up as a young child in the late 1980’s I used to worship
the BMW M635CSI. There was one for sale at a car dealership not
too far from where I used to stay. I used to make my dad stop
there every time we drove past so I could get out and admire the
car. It was long and sleek with sharp shark like lines giving
the car loads of character. This one was black and it had diamond
BBS wheels on, Recaro leather seats, front spoiler and rear rubber
boot spoiler. Oh, and that very special multicolour ///M badge.
I never knew the history of the badge at the time, but even as
a child I know it meant something special.
Fast forward about 20 years and we now see what BMW calls its
latest ///M6. So much has changed but is it for the better or
for the worst? With any new version of car there are always pros
and cons. The BMW purists would always like say that M-Power should
be naturally aspirated like they were back in the day. But I am
sure as BMW themselves would agree, they have to move with the
times and ever so tightening emissions regulations. Hence the
introduction of the turbo-charged M-Power models.
Now this in itself brings a host of likes and dislikes. Yes by
going the boosted route BMW manages to adhere to global restrictions
and keep all the tree huggers happy but adding boost means loss
of throttle response. Yes, that old thing, lag. Now I don’t
want to harp on the fact that lag will always be a problem, no
matter how technologically advanced cars get with ever improving
techniques to rid us of it, boosted cars will always never be
as responsive as normally aspirated ones. Don’t get me wrong,
I absolutely love the feeling of being kicked back into my seat
as the boost kicks in, but the more time I spend on track the
more I want to keep driving normally aspirated cars.
There is light at the end of this boost pipe tunnel though. If
I owned a 2014 ///M6, would I be thrashing this car around the
track all the time? No, I probably wouldn’t (except for
today). The ///M6 is a GT car meant to cover lots of kilometers
in short amounts of time in absolute comfort. So what this car
was built for suits its application 100 percent.
But the main plus side is that with a turbo charger, or two in
this case, comes a management system and with a management system
comes software. Meet Ashfaaq Bux. Owner of Global Tuning Solutions
(GTS) and software wizard. The great thing about modern cars is
their ability to drastically improve performance by editing a
few ones and zeros rather than turning a screwdriver or spanner.
In standard form this 4.4 liter V8 GT cruiser produces a more
than ample 560hp or 417kw’s in our terms. That’s an
insane amount of power for a car that weighs 2 tons and seats
four people. But in the ever demanding need for more power and
with more power being so easily available the owner, Sean, decided
to call up Ashfaaq and order a whole lot more.
Ashfaaq went off and installed a set of GTS 85mm downpipes coupled
with a light stage 1 GTS tune. That’s all! No bigger turbo’s
or full exhaust, no front mount intercoolers or even ethanol nor
methanol. Straight up pump gas with those two basic mods now shock
and ore dyno machines everywhere it goes. Final figures on this
beast now sit at a whopping 734hp/548kw’s and 985nm’s
Never mind a hint of lag or a lack of throttle response when you
can have that much power under your right foot! Before you can
even think about putting your foot down you have to be absolutely
sure there’s nothing in front of you for the next 400m’s!
That’s how quickly this car moves from point A to B and
exactly why we booked out the track for this feature.
Stopping and handling are more than adequate from the ///M6’s
standard equipment. Though I would not trust this car around a
slippery corner as it has the tendency to want to light up the
massive rear tyres every chance it gets.
a look at this footage to get an idea of how this 2 ton
One of the reasons why we decided to feature this car was because
of how it performed at the 2015 Saldanha top end drags event.
Going up against heavily modified cars, this was probably the
most standard car at the event. It slaughtered its competition
and won its class with ease with a top speed of 248.8km/h over
800m’s plus one hell of a strong head wind. Ok, besides
all the decals, this car would be a sleeper. Unless if you count
each decal as an extra 10kw’s?
So if I compare this model to the one I grew up drooling over,
this ///M6 does tick a lot of boxes. Yes it’s not as aggressive
looking or as pure as the original, but in this modern age of
turbo charging and software mapping, what you can get out for
putting in so little is something I can live with anytime.
For more info regarding software tuning visit www.gtsr.co.za.
Thanks to the WPMC at Killarney International Raceway for the
use of the circuit.