2010 BMW 650i Convertible Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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Remember the original 6-Series?  Well 1989 was the last year that BMW utilized the 6 Series designation until 2004, when the 6 Series returned as the 645Ci, in either 2+2 Coupe or Convertible body style.  Both models exhibited stunning styling, though my personal favourite was the convertible. 

For 2010, the now named 650i Convertible (and Coupe) represent the "6" range.  Power for both comes from a 4.8-litre, 32-valve V8 that generates 360 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque.  The powerful engine mates to either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic with adaptive control.  New for 2010 is a sport automatic transmission featuring steering wheel mounted shift paddles.  Also new is a significant update for the onboard navigation system, and 6 Series customers may take advantage of bespoke new offerings from "BMW Individual," including BMW Individual Full Merino Leather, BMW Individual Paintwork, and BMW Individual Trim. 

The 650i ragtop features a wide track and a low profile. The contemporary design form is beautiful and functional, skillfully blending the sharp, yet gently curvaceous and sweeping character lines stylishly together in harmonious fashion. 

In addition to the svelte persona of the new 650i Convertible, there's a lengthy list of techno goodies and standard features to embellish the joys of driving a fresh air Bimmer.

My 650i Convertible tester was finished in a soft Atlantic Blue Metallic with a Black top, while the interior was executed in Cream Beige leather with Satin Metallic trim accents.  The base sticker was set at $105,500, with an impressive inventory of standard features and equipment.  Options included the $4,500 Technology Package featuring Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Departure Warning, and Night Vision; the $3,000 Sport Package that includes 19" double-spoke light alloy wheels, anthracite roofliner, M multi-function leather sport steering wheel, and a sport suspension; and that Sport Package seems like quite the deal until you learn that it requires the addition of the $6,600 Executive Package, which adds active steering, BMW Individual audio system with Dirac Live technology, Sirius satellite radio, a USB connection, head up display, Park Distance Control, soft close doors, and sport seats, all totaling $116,000.  You can add the BMW Individual Collection with Executive Package that ups the total ante to $128,500, plus two standalone options, a $390 ski bag and a $795 six-disc CD changer.

Acceleration off the line is not only lightning quick, but smooth, with the transmission changing gears seamlessly in automatic mode, although shifting manually sans clutch is considerably more sporting and rewarding.  The ride quality is firm, but not to a degree of harshness, while the handling is superb with minimal effort.  The Active Steering option requires even less effort. 

If you have an opportunity to drive the 650i coupe and are overcome by lust, you're likely to lust even more after driving the convertible 650i, especially if you enjoy communing with nature while motoring.  The top doesn't operate as rapidly as some, but it's fully automatic.  When the rear glass is in the raised position, it serves as a wind deflector for rear seat passengers when the top is lowered.  Strangely, briefly operating the top up switch lowers the rear glass. An optional wind buffer is available, but covers the rear bench seat, which, by the way, doesn't really allow much legroom for adult passengers. 

Aside from the obvious difference in top configuration, the Convertible differs from the Coupe in that it features additional front and rear diagonal braces, a specific front subframe and thicker front thrust plate. There are also added reinforcements to the side sills and a strengthened lower body, B-pillar attachment as well as lateral and diagonal rear subframe and lower body structural stiffening.  The ultra-strong windshield frame and BMW's Rollover Protection System provide added safety and security.

On the down side, don't plan to take friends golfing as the trunk space is limited, and the navigation system voice prompt is hard to hear with the top and windows down. In the final analysis though, the 2010 6 Series Convertible has evolved and displays timeless and classic appeal. It is a gorgeous vehicle from virtually every angle.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, BMW, 2010, 650i Convertible, $75,000 - $99,999,

Organizations: BMW

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