Yesterday, we attended the Los Angeles International Auto Show where the BMW Concept 6-Series Coupe made its North American debut. That afternoon, BMW confirmed to Eurotuner that the 650i convertible would be making its way to US dealerships in the spring of '11.
According to BMW, the concept we saw at the show is about 80% of what the actual new 6-Series will look like. It will feature the same sweeping hood, aft-set passenger compartment, long wheelbase and muscular profile seen on the concept. We're also excited to see and play with the redesigned freestanding 10.2" Central Display of the standard iDrive control system.
Under the hood, the 650i will have a 4.4-liter V-8 engine that develops 400hp between 5500 and 6400 rpm, and makes peak torque of 450 lb-ft between 1750 and 4500 rpm. This twin-turbo "reverse-flow" engine produces an instantaneous and sustained wave of power. The engine can be paired with either BMW's new eight-speed Sport Automatic gearbox or a traditional six-speed manual transmission.
The 650i completes the 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with the manual transmission (4.9 seconds with the 8-speed automatic), and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The chassis remains very sporty and solid with a double wishbone front axle and the multi-link rear axle are made predominantly from aluminum. The chassis is geared to the requirements of drivers with aggressive driving styles, although the dampers also respond sensitively to bumps in the road surface under high lateral acceleration.
The electronically controlled damper system in the new 6-Series adjusts compression and rebound settings continuously and independently. For example, a stiff chassis setting can be combined with comfortable responses to unevenness in the road surface. The control unit of the damping system processes the data supplied by sensors on the lifting movements of the wheels and the ride height of the car. The driving speed and the damper setting chosen are also taken into account in calculating the damping force required for each individual wheel to even out body movements. This data is fed back to the damper units at intervals of just 2.5 milliseconds.
In addition, the new the new 650i is the first car in its class that can be equipped with Integral Active Steering. This system combines the Active Steering system for the front axle (available on the previous generation 6 Series Convertible) with a new, steerable rear axle. Precisely harmonized steering angle movements at both axles create a virtual lengthening or shortening of the vehicle's wheelbase, which fosters greater high-speed stability and enhanced maneuverability for parking and city use.
The black-panel instrument cluster of the new 650i is perhaps the coolest new technology feature of the car. It allows the use of navigation, telephone and entertainment functions operated using the iDrive control system. The standard 10.2" screen features a high-quality galvanized chrome surround. The shallow depth of the display gives it a modern character. Transreflective technology ensures the display remains easy-to-read in bright sunlight.
The new 650i Convertible is built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany. Final pricing, options and packages haven't been released, but we'll tell you as the release date nears.