Opinion: Bangle’s V10-powered BMW M6 E63 was a masterpiece

“I’m the last of a dying breed”

6w ago

Soon enough, probably sooner than we think, we won’t be able to buy a V10 or a V8 car. Or a V6. Downsizing began years ago. First, they replaced V12s with V8s, then they replaced V8s with V6s and V6s with supercharged 4-cylinder engines. And electricity will soon replace everything.

Many people will miss the V8s and the flat-6s and the V12 but personally, I’ll miss the V10. When I think about my favourite cars, most of them are powered by V10s. The Audi R8 is powered by a V10, and so is the Dodge Viper, a car I absolutely adore. And then there’s the Lexus LFA, the best car I’ve ever driven, and then there’s the M6, possibly my favourite modern BMW.

The amazing sound in the video you've just watched comes from the naturally aspirated 5 L V10 which was fitted to the E63 and E64 (2005-2010) BMW M6. This was an astounding grand tourer designed by Chris Bangle.

The V10 gave it 500 hp and 520 Nm of torque and while the top speed was electronically limited to 155 mph, the 0-60 was impressive at 4.1 seconds.

The V10 M6 really was an amazing car and, like many other cars equipped with 10 cylinders, it made a great noise. Unfortunately, when BMW announced a new generation M6 (F06/F12/F13) in 2012, the V10 had been replaced with a V8 and then, about 2 years ago, production of the M6 was discontinued altogether.

Still at least there's some good news. The V10 M6 cost about £100,000 when it was new but it depreciated dramatically and that means that today, if you're willing to invest some of your time looking at classifieds, you may find some good examples at a reasonable price.

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Comments (20)

  • I don't really want to bring this up but That's why I like Mazda. They still use naturally aspirated engines and are now planning on building a new Skyactiv X inline 6 coupled to RWD. Meanwhile BMW sadly turns their formerly 6 cylinder RWD 1-Series into a 4 cylinder FWD.

      2 years ago
  • I got to drive these when I was 17 cause the brother of my ummm girlfriend, kinda... had one of these and he let me take it for a spin and it was the funnest car I’d driven at that point

      2 years ago
  • "One, turbo engines sometimes lose character and two, naturally aspirated engines usually sound better."

    2. They're more expensive to design, manufacture, maintain, and repair, end of story.

    And yes, it's the rare turbocharged car that sounds amazing. The rest?


      2 years ago
  • Just wanted to say thank you for posting my video. Great article!

      2 years ago
  • Sensational engines, was very close to owning one but got scared off by the reliability and repair costs it’s a lottery with those M5/M6... you never get that kind of buzz cheap whether it’s purchase price, running costs or both there’s a price to pay.

      2 years ago