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 Stories

just now
Galatasaray fans light flares after conceding a second goal  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Flares were thrown onto the pitch at the Arsenal v Galatasary Championship League match last night - with seven men arrested for various disorder offences.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:03
Police say a body found last night is that of Alice Gross

Police have tonight confirmed a body found in the River Brent yesterday is that of missing 14-year-old Alice Gross from Hanwell.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:06
The man filmed himself raping his wife on her mobile phone

A man who repeatedly raped his wife and filmed it on her mobile phone has been jailed for 13 years.

Read more