575 HP and Ceramic brakes do wonders in giving you confidence. But when the margin of error includes a sheer cliff and the Pacific you tend to be a bit more pragmatic. So with a hint of caution and healthy dose of Kerouac on the mind I set out from Monterey south on Highway 1 for our final day on an epic west coast road trip.
What can possibly be said about Highway 1 that hasn’t already been written. For tourists it represents some of the most beautiful vistas in North America. For scholars there are the countless historical markers and the connection to prominent authors. For car enthusiasts it’s arguably one of the exciting roads in North America. The key word there is exciting. I would argue that Carmel Valley Road just to the north is technically better. And there are many that could point to a number of mountain roads elsewhere in California and even the southeast US that are surely more challenging. But 1 has a unique combination curves, elevation changes and jaw-dropping beauty that
is constantly pulling your attention away from things like apexes and exit speed.
The BMW M6 Competition Package, with its power and cornering ability make Highway 1 feel like a playground. But its the brakes that make the car feel invincible. As we’ve mentioned previously, the $7,300 Competition Package endows the car with more direct feedback thanks to quicker steering ratio. Combined with a slightly more aggressive suspension this M6 feels lightyears away from the E92 M3 I drove down the same road a few years back. It simply dominates Highway 1 with power and stopping ability that is more at home on the track than a public road. Consider it a blunt and highly effective tool versus the surgeon’s scalpel that is the M3. But that doesn’t make it boring. Quite the opposite. When your confidence is so high you’re able to re-focus from corner to corner more quickly.
There may be a lack of fluidity in a 4,255 car on roads like this but today’s drive is one I’ll never forget.
While Highway 1 was the big attraction of the day there was another road that may have stole the show and been the highlight of the trip. Check back tomorrow for part two.