A few weeks ago, my co-worker, Alex and I went to test drive the Infiniti Q50 which I talked about here. Since then, his 2004 STI which he is wanting to replace has had a couple of sizable repair bills come up which has spurred him to buy a car sooner than later.
I immediately started recommending cars that would be a perfect replacement for the STI – like used 911, M3, Z06…you know, cars that are known of their usual combination of utter impracticality and terrible gas mileage.
There are always so many appealing options in the used car market that if you can’t afford a brand new 911 or a BMW M3, all hope isn’t lost. Just wait a few years and many thousands of dollars of depreciation later you can buy an M3 for the price of a brand new Accord.
The M6 experience
The 2010 M6 seems like a great choice on paper. It has a 5.0L V10 pumping out a monstrous 500 hp with 44K miles priced in the low $40K range at the same dealer where we drove the Q50. This probably seems like a ridiculous car to the average person, but luckily, Alex has an appreciation for the finer automobiles. My kind of guy.
So, on a freezing day in Austin, Texas, a couple of my co-workers set out to go drive this thing. You’ll notice that I said “couple”: there’s another co-worker of mine who likes cars as well so he came along to see what the M6 fuss was all about. The more the merrier!
I can’t say that I love the looks of the M6, but I don’t hate it either. It’s unique and easily identified and stands out among other BMWs. That 500 hp V10 is what makes the M6 hard not to love.
The interior was relatively roomy – there was quite a bit of distance between the driver and passenger thanks to the wide center console area. Although, it was fairly tight in the back where a couple of us crammed in, the seats had a surprisingly large amount of support.
Because we were short on time, not all of us drove. Alex was at the wheel. Initially, when we were driving around, there was a good amount of power but it just didn’t take off like we were hoping. Alex was underwhelmed by the driving experience having recently driven the Q50 hybrid with loads of low-end torque. The “wow” factor that you would expect with a 500 hp V10 engine was noticeably absent.
Throughout the test drive, the ride felt perfectly balanced between firmness and luxury. The M6 quietly absorbed all the bumps without ever hinting at a loss of stability. I was surprised at how quiet it was in the car; there was hardly any wind or road noise. The downside to this is that we didn’t hear as much of the V10 as we’d like – anything under 4K rpm was barely audible. But when Alex got on it, the V10 sounded glorious.
The M6 handled the turns well and Alex mentioned that the car didn’t feel as big as it was. However, none of us were truly impressed with the power or the pick up.
The “Magic” Button
Towards the end of the test drive, we realized there was an “M” power button – how could I have forgotten??..I’m pretty sure I knew about this! Pushing that button meant that now you have all 500 horses available. So, this whole time we were actually in a 400 hp car. Now everything made sense. All we needed to do was push the “Magic” button!
We were running out of time so we didn’t have much of a chance to experience all 500 hp that the V10 had to offer instead of the 400 hp we had grown accustomed to.
It was fun while it lasted. Overall, we liked the M6 although I personally wish the car looked better. I still get can’t get over the fact that the car looks like a whale.
Back at the dealer, we checked out an almost new Viper someone traded in. It was so beautiful.
I can’t believe more people don’t buy the car. It’s so much better than the Vipers of yesteryear.
Although the M6 was fun, it was not quite what Alex was looking for. And so the search continues. Maybe, we should go test drive a GT-R instead – that should do the trick.
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