2012 bmw 650i convertible reviews

2012 bmw 650i convertible reviews DEFAULT

INGO BARENSCHEE

If we may, a hypothetical situation for the reader: Say a family of ducks lives in your yard. And when the neighbor kid mows your lawn, he runs over a duckling. You’d complain, right? And if he kept doing it, you’d continue to complain until he finally stopped? (For the purposes of this illustration, you must retain his services.)

We ask because we realize we’re repeating ourselves, but the reader must understand that BMW has been dicing some ducks. We cried foul after the company fitted the 5-series with a new electric power-steering system, as it deprives the driver of any feel through that most important of automotive interfaces. Now BMW has fitted the 6er with this system. It’s as if there were a rogue faction within the Bayerische Motoren Werke that is trying to scuttle the mother ship. We’re particularly disappointed because the setup otherwise has everything we want in really good steering: immediacy and satisfying weight. The steering effort is variable via the 6’s standard driving-dynamics-control system, but none of the settings (comfort, normal, sport, or sport plus) results in any communication.

Fortunately, although driving dynamics control adjusts the damping, too, the Bavarians have yet to make an electric power chassis. Even if you can’t feel what the front tires are doing, this 4569-pound convertible’s balance will widen eyes and restore some of the confidence sapped by the lifeless tiller. At the ragged edge, though, this ragtop loses its poise a bit, getting a little squirrelly. After the skidpad test—in which the 650i scored an impressive 0.89 g—our test driver called it a “drift machine.” A 167-foot stop from 70 mph also nurses courage, as does the brake pedal’s firm, predictable feel. Its travel might be long for some, but it’s hard to fault BMW for making the brakes easy to modulate.

Chasing Audi

It’s also difficult to find fault with the 650i’s rakish new skin or its step-above interior. The car tested here had $2150 in interior upgrades—$1500 for stitched-leather trim and ventilated front seats; $650 for ceramic rings on the radio, HVAC, and iDrive controls—that we heartily endorse. This cabin design surpasses almost any recent BMW’s and challenges some of Audi’s better designs of late, although violent cowl shake will test the fortitude of its adhesives as the years pass. This convertible might have only two doors, but at 192.8 inches long, the 6-series is a large car, and there is a large piece of cloth where once there was far-more-rigid metal.

Like most modern luxury convertibles, the 650i allows the driver to raise and lower the top while in motion. This can be done at speeds up to 25 mph, meaning you can cruise the boulevard all night with the top waving at passersby, but any owner with any sense of mechanical sympathy is going to do this only once or twice. That large top becomes a large sail halfway through the process, and even if BMW endorses it and the motors exhibit no sign of strain, the act of raising that sail into a 25-mph wind feels unkind.

Hauling Kegs and Keisters

Should the 6-series owner ever find himself pressed into keg-hauling duty—when the groom asks for a favor the day before his wedding, we try to oblige—he will be glad he opted for the convertible. With the top stowed, we easily hefted two half-barrels into the back seat. Be careful setting those kegs on the light-tan leather, though. We swaddled our babies in blankets to keep smudges off the seats and belts.

What the 650i will haul more often than kegs is keister. Just 4.7 seconds pass between standstill and 60 mph, with 11 stopwatch ticks separating stationary from triple digits and 13.1 between the Christmas tree and a trap speed of 110 mph. BMW’s brilliant twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 bellows less boisterously here than in the X5 and X6, but we suppose that makes sense. The X6 in particular is a far more insane concept than the 650i—really, who thought BMW needed a 400-hp off-road “coupe”?—and insanity feeds on savagery.

I’m Kind of a Big Deal

Eventually, BMW will sell its lauded straight-six beneath the long hood of the 6-series in the U.S., but what’s the point of flaunting your existence in a $90,000-plus convertible if you don’t have the biggest, baddest engine? Actually, with the six, it might be a $75,000 or so convertible, which isn’t going to make nearly the impression on those people who refuse to look at you at stoplights. Heck, they might even think themselves worthy of eye contact.

Perhaps to ensure a sufficiently huffy price, the car tested here piled on nearly every high-dollar option package available. The only items not on the list were the $2600 night-vision system and the $1750 active steering. Present and for the accountants were the $1800 upgraded audio system with an iPod/USB adapter, the active roll stabilization’s hydraulic anti-roll bars ($2000), the $750 Cold Weather package, and the aforementioned interior upgrades. We’d skip the $3900 worth of nanny tech in the Driver Assistance package, as well as the $1300 20-inch wheels—the convertible could use the extra bit of cushion provided by 19-inch wheels and accompanying higher-profile tires. Aside from the steering, price might be the 650i’s one other flaw: $105,025 would buy a lot of new ducks—or maybe a lawn mower with a duck-avoidance package.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door convertible

PRICE AS TESTED: $105,025 (base price: $91,375)

ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 268 cu in, 4395 cc
Power: 400 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 450 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 112.4 in
Length: 192.8 in
Width: 74.6 in Height: 53.7 in
Curb weight: 4569 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 4.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 11.0 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 19.3 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 5.1 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.7 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.1 sec @ 110 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 167 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 16/24 mpg
C/D observed: 16 mpg


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15123857/2012-bmw-650i-convertible-road-test-review/

2012 BMW 650i xDrive Convertible First Test

All-Wheel Confusion

BMW 6-Series Full Overview

The 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Convertible is a car with an identity crisis. The 6 Series has always been a great grand touring car, and the 650i convertible is no exception to that rule, but it's also a six-figure convertible with all-wheel drive -- two seemingly competing ideas. Is the 650i xDrive Convertible a drop-top boulevard cruiser or a winter weather-beater? After driving the big Bimmer for a few weeks, I'm not sure buyers will know what to think either.

At $97,595, the BMW 650i xDrive convertible is perched atop the non-M 6 Series lineup. Its take rate is likely small, and that's a shame. For the most part, this luxury GT is beautifully built, well-appointed, and to my eye, the best-looking car in BMW's lineup thanks to sharp styling that pays homage to the original shark-nosed 6 Series.

With a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 making 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque under the sleek aluminum hood, all-wheel drive, and a quick-shifting ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox, the 650i xDrive 'vert is damn quick. Accelerating from 0-60 mph takes 4.4 seconds, with the quarter mile coming at 12.9 seconds at 107.1 mph. That stacks up pretty well with the all-wheel-drive 650i convertible's rear-drive counterpart, which needed 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph. Braking performance was impressive considering its 4673-pound curb weight(!), with the convertible's best 60-0 stop recorded at 110 ft. All-wheel drive doesn't impact agility either, with the 650i xDrive Convertible finishing our figure eight in 25.5 seconds at 0.76 g (avg). That's right between the rear-drive manual-equipped 650i Coupe (25.3 seconds at 0.74 g) and the aforementioned 650i 'vert (25.7 seconds at 0.74 g).

Out in the real world, the 650i xDrive convertible is a mixed bag. As expected in a BMW, our tester's handling characteristics were defined by sharp, direct steering that made it a fun companion in twisty corners. The twin-turbo V-8 is a smooth unit that seemingly always has a surplus of power and torque on tap. In Sport+ mode, the engine joined forces with the deft steering, all-wheel-drive system, and a rain-soaked road to allow the fat drop-top to act as a convincing (and quite fun) drift car. Quit the shenanigans and drive - well, maturely - and the BMW acts as an excellent luxury GT. On the highway, the Bimmer was comfortable as long as the roads were smooth. Its long legs, provided by an 18.5-gallon fuel tank(!), were much appreciated as well. During 1200 miles of driving we saw a 19.3 mpg average. The EPA rates the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive convertible at 15/19 mpg, down 4 mpg from the rear-drive 650i drop-top's official rating.

It wasn't all fun in the sun, however. In fact, it rained just about the entire time I was testing the car. For what's supposed to be a cushy GT car, the 650 rides harshly over imperfect pavement, exhibiting a fair amount of chassis flex - thanks in no small part to the ridiculous curb weight and lack of a roof. I didn't much care for the big Bimmer's electronically controlled throttle either. In the default Comfort setting, tip-in was jerky, laggy, and non-linear, though feel did improve in Sport and Sport+ modes.

Good steering feel unfortunately wasn't the only characteristic our 650i xDrive Convertible shares with the rest of the BMW stable. Like our long-term BMW 328i and 528i, the 650i also had some electronic issues. For starters, the car alarm liked to go off randomly in the middle of the night, emitting a piercing scream that could wake the dead. It'd be one thing if someone was breaking into it, but from what I could tell, the only people who wanted to make the Bimmer disappear were neighbors sick of being woken up each night.

Other issues included a a soft top that buffeted annoyingly at highway speeds (especially when wet), a passenger seat sensor issue, and most worryingly, a message that said, "Steering response affected! Drive moderately. Have the system checked by the nearest BMW center." Cycling the car on and off again a few times eventually made the warning disappear, though it came back multiple times during our time with the car. These issues are simply inexcusable on a brand-new six-digit car.

Yes, six digits. Our tester, which started around $97,595, likely cost around $107,000 as tested. I say likely because we were unable to obtain an official Monroney.

Even after more than 1200 miles behind the wheel of the 650i xDrive Convertible, the car still confuses me. Most people in the car's demographic can afford to own at least two cars. That is to say, if they really wanted a 650i convertible, they could also afford an X3 or X5, too. With a six-digit price point and electronic issues, the car didn't make a great case for itself. If it were my money, I'd opt for a cheaper rear-drive version plus a small crossover. I may be a generation removed from the 6 Series' target market but I'm inclined to think this BMW's buyers would agree with me - after all, the rich don't get rich by making dumb decisions.

