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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
BMW M6 BMW M6 BMW M6 BMW M6
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
BMW M6 BMW M6 BMW M6 BMW M6
Last updated: 15th Jul 2016
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BMW M6 cars for sale

11 Search results
BMW M6
17250 110000 GBP
  • BMW M6 GRAN COUPE

    £45,000 £45,000

    Body: Coupe Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 20,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2013 (63) Doors: 4 Engine Size: 4.4 Finished in: BLACK SAPPHIRE METALLIC WITH MERINO LEATHER 20" alloys

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 20000 mi
    For sale
    Quirks Car Company
  • BMW M6

    £46,950 £46,950

    Variant name:Convertible ,Derivative:M6 ,Variant: 2dr DCT Leven Car Company Present This Stunning BMW M6 2dr DCT Competition Pack Convertible Finished in Individual Citrine Black Exterior With Black Merino Leather Interior. Contact Us For More Information Or For An HD video. Tailored Finance Packages Available With Excellent Rates.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 32561 mi
    • Engine size: 4.4
    For sale
  • BMW M6 5.0 V10 - 7Spd SMG

    £17,250 £17,250

    Vehicle Information BMW M6 COUPE 2006(06) Registered: 17/03/2006 HISTORY: 6 owners. 91391 miles from new. Full History with 13 Services. Box full of invoices from 37900 miles (2011) Full handbook pack. 2 Keys. MOT 14/02/2108 + all previous certificates. OWNERSHIP: Sold new by Williams BMW (Rochdale) With a number of personal plates it is impossible to know how many actual ownership changes actually happened! I can trace back to September 2010 when the car lived in Wokingham. 4 years and 30000 miles later the car moved to the last owner who drove another 24000 miles keeping until a recent sale to myself. SERVICE: 14/03/06 PDI 30/04/07 1279 14/11/06 14869 20/03/08 17071 28/10/09 27272 07/04/11 37900 11/08/11 43206 13/12/11 46826 07/05/13 59156 20/02/14 68014 20/11/14 74852 20/07/15 80526 08/05/17 91225 All services by main dealer - Last BMW specialist Plus: 11/05/11 47912 Oil Cooler 20/11/13 66611 Throttle Bodies 02/01/15 76153 Clutch / Flywheel 03/15 77000 Discs / Pads EXTERIOR: The Sapphire Black Met paint and bodywork / carbon roof are free of dents - scratches with an absolute minimum of light stone chipping to the front bumper. Having worked hard detailing the paintwork it now r

    • Year: 2006
    For sale
  • BMW M6

    £61,950 £61,950

    Romans are proud to offer this stunning 2014/64 used BMW M6 Gran Coupe for sale presented in 'Sakhir Orange' with Black Merino Leather. The BMW M6 Gran Coupe is a four door coupe/saloon that slots between the M6 coupe and M5 saloon. It's the direct rival to the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG and the Audi RS7. Producing a staggering 552bhp and 502lb ft to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and active limited slip differential; the Gran Coupe accelerates from 0 to 62mph in just 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph. The M6 Gran Coupe represents the best of the brand's power, style and luxury in a fantastic package. It's more practical than the M6 convertible and coupe and more stylish than the M5 saloon. This beautiful 1 owner example comes with a lovely specification and is supplied with the remaining balance of BMW manufacturer's warranty until September 2017. Colour: Sakhir Orange with Black Merino Leather, Price: £61,950 Engine: 4.4L V8 Twin-Turbo, Mileage: 3,655 Transmission: DCT, Body Style: Saloon Fuel: Petrol, Extras, 20'' Double-Spoke Style 343M Black Alloys, Bang & Olufsen Advanced Audio System, Comfort Access, Reversing Assist Camera, Front M Multi-Function Seats, Surround-View, Sun Protection Glass, Speed Limit Display, 1 Owner from New! Features, Carbon Fibre Interior Trim, Head-Up Display, Seven-Speed Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) w/ Drivelogic, Ambient Lighting, Front & Rear Park Distance Control (PDC), High Gloss Shadowline Exter

    • Mileage: 3655 mi
    • Engine size: 4400
    For sale
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