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When the BMW M6 debuted in 2006, it signaled yet another over-the-top, high-performance car from the company's in-house M performance division. Featuring a 5.0-liter V10 engine with a Ferrari-fighting 500 horsepower, the $100,000-plus M6 brought expressive styling and near-exotic performance to BMW's large 6 Series coupe and convertible.

Unfortunately for performance junkies, BMW has just announced that M6 production will cease. That means the end of the line for its Formula One-inspired V10, which also propelled the recently cancelled M5 sedan. The M division's newest models – the high-performance X5M and X6M SUVs – are powered instead by a twin-turbo V8, capable of more than 550 hp.

Retiring its thirsty V10 is seen by many as an effort by BMW to draw down its corporate fuel economy. According to the EPA, the engine achieved just 12 city miles per gallon in the M6. The twin-turbo V8 in the X6M returns slightly better mileage, despite being in a much larger, heavier vehicle.

Though BMW has hinted on a replacement for the M6 – and its aging siblings in the 6 Series range that came out in 2004 – it hasn't given an official word on the time frame for such a switch. While the current 6 Series and M6 models feature just two doors, BMW recently showed off its new Gran Coupe concept, a four-door with coupe-like styling, signaling one potential variant for the next-generation 6 Series.

Anyone with a mind to rush out and buy an M6 before it's too late shouldn't fret just yet. Dozens of new and nearly-new examples remain at dealers nationwide, and with an end of production just announced, it's likely that a few more can be expected in the coming weeks as the last ones roll out of BMW's Munich factory.

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Doug DeMuro is a Denver native who now resides in Atlanta. He was featured in Automobile Magazine for his "car spotting" hobby – hunting and photographing exotic cars in the wild. DeMuro is an Emory University alumni with wide-ranging industry experience including Porsche Cars North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and a Ferrari dealership.

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