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BMW M6 (E63/E64): Buying guide and review (2005-2010)

BMW M6 (E63/E64): Buying guide and review (2005-2010) Classic and Performance Car
Even a decade ago, it seemed almost too good to be true. A motorsport-inspired, 5-litre, naturally aspirated V10 engine producing 500bhp at a searing 7750rpm. BMW had never produced anything quite like it before, hasn’t since, and probably never will again. In today’s world of downsizing and turbocharging, such an engine will soon be almost beyond imagination.
It appeared first in 2004, in the E60-generation M5. With launch control engaged, it propelled the 1755kg saloon from 0 to 62mph in just 4.7sec and – with the electronic speed-limiter removed – on to a top speed of 205mph. 
And then a year later came the E63 M6 (soon followed by the E64 Convertible). The M6 took the M5’s drivetrain – V10, SMG paddleshift gearbox and all – and wrapped it in a coupe body that was lower, sleeker and lighter (by a very useful 120kg). The 0-62 time was trimmed by 0.1sec, and while the top speed was still officially limited to 155mph, the way it got there was nothing short of awe-inspiring (most M6s ran out to well over 160mph, too). At the time, it was BMW’s fastest ever production car.
Which one to buy?
Along with the seven-speed sequential gearbox, the M6’s long list of standard equipment included an M-diff, plus three-mode damping and switchable stability and traction systems, all of which could be tailored to personal taste. There were deep-dished 19in alloys and vast ventilated discs, while the numerous toys included a nifty head-up display. The £79,760 list price, which had risen to £87,335 by the time the last few left the showrooms in early 2011, seemed almost reasonable. Today, you can pick one up for less than £20k.
Be aware, though, that these are not cheap cars to run (though you can save a couple of hundred quid a year in road tax if you buy a car registered before 23 March 2006). MPG is generally in the mid teens; rear tyres and brakes need fairly frequent and expensive replacement. Another expense – but one that’s well worth it for peace of mind – is a warranty. Here, the BMW-backed Mondial scheme, available for any car with a full BMW history and sub-60k miles, is highly regarded. Full coverage costs around £100 a month, but it can be tailored to cover specific components. As we’ll see, you might be very glad you took it…
Performance and specs
Engine V10, 4999cc
Power 500bhp @ 7750rpm
Torque 384lb ft @ 6100rpm
Transmission Seven-speed SMG automated manual, rear-wheel drive, M-diff, DSC
Weight 1635kg
0-62mph 4.6sec (claimed)
Top speed 155mph (limited)
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2781mm
Length 4871mm
Width 1855mm
Height 1377mm
Kerb weight 1785kg
Common problems
• The V10 is both the M6‘s greatest attraction and – potentially – the biggest source of woe. Now that a lot of cars are reaching high mileages, there are increasing numbers of engine failures. Even with 70,000 to 80,000 miles you can expect dropped valves or valve spring failure. At the very least you have to rebuild a cylinder bank, which is £3k to £4k. 
• Bottom-end failures on high-mileage cars are becoming more common too, picking up and spinning bearing shells and damaging cranks. For some that could mean a new engine. 
• As the cars become cheaper, some change hands multiple times and perhaps the servicing isn’t what it should be. Also, these engines drink oil – easily a litre every thousand miles – so again they might suffer neglect. 
• If the big third service is due, make sure it’s been done – if the spark plugs haven’t been out for 40,000 miles, some of the coils are almost certainly going to break and it’s very time-consuming. The throttle bodies fail quite regularly, which throws up a number of faults, including stability.
• There are very few problems with the transmission. The big service includes transmission and diff oil, so make sure that’s been done on time. Clutches can last 50,000 miles or more, but regular use of Launch Control eats them. If the clutch is replaced, it’s strongly recommended to get the flywheel done at the same time. At BMW prices you’re looking at up to £4k; an independent should be able to do the job for around £1500. 
• The suspension’s very hard-wearing. You might hear creaks from the rear lower balljoint, and if there’s a shimmy through the steering under braking it could be warped discs but it could also be the brake reaction bushes that are worn – they tend to need replacing every two or three years.
• It’s a big, heavy car so they go through brakes quite quickly [replacing the fronts will cost over a grand]. Tyre wear isn’t too bad – in fast road use you’d expect 10,000 miles easily. But make sure the rear boots have plenty of life in them – a pair of Pilot Super Sports is c£450.
• Electronic problems tend to be due to water ingress caused by the roof drains blocking up, which gets into the control units, so check the footwells, tyre wells, etc for damp.
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• bmwcarclubgb.co.uk
• m5board.com
• bimmerownersclub.com
• bmwenthusiasts.co.uk
• munichlegends.co.uk 
• birdsgarage.co.uk
• bmw-warranty.co.uk
• bmw.co.uk
Summary and prices
If this all sounds rather scary, our advice would be to pay more for a low-mileage car with just one or two owners. Fortunately there are quite a lot of these. Even then a warranty is a good idea – at the very least one that covers the engine. On higher mileage cars with multiple owners, it’s simply essential. 
Prices for early cars with low miles and good histories have pretty much bottomed-out now. You may see privately advertised cars for as little as £15,000, but tread very warily. Cars with average miles and a solid service history start at around £18k, but you’re probably wiser to spend a little more. £20k-23k gives you the pick of low-to-average-miles cars, coupe or convertible, either privately advertised or from a dealer. Around £25k should get you the very best.
Words: Peter Tomalin
Last updated: 15th Jul 2016
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13185 61000 GBP
  • BMW M6

    £51,450 £51,450

    Variant name:Convertible ,Derivative:M6 ,Variant: 2dr DCT BMW M6 M6 2dr DCT

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 11237 mi
    • Engine size: 4.4
    For sale
    £51,450 £51,450
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall BMW of Scunthorpe
    01724 249660 View contact number