I was about to climb into BMW's M6 media evaluation car when I realised I didn't have any music with me.
Radio reception is limited on the Great Alpine Highway, and when I use that road I usually have a compact disc or two to take with me.
I was going to return to the house when I realised I was about to drive a car which has fabulous engine tone and sound, so I didn't bother with Neil Young, instead, I drove some of the 200km test drive with the window down just so that I could hear the aural delights of the M6's V8 engine.
The M6 has been deliberately designed to go fast, and when the engine is working hard it has an exhaust bark and deep engine burble that howls away, reminding the driver that he/she is driving a serious performance car.
However, it is a complicated car and one that takes some familiarity. Take the double clutch transmission, for example. BMW label it Drivelogic, even though it works like an automatic, it is far removed from the transmission which is used in most of BMW's other models. The seven-speeder is paddle shift (or gearshift) activated and has modes which the driver can dial in to suit driving style preferences.
To be honest, I far preferred moderate settings, the M6 is so fast it was as if my brain couldn't process quickly enough the information delivered from it in terms of speed. I didn't feel a need to make the shifts go faster or the engine being held longer between shifts. The M6 with its 4.2sec time to make 100km/h from a standstill is one of the quickest cars I've had the privilege to drive, and it is also one of the most desirable.
I guess at $266,910 it needs to deliver and it does, it's probably the closest thing to a supercar that I'll ever get to behind the wheel of and it promotes an exhilarating driving experience.
Under the bonnet sits a 4.4-litre turbocharged engine which is rated at an incredible 412kW and 680Nm, it is by far the most powerful engine I've ever had sit in front of me. It needs no encouragement to perform, it is lusty, forceful and dynamic, you wouldn't expect anything less from BMW, yet it can driven delicately without any indication of what can be unleashed.
As you would expect, the M6 has handling and ability on the high country backroads that fills the driver with confidence. There's more rubber in the rear tyres than there is on the track at Bathurst, grip is phenomenal and the suspension keeps the tyres in constant contact with the road even on uneven surfaces.
The various traction control settings aren't invasive even though sending that much power to the rear wheels is a big ask.
On the drive into Lake Coleridge the M6 blasted between corners with speed and agility that is an absolute joy to be in control of. The steering is firm and sharp, directional accuracy and turn-in is precise and informative.
One of the things you first notice about the M6 is the size and construction of the brakes, they are huge and cross-drilled, under pressure they just keep on giving, stopping power is immense. There are also various damper control and steering settings, along with an active differential, to optimise the handling, the car draws you in as a driver, you become very involved in the way it operates and the sense of speed is almost dulled until you notice how fast you are going on the heads-up display.
On that subject, in one of the manual shift settings the heads-up display also carries rev counter imaging, so that the driver's eyes are never distanced from forward vision. And that is important, the M6 is incredibly fast through the mid-range, once the power starts flowing and the engine is throbbing, speed never wilts, the engine just keeps on hauling as the turbo boost force feeds fuel.
During the time the M6 was in my care the fuel usage readout wasn't complementary, and that would be a reflection on how much I enjoyed the sound, however, BMW claim a 9.9-litre per 100km (29mpg) combined cycle average. It wouldn't be fair to publish my results, and it is my belief that if you want a car as fast as the M6 then fuel use efficiency wouldn't rate as a priority. But BMW are aware of fuel waste and the M6 does have fuel saving devices fitted such as idle stop-start and an energy regeneration system
The M6, coupe and convertible, makes no excuses for its speed and agility, it is a true performance car and really only suits two occupants, the rear seats are a squash for anyone bigger than child size. When you have that amount of money on the road, you would want it to show off, and it is no pretender. Its looks, presence and sound and all tug at the senses.
The test car was a beautiful bronzy/orange (as pictured) and it attracted attention everywhere. An M6 has just gone to the top of my wish list, I'm investing an extra $12 into this week's Powerball Lotto draw.