There's a big change in store for the 2014 BMW M6: coupe, convertible, and four-door coupe versions of the performance car will henceforth be offered with an optional six-speed manual transmission. Until now, the BMW M6 came only with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The addition of a manual comes in time for the launch of the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe, which debuted at the Detroit auto show and goes on sale June 5. The cars' twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine is unchanged, at 560 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. BMW made the six-speed manual available on the mechanically similar M5 sedan, too, even though the car was originally available only with a dual-clutch transmission. When the car is in Efficient or Sport mode, the engine computer automatically blips the throttle when the driver downshifts. In the most aggressive Sport+ mode, that feature is disabled and the driver must match revs himself.
The BMW M5 is available with a manual transmission only in the U.S., and only then because frustrated customers complained about the standard dual-clutch. (Europeans only get the dual-clutch.) That convinced M GmbH to build a stick-shift M5 just for America. There's no word yet on whether the BMW M6 follows that pattern or whether it will also be offered with a manual transmission outside of the States.
The other major change for the 2014 BMW M6 is the addition of M Carbon Ceramic brakes to the options list (they were already available for the M5 sedan). In addition to better dissipating heat and reducing brake fade, the carbon-ceramic rotors save 42.8 pounds of mass compared to the car's standard steel brakes.
BMW also announced a new limited-run Frozen Brilliant White model (pictured at top). Unlike other Frozen cars that had matte paint jobs, the 2014 650i convertible Frozen Brilliant White Edition wears metallic paint. The car includes black mirror caps and kidney grilles, gray 20-inch wheels, black Nappa leather, a black convertible top, and gray poplar wood trim. The M Sport and Executive packages are included as standard, and xDrive all-wheel-drive models additionally benefit from the Cold Weather package.
The Frozen Brilliant White Edition costs $106,695 (including an $895 destination charge) for the 650i convertible and $110,095 for the 650i xDrive. Just 100 cars will be produced in April and May.