FORCE OF NATURE
Prior to making the switch to turbo power, BMW’s M engineers went to great lengths to craft some of the finest NA engines around. Even when others around them were moving to forced induction in the pursuit of power, BMW remained true to its motorsport roots, favouring high-revving engines that would deliver the sort of experience that its loyal customers wanted, expected and craved. While there have been numerous incredible M engines over the years, the magnum opus of BMW’s M division is generally considered to be the S85.
BMW M has produced many sixes and a couple of V8s over the years, but there was only ever one V10 and what an engine it was: inspired by BMW’s previous involvement in F1, delivering 507hp at 7750rpm and with a redline of 8250rpm it was something truly special. Naturally, when the 6 Series returned in the mid-2000s in E63 form after a long hiatus and the M6 followed suit, it inherited the M5’s mighty V10 and this duo will always have a place in BMW M history thanks to that incredible engine. It takes a special kind of person, then, to come along and decide that while BMW did a pretty good job making one of the world’s greatest-ever road-going NA V10s, what they’d really like to do is slap a supercharger on it. Andy Hook is one such person, but we can’t be mad at him because good as the vanilla S85 might be, spice it up with some forced induction and it is instantly transformed into something truly astonishing.
“I knew I wanted black wheels and spent a fair bit of time researching them. In the end, I went with the Avant Garde M359s in 20”
Before we can explore this M6 in-depth, we need to talk to Andy because we need to find out what sort of person decides that 507hp isn’t enough and a supercharger must be applied to their V10. “I’ve been interested in all things BMW for the last 30-plus years,” Andy begins with a smile. “My interest started around the age of 14-15 when my step-dad (who was a definite Ford man), changed to a Spanish red E21 323i. I was fascinated by how different the car was to his previous Fords and definitely impressed by the build quality and performance. That car got me hooked on the brand,” he grins. “My first BMW was a 1985 ‘chromie’ E30 318i. I searched for the right car for a while, then this particular one turned up very close to home. It was owned by two school teachers who were emigrating to New Zealand. The car was in immaculate condition, with very low mileage and had a full BMW service history. I absolutely loved this car, but sadly it was written off in a non-fault accident a couple of years later,” which is sad to hear but that taste was enough to get Andy hooked on BMs, and hooked he most definitely is as he’s also currently got an E30 Touring in his garage alongside his M6, along with an F10 M5…
When it came to the M6 it was a chance encounter that set things in motion for Andy; “I saw an E63 M6 driving on the motorway in 2005. The driver dropped down a couple of gears to overtake and the sound of the V10 was intoxicating.
“The result of that array of heavy-duty performance upgrades is a breathtaking 700hp, which is a monster amount of power and it’s no surprise to learn that the supercharger is Andy’s favourite mod on the whole car”
I decided there and then to make it my mission to find and own an M6,” he grins. “My car was for sale at a high-end dealer, not far from me. It was part exchanged for something much more exotic. It was in excellent condition, with low mileage and ticked all the boxes. A deal was struck and a week later the car was safely on my driveway,” and so the journey began. Now Andy is no stranger to modifying, which boded well for his latest acquisition; “I’m proud to report that I’ve never left a car standard,” he chuckles, but even so he didn’t have any plans for the M6, to begin with. “I like to get a feel for my cars before I modify them,” he explains, which is very sensible and completely understandable, especially with a car like the M6, and when he eventually did get the modding ball rolling things started nice and gently.
Andy’s first step was to fit a pair of BMC panel filters to aid the V10’s breathing and he paired those with a remap, which was enough to take power up to around the 535hp-mark, so that’s a decent gain to start with. Next came suspension, and with EDC on board not everyone wants to go for a coilover setup that would get rid of that and, ultimately, drivability also comes into it. “I decided on H&R 30mm lowering springs only. I just wanted to make the car lower, but not ridiculously low. I live close to the countryside, so have lots of single-track roads and potholes to avoid. I didn’t want to make the car undriveable,” explains Andy and that makes perfect sense. The H&R springs do a great job of deleting all that excess arch gap and getting the car sitting so much lower and looking so much better, but without sacrificing any of its drivability. With those lows freshly applied, Andy took a look at his M6 and decided that while it is undoubtedly a good-looking machine, it needed a little something extra and the obvious choice was to slap some sexy carbon on there, especially as the M6 came with that gorgeous carbon roof. An aggressive front splitter was added, which fills out that front bumper perfectly, and it was paired with a boot spoiler and that combo was enough to make a significant contribution to enhancing the looks and giving this M6 that added aggression it was crying out for.
With things coming together on the looks front, Andy now turned his attention to the wheels and started hunting for something a little more aggressive than the stock 19s; “I knew I wanted black wheels and spent a fair bit of time researching them. In the end, I went with the Avant Garde M359s in 20”,” he says and that was an excellent choice for the M6. The E9x M3 Competition-inspired look is a timeless one that suits all BMs equally well and the AGs look great on the M6: they fill out the arches with purpose, 20s hit the size sweet spot, and in black they just look so mean. The meanest thing about the whole car, however, is without a doubt that awesome wrap, which just looks sensational and gives this car’s appearance another dimension. “When I had the car wrapped just over three years ago I originally wanted to go with Nardo grey, as it was a very popular colour at the time,” Andy explains. “However, when I arrived at Totally Dynamic they’d just wrapped a Ferrari FF in Avery Matt Metallic Charcoal. The Ferrari looked absolutely stunning;
I changed my mind on the spot and am so glad that I did. My intention was to make the car look a bit more aggressive and I think this colour achieves that,” he says and that’s putting it mildly. The matt metallic finish is epic and looks so good on the car, and combined with the black and carbon elements it all comes together so well. And speaking of carbon, Andy wasn’t done yet and decided to add the final finishing fibre touches in the shape of a pair of side blades to add some extra flair to the car’s flanks, and an aggressive carbon diffuser, which really enhances the rear-end appeal of this M6.
