Elegantly muscular side mouldings bleeding into the distended front wheelarches.
The BMW M6's relative discretion is what attracts most buyers. The target market is the middle-aged company director that loves the fact this 507bhp beast can ghost through downtown traffic with barely a second glance, save for those knowing few giving the odd nod of deference and backing down from a traffic light Grand Prix. But that just isn't enough for some people, and for them there is the face of sheer evil that is the Hamann M6 Widebody Race Edition. Laupheim-based Hamann threw the original understated design brief in the bin after being inspired by the domestic DTM touring car championship. And while the results may be too strong for some palates, you can't argue that the new car is more than imposing. That smooth front spoiler with integral lights is a real improvement on the gappy smile of the standard M6 that's created by plastic light surrounds. Elegantly muscular side mouldings bleeding into the distended front wheelarches. Then there are aggressive, staccato side-skirts and those almighty rear haunches that could have come straight off a prehistoric beast and house those gigantic vents clearly on display that must channel the air and cool the brakes. Or so you would thinkÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ The truth is a little grimmer than that, as those vents are actually stickers carefully positioned in the correct places to give the appearance of racing pedigree and performance. Real vents would have cost much more, but you can't help thinking the kind of customers that go for this kind of upgrade on an ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£80,000 base car wouldn't mind splashing out a bit more. It's the only real negative on this beast of a car, but it's a big thing to consider when ordering the kit. The rear is almost subtle in comparison, although that too comes with an extra blade on the rear apron and a boot spoiler that sharpens the smooth and bulbous approach adopted by BMW. But it didn't even stop there, they then went for the full-house of lunacy and fitted gullwing doors. They're well fitted on a low-slung hinge with no added weight high up in the frame, but only true exhibitionists will want to go to this extreme. And if you think the outside is loud, the interior requires sunglasses. This isn't actually Hamann's fault, though, as the bright orange tortoiseshell trim is actually standard fit from BMW and this is a customer's car. Hamann has added its own touches, too, and has an eight-piece carbon-fibre dressing that suits the mood of the car and covers the drab parts of the original BMW. Add an aluminium handbrake cover, new pedals and kickplates and the staid BMW takes on a whole new ambience. Hamann can fit a TV or Playstation, should you want it, as well, although the best game on offer here comes when you fire it up. When a car looks this intimidating it simply needs to have the performance to blow most machines off the face of the Earth. If not it would be like a nightclub bouncer that's scared of fighting, it would look ridiculous. Luckily, the Race Edition is a beast. So much has been written about the five-litre V10's ability to hurl this 1750kg missile down the road at 200mph, if only it wasn't for the gentleman's agreement that prevents such fresh lunacy on the public road and electronic limiter that kicks in at 155. Well Hamann has removed that limiter, as well as extracting a few extra horsepower, and it the new car can now do it, almost. Hamann has fitted a new exhaust system, with four new 90mm exhaust pipes that more closely resemble cannons. Then they remapped the engine and came up with a 60bhp power boost and 40lb/ft of torque - taking the figures to a near ridiculous 567bhp and 423lb/ft. So it should now crack the double ton with ease, and despite the drag-inducing bodykit it probably can, but Hamann has erred on the side of caution and claimed a relatively conservative 199mph. The BMW M6's 0-60mph time of 4.5s has dropped ever so slightly, too, but we're talking a tenth of a second. The original M6 was hardly lacking in power, laying it down is the real issue and planting the gas in the Race Edition ignites the traction control light in a heartbeat. The tyres chirrup, grip and this machine blasts down the road, and then the tyres slip again, and again, and again all the way through the first three gears. Even the footprint provided by four 9x21" cross-spoke Race Edition wheels cannot contain the rampaging horses under the bonnet. A lowering kit that takes the car 30mm closer to the ground at the front and 25mm at the back might have something to do with it, too, as the car now skips more aggressively off bumps in the tarmac. Of course the payoff is additional grip in the corners, and the complete elimination of bodyroll that was hardly a major factor in any case. That means it holds the apex even better than the original car and driving it in tight circles around photographer Joost revealed simply stupid amounts of grip. With that much power you can always slide a car like this, but it takes a determined approach to do it now and there's simply no chance of it sliding by accident - even with all the electronic gizmos off and the car jacked up to its most aggressive settings. Braking feels more sure-footed now, too, as Hamann has fitted 380mmx34mm ventilated discs to the front as well as new pads. Predictably they bite harder than a mutant crocodile and have been fitted with track use in mind so should stand up to sustained abuse that tends to occur when you're hauling a machine of this size down from triple digit velocities. And all the time there's the unmistakeable detuned F1 sound of that V10, amplified through its new exhaust, blaring in the background and spurring the driver on to even greater speeds. It may not have the sex appeal of a V12, but this stupendously loud and harmonic growl was enough to grab the attention of everyone in a pit-lane crammed with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and a Bugatti Veyron. German PR firm MediaTel arranged the use of Hockenheim's facilities on the same day as one of the most extravagant collections of supercars ever to gather in one place turned out for a trackday. But we weren't part of that action and weren't allowed on the circuit, which is a frustration as this is the only place where these modifications would really make a difference. The BMW M6 is a sledgehammer of a car and more than potent enough for the public roads. So bar the delimited top speed, which could be fun on the Autobahn, these mods really only make themselves known at all when it ventures on the track. And even though it's a fantastic car most people with the disposable income to buy such a toy probably have 10 lighter, more suitable cars for on circuit driving. So what then, is the point of the Hamann M6 Widebody Race Edition? Bragging rights, pure and simple, it's the knowledge that your M6 is faster than your friend's car even if you'll never use that extra performance. It is a brash statement of pure power, aggression and money. And sometimes, for some people, that's all the justification they need.