And for the record, it's guys like Gallagher who are the authority on aerodynamic packages. They are the unsung heroes in beautifying automobiles. Anyone who's tried to paint a car will find it a labor-intensive, skilled art-and that's just the prep work. So if Gallagher's happy, we're happy.
"We don't need to spend too much prep time on the Vorsteiner stuff," Gallagher says. "A few hours and it's ready for color."
Quality Craft custom mixes all its colors in-house, using PPG or House of Color paint. The company recently replicated the burnt orange metallic of the Lamborghini Murcilago, a paint that requires multiple toners, three different pearls and lots of skill to re-create.
According to Gallagher, the secret to making black look good is all in the prep work. Even the slightest imperfections are magnified, so it's especially important to ensure a clean foundation. The flawless paint on our 6 Series is testament to Quality Craft's outstanding work.
Brake What's Not BrokenDespite its undeniable grace and beauty, our 6 Series had one aesthetic blemish: its brakes. Although their functionality are never in question, stock BMW brakes look rough and unfinished. The 6er's binders were raw steel calipers that appeared to be culled from a tractor. This just wouldn't do.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to flog the M3 belonging to Evosport's Brad Otoupalik-a nice example with sharp-looking Rotora binders. I drove the piss outta Otoupalik car and they stood up admirably. So they could surely handle braking duties on our 6. Moreover, if Evosport uses Rotora brakes, they've got to be good.
I was nervous about going with Rotora. I had never heard of them and big brakes seem to be the hot new thing for many aftermarket manufacturers. Although an intake of questionable quality may leave you stranded on a mountain road, questionable brakes will put you over its edge.
My concerns were unfounded. The company's done its homework and assembled a system for the 645i that looks good and stops just as well. Loren Ho of Rotora has put in lots of time and talent designing and bringing to market a gigantic 12-piston big brake kit for the larger Euros and domestics. We were going to go for this system: the brakes look like they come from a Le Mans advanced prototype. They are beyond huge. And as it turned out, too huge for our 20-inch AC Schnitzer Type IV wheels. Although most 20-inch wheels will clear the Rotora 12-piston calipers, our ACS wheels don't. The problem was just a few millimeters, material I suggested we shave from the caliper. Ho put the kibosh on that idea, and rightly so. Rotora brakes are made to precise specs, dimensions that lend both lightness and strength. So we took the eight-piston front/four-piston rear system with 15-inch ventilated and cross-drilled rotors all round.
Rotora offers a full line of big brake upgrade kits for most European applications. The kits include new calipers, rotors, pads, mounting brackets, lines and hardware. Depending on application, the kit has either four-, six-, eight- or 12-piston cast aluminum CNC machined calipers. Unlike some other high performance caliper manufacturers, Rotora uses dust boots on all its calipers, meaning less servicing and more reliability for street driven vehicles. Each kit has custom-sized pistons to match the application. Rotora does this to ensure that its kits will improve stopping performance without upsetting the car's factory brake balance. All kits come with drilled and slotted rotors.