The interior, meanwhile, has been covered in acres of lush carbon trim, there’s a set of carbon pedal covers, and then there’s the small matter of that bright blue roll-cage that takes up the whole of the rear portion of the cabin… “After seeing an M4 GTS when they were released, I knew I wanted a roll-cage and rear seat delete,” says Andy. “There was only one man for the job: Shaun at Gosling Racing. Shaun created the custom cage (there’s not much call for an E63 M6 cage) and rear seat delete within two weeks. The quality of his work is amazing and he did a fantastic job of the rear seat delete,” he says. It’s very unusual to see a cage in a car like the M6, but it looks awesome, the blue adds a flash of colour, and the trimmed rear panels demonstrate the level of attention to detail that’s been applied by Gosling Racing.
At this point Andy had put together one exceedingly sexy M6 that looked absolutely sensational thanks to that gorgeous wrap and that selection of carbon additions, and the performance mods he’d carried out had given it a healthy boost in power, all of which combined to create an M6 that any of us would have been happy to own. Andy was happy, unsurprisingly, but of course, we who love modification are always searching for the next hit, the next high and we’re always looking for something to take our cars to the next level. The problem is that when you’ve already got a 5.0-litre V10 under the bonnet there’s not much you can do unless it involves going a little bit crazy and we already know that’s exactly what Andy did…
Making the decision to supercharge a car is not a small one that is taken lightly and it’s a huge step. First of all the S85, like almost all M engines, suffers from rod bearing wear and so Andy had the bearings changed and upgraded to ensure that the engine was ready for what was about to happen, and then it was time to pick a supercharger kit. Unsurprisingly there aren’t that many options out there for the V10 and the ones that deliver the most bang for your buck all come from ESS so it was just a case of choosing what power level Andy fancied. His options were the 635, the 660 or the 675hp kit and he’s clearly a guy who doesn’t believe in half measures as he made a beeline straight for the full-fat 675 offering. Running a Vortech V-3 Si supercharger, using an intake manifold with integrated chargecooler, and equipped with 10 high-flow Bosch Motorsport fuel injectors it’s a formidable setup that takes power from the sublime to the downright obscene and takes the S85 to another level. To help keep intake temperatures lower still and increase power further the kit has been paired with a Devil’s Own methanol injection setup, a primary de-cat has been carried out to eliminate the major restriction in the exhaust system and it’s joined by a Supersprint X-pipe and an Eisenmann Race exhaust, the combination of which also has the very welcome side effect of seriously enhancing that intoxicating V10 soundtrack. The result of that array of heavy-duty performance upgrades is a breathtaking 700hp, which is a monster amount of power and it’s no surprise to learn that the supercharger is Andy’s favourite mod on the whole car. “It’s added a new dimension to the car and improves the performance, but retains the V10 sound,” he says, grinning the grin of a man who owns a supercharged V10.
We don’t see many supercharged V10s around, which makes each one of them that much more special and we’ll never stop getting overly excited whenever we come across one of these epic powerhouses. Andy’s M6 is a seriously sexy build and it ticks every box imaginable – you’ve got carbon, you’ve got that neck-snapping wrap, the little details here and there, and then, of course, you’ve got that supercharger pumping out 700hp, the cherry on top of the icing on top of the most delicious cake imaginable. Despite being such an awesome build already, Andy’s far from finished; for starters, he’s added a P3 vent-mounted boost gauge since the shoot and there’s an awful lot more to come: “Like all project cars, there’s always something else to do. Now that the show season is over, during the winter I’ll be adding BMW Performance seats, four-point harnesses, an interior re-trim in Alcantara with custom blue stitching, Bilstein B16 Damptronic coilovers and some serious stopping power with AP brakes,” he says and that selection of upgrades will really make this M6 a force to be reckoned with. Andy has already decided on his next car, an F90 M5, so what’s going to happen to the M6? “The M6 won’t be going anywhere as I’ll be trading my F10 M5,” he smiles and that says it all. Factory turbocharged V8? Ten a penny. Supercharged V10? Now that is something special.
AG 20s sit on a PSDesigns titanium stud kit. Eisenmann Race exhaust delivers an amazing soundtrack Carbon boot lip spoiler Factory carbon roof. Carbon pedal Covers. Custom roll-cage and rear seat delete by Gosling Racing. Interior has been covered in carbon. Vortech V-3 Si supercharger.
DATA FILE Supercharged 700bhp BMW M6 E63
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 5.0-litre V10 S85B50, uprated bearings, ESS VT2-675 supercharger kit, Devil’s Own methanol injection kit, primary de-cat, Supersprint Xpipe, Eisenmann Race exhaust. SMG III seven-speed Gearbox
MAX POWER 700bhp @ 6500rpm
MAX TORQUE 689lb ft @ 3900rpm
CHASSIS 9×20” ET20 (front) and 10.5×20” ET25 (rear) Avant Garde M359 wheels with 255/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, PSDesigns titanium stud kit, H&R lowering springs
EXTERIOR Avery Matt Metallic Charcoal wrap, carbon fibre front splitter, side blades, rear spoiler and rear diffuser, carbon roundels, black M6 badge
INTERIOR Blue custom half roll-cage, rear seat delete in Alcantara, M4 GTS fire extinguisher and mount, carbon fibre trim, tweeter covers, steering wheel trim, window switches and pedal covers
THANKS Thanks in no particular order to Aaron at A Reeve Performance, Shaun at Gosling Racing, Pete at PSDesigns, Mark at BM Autosport, Ian and Paul at MitsiArt