31 October 2003

It may not hit the road until next March, but BMW’s new 6-series cabriolet is already out and about without disguise. Our spies spotted one on a beachfront photoshoot in Atrani, on Italy’s Amalfi coast, and managed to evade the BMW minders long enough to grab this picture.

The open roof revealed a roomy four-seat interior, thanks to BMW’s choice of a fabric hood instead of a space-eating folding metal roof. Unfortunately a cloth covered the unusual pop-up electric rear windscreen and Jaguar XJS-style flying buttresses.

Unusually, the Six coupé and cabriolet will be launched simultaneously in March ’04. The coupé was unveiled at the Frankfurt show in September, while the rag-top makes its debut at the Detroit show in January.

Just one model – the V8-powered 645Ci – will be offered in both body styles, and the coupé will cost £49,868. Prices for the cabriolet have not yet been fixed, but don’t expect much change from £55k. Other models, including a hot 500bhp V10, M6 andentry-level 630Ci, follow in ’05.

Despite controversy over BMW’s design direction, buyers are chomping at the bit for the reborn Six. The UK’s 1700-strong allocation for ’04 has sold out, and the waiting list stretches to 2005.

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