Streaking along the highway, the sleek BMW 650i Convertible enjoys the status of a shark in a school of goldfish. Everything is prey. When confronted with a slower vehicle, its progress is impeded only until an opening appears in the opposite lane. A firm prod of the throttle unleashes the full song of the twin-turbo V8, the big convertible squats almost imperceptibly, and the offending obstruction is effortlessly converted into a shrinking image in the BMW’s rear-view mirror.
Similarly, when the road begins to wind back and forth, the Bavarian droptop’s 50/50 weight distribution, aluminum suspension componentry and electronic chassis management systems keep the Bimmer ripping along with alacrity—barely breaking stride to accomplish the required changes of direction. Whether you choose to shift the transmission yourself, or leave those duties to the BMW to manage on your behalf, you’ll find the optimal amount of torque always on hand to propel you giddily toward the next apex. Long story short, converting time into distance is something this BMW Convertible does very well.
Shredding along a linear strip of pavement, the 650i’s smoothness and stability encourage you to strive for even greater velocity. Tearing into the tightest corners, the luxurious GT car slices and dices in a manner reminiscent of its more diminutive Roadster sibling. Yes, it’s a relatively heavy car and yes, you’re somewhat aware of that, however the accuracy of the 650i’s steering, the determined effectiveness of its braking, and the way its body remains perfectly flat—regardless of the severity of the maneuver—is a positively wondrous experience.
Of course, all your high dollar Germans bristle with computer assisted go faster gear these days. And, as is to be expected, high tech is this convertible’s stock in trade too; possessing as it does the state of the art in every aspect of its running gear and ancillary equipment. Active Steering, Driving Dynamics Control, High Precision Direct Injection, floating caliper brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, automatic Brake Drying and Brake Fade Compensation all blend seamlessly to enhance the 650’s performance abilities, while simultaneously upping the BMW’s safety quotient.
When the 650i Convertible isn’t moving and you take a moment to look around the interior, your eye is delighted with exceptional craftsmanship by every measure. The overall interior design is very Ger-manically efficient and practical, while at the same time evocative of exceptional quality. The positioning of the controls telegraph the BMW’s potential as a driver’s car while simultaneously catering to the comfort, convenience and security of the very lucky passenger. That the 6 Series Convertible is at once a full-on driver’s car, as well as a luxuriously appointed and sophisticated mode of day-to-day transportation makes it even more desirable.
The character of the engine seamlessly reinforces this assertion. Displacing 4.4-liters and force-fed oxygen by a pair of turbochargers nestled comfortably in between the two banks of cylinders; the engine is amazingly smooth and free winding. Around the city, at parade speeds, it’s quiet, dignified and respectful of the circumstance. Out on the road, with its throttles wide open, the sonorous V8’s baritone is as mellifluous and heart racing as its output is seemingly never ending.
With the capability of generating 400 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque on demand, the engine is easily supportive of whatever tone you wish to set. That the full 450 foot-pounds of torque is available at 1,750 rpm means searing acceleration is instantly available at your slightest whim. Even the smallest gaps in traffic become readily exploitable passing opportunities. Also, coupled as it is with your choice of an eight-speed sport automatic transmission, or a six-speed manual, the V8’s output is always effectively managed. BTW, that eight-speed automatic also allows you to choose your own gears and even burps out delightful throttle blips before downshifts to add to the visceral delight of controlling it yourself.
In this society, true luxury resides in choice. The difference between the rich and the rest of us is their wealth provides them the capability of exercising their determination and control over as many of the aspects of their environment as possible. A perfectly honed driving instrument—when it comes to going—the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible is all about providing choice, capability, control, and determination.
Lord, it must be good to be rich.
Pricing starts at $91,375.