BMW 6 Series 650i Convertible Review
Six Therapy

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Yang and Raymond Lai
25 Jun 2011
 

The new generation 6 Series is now available in topless convertible form. Raymond Lai finds out if the new topless 6 oozes enough sex appeal.

Introduction, styling

Car manufacturers will typically launch a hardtop coupe version first before introducing a topless version of the same model. But there are exceptions to this common convention though. The Porsche Boxster/Cayman is a case in point. The topless Boxster was launched way before Porsche decided to introduce a fixed roof coupe version of the same car in the form of the Cayman. Launching a topless model first before its fixed head stable mate certainly comes with some advantages - one of which is sending out the message to everyone that the topless variant was developed from the ground up rather than being derived from a fixed head model with its roof chopped off and hence won't have a body as stiff or rigid as a model that has been developed to go topless from the very beginning.

The new generation BMW 6 Series (F12/13) follows the footsteps of the Boxster/Cayman in having the topless Convertible launched onto the market first before the coupe variant. Until BMW officially launches a convertible version of the next M6, the 650i Convertible is the range topping topless 6 Series you can buy. The range topping 650i is powered by BMW's familiar 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 while the entry level 640i gets its grunt from a 320bhp turbocharged straight-six.

Compared to its controversial looking predecessor, the new topless 6 is 74mm longer, 39mm wider and 8mm lower. At almost five metres in length, the new 6 is a big car indeed. Overall, the new car's looks are a combination of the 5 Series' as well as styling cues from the last generation model, albeit toned down substantially to make it look less controversial, less of an acquired taste and hence widen the 6's appeal.

Up front, the new 6 can immediately be recognised by its Z4-esque nose treatment, which means a large, and prominent double-kidney grille flanked by relatively small headlamps. Along the flanks, the 6 has lost its complex multiple surfaces, but it looks no less elegant than its predecessor thanks to its well-judged proportions. The svelte new rear features new L-shaped tail lamps, a design feature that is set to appear in more upcoming BMWs.

The topless 650i makes for a very good looking convertible indeed. The convertible has a sleekly designed soft top with a unique and shapely flying buttress treatment at the rear, just like on the old topless 6 and the Audi R8 Spyder. With its swoppy and elegant profile, the convertible actually manages to look sexier and more purposeful than the upcoming coupe.

The 6 Series Convertible might not possess the Mercedes-Benz SL's practical metal folding hard-top roof, but its cloth hood mechanism is an impressive and sophisticated piece of kit nonetheless. Like in the old car, the roof features a vertical rear glass window that is heated. The window can be electrically retracted even when the roof is up - creating a draft-free ventilation effect similar to that offered by a sun roof in a normal hardtop car. It can also act as a wind deflector when the roof is down to preserve the glamorous hairdos of your precious rear passengers. On the downside, the more traditional fabric roof means that it's not as quiet inside as its rivals with a folding metal hard-top on the move when the top is up and a soft top is obviously isn't as secure as a metal hardtop.

Expectedly, the top is electrically operated - just a press of the button on the centre console or the key fob and the fabric roof stows neatly and gracefully away behind the cabin in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the soft top design also means that it can be operated when the car is moving at speeds up to 40km/h. For added convenience, all the windows can also be electrically lowered or raised with a one-touch switch. Convenient indeed, especially when you have that sudden urge to listen to that beautiful V8 symphony from the engine at full chat.

 


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