Looks good! More details?
2012 BMW 650i xDrive Convertible
BASE PRICE $97,595 (est)
PRICE AS TESTED $107,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 4-pass, 2-door convertible
ENGINE 4.4L/400-hp/450-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4673 lb (52/48%)
WHEELBASE 112.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 192.8 x 74.6 x 53.7 in
0-60 MPH 4.4 sec
QUARTER MILE 12.9 sec @ 107.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 110 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.92 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.5 sec @ 0.76 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HIGHWAY FUEL ECON 15/19 mpg
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HIGHWAY 225/117 kW-hrs/100 miles
C02 EMISSIONS 1.17 lb/mile
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If you are shopping for a 6-series convertible, please accept our congratulations. According to BMW market research, this is your third or fourth car—not ever, mind you, but currently.

To snag such customers, the Bavarians start with style. Although the previous-generation 6 ushered in an almost iconoclastic era of BMW design, the new 6, styled by Nader Faghihzadeh, returns somewhat to the elegance of the first-generation 6 introduced in 1976. From every angle, the new car looks low and wide and oozes a subtle but unmistakable aggressiveness. The front end features a new fog-light style—executed with LEDs—and a hint of the shark nose that had all but disappeared from BMWs. Thankfully, the 650i uses an evolution of the previous car’s fabric roof instead of a heavy folding hardtop.

Inside, the new 6 is far better executed than the old. It is more driver-oriented, befitting a car with sporting aspirations—particularly a BMW. It is easy to find a comfortable seating position, at least up front. The rear seat remains as tight as before, but it is possible to take along two friends for short distances without jeopardizing the friendship.

Twin Turbos Underhood

Europe gets a 640i with an inline-six and will soon see a turbo-diesel as well. The only model for the U.S. market is the 650i, powered by BMW’s twin-turbocharged 400-hp, 4.4-liter V-8. With 450 lb-ft of torque, it simply leaves the last-gen 650i—and its naturally aspirated 4.8-liter eight—in the dust. The 2012 car always seems to have extra power in reserve, and it pulls relentlessly to its governor, which is set at a low 130 mph for regular models and 150 mph on those with the optional Sport package.

Some credit for this car’s responsiveness goes to the transmission, the ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic. It shifts quickly and efficiently, and its extremely tall top gear helps keep fuel consumption at acceptable levels. But if you hustle it, the 650i still slurps gas. Figure on real-world fuel economy somewhere around 12 to 14 mpg if you’re going to play hard.

More rewarding than talk of efficiency is the great soundtrack of the V-8. We’ve experienced this engine elsewhere, but here, BMW tinkered with the ignition timing to achieve a delicate burble in the exhaust whenever the automatic shifts. And with so many gears to choose from, it shifts a lot.

Wait. Who Wanted What?

As nicely as the eight-speed box works, we’re glad a six-speed manual is still available—in the U.S., anyway. European customers, it seems, are embracing the idea of modern automatics being sportier than manuals. It remains to be seen whether the manual transmission sells in relevant numbers here. “The Americans clamor for it, but then they don’t buy it,” a BMW engineer complains.

BMW talks at length about weight-reducing technologies, but this car is porkier than the one it replaces. According to BMW, it now tips the scales at a whopping 4500 pounds, up from its predecessor’s 4300. The new 6 loses the old car’s complex aluminum front structure but makes liberal use of plastic and aluminum panels.

The chassis, with a multilink suspension front and rear, does an impressive job of masking the extra pounds. Equipped with the optional active roll stabilization, it provides exceptional roadholding, making it difficult to unsettle the car even on rough pavement. The stability system doesn’t allow for much oversteer even in sport plus mode, which triggers a gratuitous but legally required warning in the instrument panel when selected. You can turn off stability control almost all the way, but it will still kick in if you hit the brakes in a slide, remaining switched off after recovery. As in other BMWs, the other chassis settings are sport, normal, and comfort.

Help Wanted at the Helm

Unfortunately, the electric steering is a reason to stay away from the sportier modes. As in the new 5-series, the steering is slightly numb on-center and feels artificially heavy, but the synthetic feel is less noticeable in comfort and normal. You can tinker with the system settings individually, but no combination will charm you.

The steering feel and the V-8’s drinking habits are the only drawbacks of an otherwise wonderful car that looks like a BMW should. The regular 6-series doesn’t have many competitors, although the even burlier M6 will return with a thoroughly reworked version of the same engine that could reach close to 600 hp. The somewhat-lighter 650i coupe will trail the convertible by six months. Whichever 6-series you choose for that fourth car, just be sure to spec the manual transmission.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door convertible

BASE PRICE: $91,375

ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 268 cu in, 4395 cc
Power: 400 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 450 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS: 8-speed automatic, 6-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 112.4 in
Length: 192.8 in
Width: 74.6 in Height: 53.7 in
Curb weight (mfr's est): 4500 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8-5.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.1 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 130-150 mph

FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city/highway driving: 15-17/22-24 mpg


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15123900/2012-bmw-650i-convertible-review/
Road Test: 2012 BMW 650i Convertible

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650i 2012 convertible reviews bmw

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NAIAS Detroit 2011: 2012 BMW 650i Convertible Review

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