BMW 650i Convertible Sheer Driving Pleasure Johann van Tonder

BMW 650i Convertible Sheer Driving Pleasure Johann van Tonder

One model series, three characters: majestic performance in the BMW 6 Series Coupé, irresistible aesthetics in the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé and exclusive open-top driving pleasure in the BMW 6 Series Convertible. Ultimate Drive had the Ultimate Pleasure of driving the BMW 6 Series Convertible for a week!

Now the 6 Series BMW’s are hardly new. They debuted in 2012, with a local update early in 2015. But that hardly matters when you get to drive a car like this. Similarly, having opinions and making comparisons at this level of car matters little, as few will have the opportunity to drive, let alone buy this car. Since the 6-Series returned from hibernation more than a decade ago, BMW’s big convertible has occupied an enviable spot in the motoring world in that it has few direct competitors anyway. What people really want to know is, what is it like to drive a car like this? In a word: Awesome!

Just a light touch on the accelerator pedal is all it takes to ensure that the power of the 8-cylinder petrol engine (4,395cc with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology – two turbochargers, direct injection, valvetronic) makes the ride in a BMW 6 Series Convertible a true experience. The full-bodied sound of the sports exhaust system perfectly complements the vehicle’s 330kw of grunt. The sound depends on the driving mode using an integrated exhaust valve mechanism. In dynamic SPORT and SPORT+ driving modes the exhaust notes are thrilling, pulsating and loud, while the comfort-oriented modes are accompanied by more discreet engine acoustics that are better suited to longer journeys and a more comfortable driving experience.

 

The 8-speed Sport Automatic Transmission Steptronic adapts to suit individual driving styles. It is perfect for everything from comfortable cruising through to a very dynamic drive. In addition to automatic gear selection, it is of course possible to shift gears manually at any time using the dynamically designed selector lever or the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. In Sport mode, the gear shifts are configured for maximum performance. Thanks to the fine increments and eight gears, the engine is always kept at the level at which it can make best use of its power and efficiency. It also makes acceleration faster, when overtaking another vehicle for example. And this happens often!

When travelling at high speeds, the additional eighth gear reduces the required engine speed, thereby also reducing the fuel consumption and engine noise. High speed is not the only party trick though, as the acceleration is something to behold. With a monstrous 330kW and 650Nm on tap the Beemer accelerates from 0 – 100km/h in less than 5 seconds, a time achievable by most drivers thanks to the Launch Control is which enables maximum acceleration from a standing start. To make use of this function, activate DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) by briefly pushing the DSC button (Dynamic Stability Control), move the gear lever to the “S” position, firmly hold down the brake and press the accelerator pedal to kickdown. Release the brake while maintaining kickdown, and the vehicle will accelerate to the maximum until the accelerator is released or the electronically limited 250km/h top speed is reached.

 

In the cockpit you are surrounded by a world of luxury, as it should be in a Luxury Grand Tourer. Seating, sound and comfort are all catered for, but with an emphasis on the driving experience. Connected Drive navigation package fitted as standard and the latest-generation BMW Head-Up Display promotes concentration on the road ahead. Driving Assistant Plus breaks new ground in safety. The interior features alone could command an article of it’s own.

In the end, the 6-Series embodies the Ultimate level of BMW’s favourite punchline: Sheer Driving Pleasure.

The BMW 6 Series Convertible sells from R 1 631 832-00.

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