2012 BMW 650i Convertible: Topless Engineering

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We all know that convertible weather is most appreciated when the forecast is bright and sunny. A soft breeze doesn’t hurt either. No one wants to be stuffed in a coupe with the air conditioning on when Mother Nature is cooperating. Dully noted; so we headed to the southern tip of Mexico in Los Cabos to enjoy topless German engineering at its finest.

Evolution now brings to market BMW’s third generation 6 Series Convertible with more power, performance, intelligence, safety and technology. Let’s begin with the vehicle’s distinctive characteristics. For one, the 2012 650i Coupe and Convertible are two totally different vehicles. BMW did not simply chop off the roof of the coupe to manifest the convertible — the two were designed and engineered separately for their intended needs. Specifically with the convertible, when the Black or Beige multi-layer canvas roof is up the cabin is perfectly quiet with not much wind noise. It opens in 19 seconds and returns in 24 seconds and can do so while the vehicle is moving up to 25 mph. I would like to see that time reduced since 24 seconds is a long time if the clouds decide to suddenly burst. The SL and its hard-top retractable roof takes only 12 seconds. Let’s give BMW the benefit of the doubt since the 650i Convertible is a 4-seater and requires a larger roof. This is also the same reasoning why BMW stuck with a soft-top over a hard-top. A heated rear window plays double duty allowing fresh air into the cabin when the top is up and keeps air disturbance to a minimum when the top is down.

At the heart of the new 6 Series Convertible is the virtuous and familiar 4.4-liter direct injection twin-turbo V-8 engine with 400-horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm. It’s the same engine in the 2011 5 Series which we toy around with quite often. I used the paddled shifters to keep the 8-speed sport automatic in the proper gears for my acceleration around slow moving traffic and out of tight mountain roads.

I especially like the novel 10.2” iPad like screen display which is wrapped in chrome and mounted within the top of the dash. It brings the iDrive operated navigation, entertainment, phone and vehicle information features closer to both driver and passenger. I’m also a huge fan of the current iDrive which is simple to control and far more advanced than any other control system on the market. Some of my colleagues think otherwise, but that’s because they haven’t spent true time with it! The 80 gig hard drive is special but I had no CDs or USB with music or photos to rip to it. So we rocked The Joint on SIRIUS as loud as the base system would allow while I laid back in those new performance and 20-way adjustable, leather sport seats. We even noticed the sturdier and deeper cup-holders. An optional and specifically 650i Convertible designed Bang & Olufsen sound system will be introduced in the fall. Expect the unit to adjust your final tally an additional $5,500 or so.

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