Richard Bremner
13 March 2011

What is it?

According to designer Nader Faghihzadeh, some of the shapes in the BMW 6 Series are inspired by the passage of water. Imagine poking a stick into a stream and the resultant twin ripples trailing behind it, and you have the gently curving creases emerging behind the 6's nose badge, to arc towards the bonnet's edges before streaming up the 'A' pillars.

The movement of water has added appealingly muscular sculpture to its flanks too, creating a lither, more elegant machine than its predecessor. This all-new 6 rides on the architecture of the latest 5 Series, benefitting from four-wheel steering, a cabin-enlarging wheelbase stretch, new engines and part-aluminium, part composite bodywork, although it still weighs a substantial 1840kg.

Still, the spectacular 50 per cent gain in structural stiffness is fine compensation, as are fuel-saving features such as brake energy recuperation and stop-start, though that's only fitted to the entry-level, turbocharged 3.0 straight-six sampled here.

What's it like?

This engine is 48bhp more powerful than the outgoing 630i and only 12bhp short of the old 645i, its creamy 332lb ft of torque peaking from a diesel-ish 1300 to 4500rpm. It'll rev to 7000rpm, although short-shifting at 5500rpm is speedier.

There's pleasure to be had from paddling too, this big convertible agile enough to play the sportscar even if the electro-mechanical steering veils much of the road below. Confident turn-in, four-wheel steering and a remarkably tremor-free structure all contribute, as does standard-fit dynamic drive to make a fine long-distance cruiser.

While it lacks the 650i's burbling potency it's brisk enough for most, rides better and turns in almost 10mpg more and 64g/km less. Down-sides? The stylish fabric roof makes access to a roomier but still-confined rear, the boot remains small, rear visibility is appalling and the 'A' pillars are apex-obscurers in tight turns. A crude seat-height adjuster removes thigh support as the cushion rises, too, and throttle response from rest can be abrupt.

Should I buy one?

But this is a superior 6 Series convertible, better able to play the dual roles of luxuriously svelte cruiser and agile bend burner, and this six cylinder is the shrewder buy - though waiting on the diesel may be shrewder still.

 

BMW 640i SE Convertible

Price: £65,680; Top speed: 155mph (limited); 0-62mph: 5.7sec; Economy: 35.8mpg; Co2: 185g/km; Kerb weight: 1840kg; Engine: 6-cyls in-line, 2979cc, petrol; Power: 316bhp at 5800-6000rpm; Torque: 332lb ft 1300-4500rpm; Gearbox: 8-spd automatic

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Comments
17

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 20 weeks ago

nice car comparing to the old 6 ,not sure if i like the front of the car tho ,cant wait 4 the oil burner 635d

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

Great, until three months later in the road test when they say the handlings rubbish!

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

I for one like the previous 6 better. It had more (correction, compared to this, it did have) character.

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

I appreciate that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But does anyone else think this is just another bland and slightly ugly car?

BMW currently seem to be the company to beat at the moment, particularly with the mix of performance and economy no other company has got yet, but oh my the cars are looking pretty dull.

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

memyselfandi wrote:
But does anyone else think this is just another bland and slightly ugly car?
i reckon it looks very lovely indeed - granted it has lost a bit of the 'edge' the previous model had, but overall, it's more cohesive. i wish i had £65k burning a hole in my pocket!!

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

Lupe wrote:
Great, until three months later in the road test when they say the handlings rubbish!

LOL - that would be even funnier if it weren't so likely to be true :)

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

Looks like some sort of '90s blobby Lincoln competitor, suppose they can't win because I just don't like the idea of it, seems like the 3series coupe is more in the spirit of the original 6, even the advert for the 6 last night on the Liverpool v Braga was very tacky, it would have more suited two Smarts driving round pointlessly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqEt4AwXyPI

Nice tune, shame about the car. Then to mention the olympics at the end! Well that really kills it.

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

memyselfandi wrote:

I appreciate that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But does anyone else think this is just another bland and slightly ugly car?

Agreed....the mish-mash of droopy-nose and sharp front-bumper creases gives it a curiously unhappy look. It's neither beautiful or purposeful enough to be either..

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

BMW have gone from Bangles risky-but-ugly to Hoydonk's safe but dull on this one.

Still, for 50 yr olds that would like to pretend they own a sports car but can't put up with the ride or the practicalities this will probably go down just fine.

Re: BMW 640i Convertible

3 years 19 weeks ago

To my eye, despite the twaddle about a stick in water, the car looks like it is simply unresolved. The front is frumpy and sad, although thankfully less "SUV-like" than the 5 and 7-series, the side is pleasant and the rear is an after thought.

The previous model had presence, it was masculine and was confident. This car looks diffident and inert.

So all up, it will sell like hot-cakes. ;-)

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