspension system for the 3-Series.

Its impromptu origins allowed the BMW design team an unusual degree of latitude when it came to the Z1's looks - at that time, the company was known for its sober saloons - and so they gave it a radical wedge-shaped profile and clever glass-fibre doors which, instead of hinging outwards, dropped down into the sills. Public demand ensured the car went into production, with a 2.5-litre straight six.

Despite its light weight, the Z1 managed just 140mph top speed and 0-60 in 7.9 seconds, but it reportedly handled with typical BMW finesse and built a loyal following. Over 8,000 were sold and their second-hand values have held solid ever since.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

    High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

    £70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

    Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

    Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments