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The making of a masterpiece

2 years ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


18 May 2022

I remember the road opening into a downhill sweep that was devoid of all traffic. There were no mountains or moorland, it was merely on my way to work. A perfectly prosaic portion of A-road. But I didn’t need a spectacular setting, just an empty stretch of tarmac. The oil was warm, Power mode was engaged and the gear was right, so I buried the throttle in the E63 M6.

That was the first time I remember experiencing the full, high-revving, nape-prickling insanity of BMW’s S85 V10 engine. I can still feel the free-fall rush as it flew beyond 7000rpm, the whole car seeming to run away from me for a moment or two before the SMG gearbox BANGED home the next ratio with all the sympathy of a Tyson Fury haymaker.

The noise of the naturally aspirated 5-litre was so gloriously highly strung that it sounded as though it could all go wrong in an instant, keeping my foot in that first time giving me the same wincing feeling you get when you blow up a balloon to the point of it popping.

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