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New (2011) BMW 6 Series Convertible – performance review

New (2011) BMW 6 Series Convertible – performance review

New (2011) BMW 6 Series Convertible – performance review

[2 March 2011]

BMW 6-Series Convertible

Inside the 6-Series Convertible with its 2+2 layout is also elegant and beautifully put together. In the front there is a twin cockpit design, just like an upmarket powerboat and instrument panel is canted towards the driver.
All the controls, of which there are many, are well placed and after a while, easy to use. In the rear two sculptured seats provide more leg and headroom than the previous version.
The hood is well insulated and it is easy to raise and lower in seconds including the automatic lowering and raising of the front and rear side windows and the rear glass draft excluder which stops wind buffeting into the cabin with the roof down.
With the low seating positions the passengers are not buffeted by wind driving with the top down. With the hood in place the interior is well insulated and hushed so it is easy to hold a conversation.
The only negative points is unlike Mercedes convertibles the 6 Series does not have front seatbelt presenters to make buckling up that bit easier and neither does it have the now fairly commonplace 'scarf heat' or neck warming air flow system which in this class of Convertible is surprising.
Despite having a completely fold away into the boot roof the luggage area is still large enough for two overnight cases and two briefcases as we found out during our test driving exercise.

BMW 6-Series Convertible specification

The new BMW 6 Series Convertible comes with the highest ever level of standard specification on a Six. Standard for the 640i Convertible are 18-inch light alloy wheels, while the 650i Convertible comes as standard with a 19-inch light alloy wheels.
Both derivatives feature Dakota leather upholstery with Sun Reflective Technology, eight-speed Sport automatic transmission, electric seat adjustment, BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system, Xenon headlights, LED front fog lights and front and rear Park Distance Control to name but a few of the standard specification highlights.

BMW 6-Series Convertible technology

The BMW ConnectedDrive provides a range of systems and services which, even in the premium luxury segment, are unique.
Features such as Surround-view, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Park Assist, Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, and Speed Limit Display are all offered.
The new model is also the only car in its segment to be available with Head-up Display with the latest generation featuring a full colour display and three-dimensional graphics to create an even sharper image.
The standard 12 GB hard disk can store numerous forms of music as part of the standard Professional Multimedia Navigation system, while BMW Online systems connect the driver and passengers with the wider world through an integrated SIM card.
It isn't all play and no work though: BMW is the first carmaker in the world to offer in-car email display via Bluetooth.
The owners of a BlackBerry smartphone can access their mobile phone's email folder using the iDrive control system. Using a new interface it is possible to receive e-mails, show them on the Control Display and have them read to you aloud using a text-to-speech function.
Refinement throughout as I have said and that applies in the drivetrain as well.

BMW 6-Series Convertible performance

The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is available from launch with two turbocharged petrol engines: the V8 650i and in-line six cylinder 640i.
The 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine has each turbocharger supplying four cylinders and 407hp is developed between 5,500 and 6,400rpm, with peak torque of 600Nm available between 1,750 and 4,500rpm.
The 650i Convertible sprints from zero to 62mph in 5.0 seconds, with a top speed electronically-limited to 155mph. For a model with such blistering performance and refinement, it is has an average combined fuel consumption of 26.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 249g/km.
On test driving in a relatively sedate and careful manner, due to the weather on narrow mountain roads, this engine returned 22.2mpg.
I'm sure it will be better in its long-legged cruising mode up and down motorways. The power delivery is refined and progressive but it can be brutal if required and the sound of the howling exhausts is just wonderful.
The six-cylinder in-line engine uses single turbocharger technology alongside direct injection with fully variable valve control timing.
This enables the 3.0-litre unit to develop a maximum 320hp at 5,800rpm and maximum torque of 450Nm between 1,300 and 4,500rpm.
This engine propels the 640i Convertible from zero to 62mph in 5.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

BMW 6-Series Convertible emissions

The 640i Convertible officially achieves 35.8mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are only 185g/km. On test this model returned 25.5mpg.
Both engines are mated with a new Sport eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission which provides seamless gearchanges and further adds to the refinement of the new model.
Both models have Drive Dynamic Control which provides for four driving modes, Comfort through to Sport+ and adjusts the steering, transmission and throttle responses to meet the driver's needs.
There is also the £3,400 Adaptive Drive option which adjusts the suspension to the required firmness and control.
Despite the weather in rainy Spain the new 6 Series Convertible was not short on providing thrills, fortunately no spills, and all-in-all was as BMW say a 'Joyful' experience. Perhaps the price is not so full of Joy though.

For more information please visit BMW offical website