Blistering topless fun
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Blistering topless fun

The new 6-series is an effortless, fast and luxurious convertible that is even more fun with the roof down

autos Updated: Jun 16, 2011 01:16 IST
Hindustan Times

The 50i in the new BMW 650i denotes a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 407 bhp. 0-100 kph takes just 5.5 seconds and with the flex of a foot, it can hit 200 kph.

But it is more of an elegant speedboat than a purebred sports car. And elegant it is. Viewed side on, the body of the car just flows from the nose to the rear in a single sweep, with a unique styling fold that drops down after the front wheel arch.

Solid build quality
Everything feels quite solidly built and the black and red two-tone leather insides look special. You sit low on the big seats, your boundaries defined by the especially attractive swooping central console. The rear seats look quite generous at first, but even short people won’t find it comfortable in here. Also, getting in and out of the rear seat is a bit inconvenient as the front seats don’t flip forward enough and are fiddly to adjust.

Clearly, the place to enjoy the 650i is at the front. If you want to draw attention, all you need to do is let the roof fold down. The motor unleashes an avalanche of power as soon as the pedal is stapled to the floor. The 650i is one of the quickest cars we’ve tested from 0-100 kmh.

Hesitant gearbox
The BMW eight-speed gearbox, however, is not as quick as we would have liked, with hesitant downshifts at times, but deep reserves of torque keep this from getting too bothersome. BMW’s Adaptive Drive is optional and comes with adaptive dampers and active anti-roll bars. However, despite this, the 650i’s suspension doesn’t feel well sorted. Even in ‘Sport’ mode, the 650i doesn’t feel very committed as the front end gets unsettled when zipping over broken surfaces.

Dulling the experience to some degree is the electro-hydraulic steering. In ‘Normal’ mode, it isn’t very communicative and lacks that sought after precision and weighty feel. In ‘Sport+’, the steering weight improves significantly. Still, there is vagueness at the straight-ahead position, which is quite a pity. Set the suspension to ‘Normal’ if you want a big American GT car feel with a pliant and soft ride. It never feels very settled though, and there’s always a slight bobbing sensation and there’s lots of scuttle shake. Despite the best efforts of engineers, rigidity is always compromised in a soft-top like this.

Though we didn’t do a complete fuel efficiency run, the 650i proved to be quite thisty and never returned more than 5 kpl. So with its 70-litre tank, you can expect to do a range of 285km.

Autocar India

BMW 650i
Price: R95 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Top speed: 250 kph
Wheelbase: 2,855mm
Kerb weight: 2,015kg
Engine: V8, 4,395cc, twin-turbo, petrol Installation Front longitudinal, rear-wheel drive
Compression ratio: 10:1
Power: 407 bhp at 5,500 — 6400 rpm
Torque: 61.18 kgm at 1,750 —4500 rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
Fuel tank: 70 litres
Ground clearance: 123mm
Tyre size: (f,r) 245/40-R19, 275/35-R19

The BMW 650i is just a splendid cruiser that can take you places miles away without any trouble. It isn’t a true blue sports car, though the powerful engine and the pocket-drilling price would have you think that. If you’re looking for an effortless, fast and luxurious convertible, this is the one.

First Published: Jun 15, 2011 17:06 IST