2010 BMW 6-series convertible will be a soft-top, not a folding hard-top
23 January 2009

The next-generation BMW 6-series convertible will stick with a conventional folding soft-top, these spy pics of the new car taken in Germany have confirmed.

The new BMW 6-series coupe and its convertible variant, based on the new 5-series platform, are pencilled in for launches at Geneva in 2010, with UK sales kicking off that summer.

As with the current BMW 6-series, the new car shares no body panels with the saloon on which it’s based. It sits on a wheelbase very close to that of the BMW 5-series.

Like luxury rivals Bentley and Aston Martin, BMW is sticking with a fabric roof because of weight and packaging concerns over a folding metal roof.

Another issue with a large folding metal roof is the effect of its mass on weight distribution when the roof is folded away and the weight is concentrated towards the rear of the car.

The new BMW 6-series’ engines will be drawn from the 5-series; they will be mildly revised versions of today’s six-cylinder petrols and diesels, and V8 petrols. The big-selling powerplants will be the 3.0-litre petrol (630i) and twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel (635d).

An important development on the next 6-series will be the introduction of ZF’s new eight-speed automatic transmission. It will be capable of running with stop-start systems, the first time the car has had this ability. Coupled with BMW’s Efficient Dynamics, this should boost economy and cut emissions.

BMW is shortening the launch gaps for M models, and the new M6 will be no exception. M6 sales are tipped to start by early 2011.

Expect a major change under the M6’s bonnet, where a new turbocharged V8 engine will replace today’s V10.

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Julian Rendell

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