In total, 14,152 examples were built: 9,087 of the Coupé, which launched in 2005; and 5,065 Convertible models, presented the following year.
With the departure of these models and the previous discontinuation of the fourth-generation E60 BMW M5, production will now also cease for the unique V10 engine used in both the M5 and M6.
For two years in 2005 and 2006, the 507hp M powerplant took overall victory in the prestigious Engine of the Year Award, and in the two years that followed achieved first place in the ‘above 4-liters’ category.
Output was developed from a 5-liter displacement split between ten combustion chambers, with the two banks of cylinders cranked at 90 degrees to one another. The engine delivered maximum output at 7750rpm, with engine speed eventually peaking at 8250rpm, and a maximum torque of 380 lb-ft.
In addition to the high-rev concept, a number of other technological details such as the electronically-controlled individual throttle valves, an ionic current control system and lateral force-controlled oil supply were also directly derived from motor racing.
In much the same way, design principles of chassis technology and lightweight construction also found their way from the racetrack to the road. In the case of the BMW M6 Coupé, for example, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) – a material that largely owes its introduction in the automotive sector to Formula One – was used in both the roof and bumper design. Moreover, the car included a seven-speed SMG Drivelogic and Launch Control, the speed-sensitive variable M differential lock, and model-specific chassis technology, including Electronic Damper Control (EDC) and compound brakes.
The BMW M6 Coupé and BMW M6 Convertible received worldwide acclaim but the number one market for both models was the USA, which recorded sales of 3,528 for the Coupe and 3,247 for the open-top vehicle, followed by Germany (1,183 / 541 units). In third position was Great Britain and Ireland, with 619 Coupé registrations; in the case of the BMW M6 Convertible it was Canada, with 209 units sold.
Sales of the BMW M5 followed a similar pattern. The United States once again came out on top, with sales of 8,786 vehicles. Then, after the domestic market of Germany (2,473 units), Great Britain and Ireland generated the next highest demand with 1,980 vehicles. In total the BMW M5 recorded global sales of over 20,000 cars in under five years, with current figures of 19,494 units for the BMW M5 sedan and a further 1,009 units for the BMW M5 Touring wagon, available since 2007.
The total combined figures for the fourth-generation BMW M5 exceed its predecessor, which was in production for six years. With that it secured the high point in the story of the BMW M5 since the first generation was introduced in 1984.