Making its first public appearance in the Big Apple, the 2012 BMW M6 Convertible will serve as the al fresco counterpart to the 2013 BMW M6 Coupe when it goes on sale here in June. As noted in our original preview story on both new BMW M6s, the third generation of this exhilarating drop top promises to set new benchmarks with respect to performance, luxury, technology and safety.

>2012 New York Auto Show full coverage

Motivating the 2013 BMW M6 Convertible is an M-spec 4.4-liter direct-injected V8 that's shared with both the M6 Coupe and M5 Sedan. Bolstered by a pair of M TwinPower Turbo dual-scroll turbochargers that deliver 21.7psi of max boost, dual air-to-water intercoolers, Double VANOS infinitely variable valve timing -- and for the first time on an M engine -- Valvetronic variable valve control, it makes 560 horsepower at 5,750-7000 rpm and 500 lb-ft of peak torque which holds steady from 1,500-5,750 revs. Beyond being more potent and more responsive than the 5.0-liter V10 used in the previous-generation M6/M5, the addition of Brake Energy Regeneration and BMW's Auto Start-Stop technology also make this new V8 about 30 percent more fuel efficient.

Cog-changing duties in the new BMW M6 Convertible are handled by the automaker's seven-speed M-Spec Double Clutch Transmission (M-DCT), a sequential gearbox that features an M-spec driver-selectable three-mode Drivelogic System and steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles. That powertrain pairing lets the new M6 Convertible sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and carry on to an electronically limited 155-mph top speed.

To take full advantage of the engine's might, the new M6 Convertible also boasts a major chassis makeover. Highlighting its M-spec tuning enhancements are electronically adjustable Dynamic Damper Control (DDC) shock absorbers and Servotronic power steering, both with Comfort/Sport/Sport Plus settings, an electronically controlled Active M Differential that's fully integrated with the car's specially-calibrated Dynamic Stability Control system, and M-specific anti-lock disc brakes in standard form or with optional M Carbon-Ceramic rotors. The latter will be offered in conjunction with a wheel/tire upgrade that swaps M-style 19-inch cast-alloy rims for 20-inch forged alternatives.

Visually, the 2012 BMW M6 Convertible stands apart from its soft-topped 650i sibling through the fitment of several unique styling touches highlighted by edgier front/rear fascias, custom grille inserts, bigger air intakes, LED running lights on the Adaptive Xenon Headlights, more boldly flared fenders to accommodate wider track dimensions, a bespoke rear diffuser and quad exhaust outlets. Less obvious but still doing their part to help the car's performance are an aluminum hood and door skins and a glass-fiber composite decklid and roof compartment cover. The sport-oriented, four-seat cabin on the BMW M6 convertible makes its own performance statement bringing functional and cosmetic touches that include M Multifunction sport seats wrapped in extended premium Merino leather, carbon-fiber accents an Anthracite-colored headliner from BMW Individual, and M-spec instrumentation. Also included is BMW's trick M Drive system that allows a driver to individually adjust up to six different operational systems - including the optional M Head-Up Display - as well as the latest iteration of iDrive with a 10.2-inch central control screen.


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