Review: BMW 6 Series Convertible

11:14 03 January 2012

BMW 6 Series Convertible

BMW 6 Series Convertible

Archant

BMW’s original 6 Series was a deeply lovely thing with its sharky front end, delicately slim pillars and perfect proportions. This child of the 70s set an aesthetic standard that its successor, launched in 2000, was singularly unable to match.

Bluff fronted and brutal in its application of power, the second generation Six was undeniably effective, but never a car that tugged your heart strings, even in searingly rapid M6 form.

The Convertible version was a vehicle that always divided opinion. Some saw it as a bloated poseur’s car, the crass automotive equivalent of jangly gold jewellery. Look beyond the flashy gimmickry and the 6 Series Convertible was actually a very talented package. But it was never a great looking car and for any grand touring convertible to be judged an unqualified success, head-turning ability is mandatory. The latest 6 Series answers that call with some élan.

There are only two engines currently offered with the 6 Series Convertible, although it’s a dead cert that a diesel will be slotted in at some point and an M6 variant may also follow suit. For the time being, UK buyers are hardly short-changed by the powerplants on offer.

First up is the 320bhp 640i model, powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six with Valvetronic variable valve control and direct injection. It’ll get to 60mph in 5.4s and powers on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The 4.4-litre 650i hits the same electronically governed top speed, but its 407bhp V8 catapults it to 60mph in a Porsche-worrying 4.8 seconds.

Despite styling that sharply divided opinion, the old BMW 6 Series Convertible was a decent performer in terms of sales for BMW, but its faults were easy to outline. The exterior lines were unresolved, the control systems inside too complicated and depreciation was hefty. BMW has certainly addressed the first of those issues with its successor, the latest 6 Series Convertible being markedly more elegant. The latter two issues are open to debate. BMW persists with the ‘more is more’ approach when it comes to offering the driver myriad options regarding how the car drives and it’s hard to see how a large, expensive convertible is going to make a safe home for your money in these increasingly austere times.

If you’re in the enviable position of not having to worry unduly about the finer detail of your disposable income, the 6 Series Convertible looks well positioned. Less porcine than a Bentley Continental GTC, far fresher than a Mercedes SL and guaranteed to be better screwed together than a Maserati Gran Cabrio, it’s hard not to see it continuing BMW’s record of success.

Latest London city motoring

Monday, March 16, 2015
Suzuki GSX-S1000

Suzuki GB has confirmed pricing for the new GSX-S1000 model ahead of its launch to the world’s motorcycling press later this month, with the GSX-R1000-powered street bike available with an RRP of £8,999.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The UK’s first electric-only car hire company has been launched this week (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Plans to cut emissions in the capital’s polluted streets have been boosted by the launch of the first electric-only car hire service in London.

Friday, March 6, 2015
Hyundai i10 - Best city car as chosen by Honest John readers.

City cars are perfect for those living in large towns and urban areas. However, buying a small hatchback doesn’t mean making sacrifices when it comes to comfort or quality. The current crop of small cars are not only ideal for driving in the city but also perform well out of town.

Friday, January 30, 2015
Carl Fogarty to open London Motorcycle Show

‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ winner Carl Fogarty will be opening the Carole Nash London Motorcycle Show which returns to London’s ExCel Centre (February 13-15).

Monday, January 26, 2015
Kawasaki's new supercharged H2

It’s hardly a bike for the commuting in the City, but Kawasaki’s Supercharged Ninja H2 is one of the most anticipated machines of 2015, and it will be making its London debut on the Kawasaki stand at the Carole Nash MCN London Show between February 13th and 15th.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 16:45
Pictured: not the perfect crime [Photograph by Flixtey/Wikimedia Commons]

An Ilford man has escaped jail after he tried to rob a bookmakers with a tin of fish.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:59
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett chaired the Lib Dems LGBT group (Pic: Libdems.org.uk)

Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Vauxhall in south London, has revealed his battle with homophobic bullying, drug abuse and HIV.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:34
Artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd sits in her creation (Pic: Create/Emil Charlaff)

If you missed the pop-up ball pit for adults, don’t worry - there’s a permanent soft play area open at the Abbey Leisure Centre that hopes to prove art can be child’s play.

Read more

Competitions

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Read more