BMW 650Ci ROAD TEST
Relaxing in the lap of luxury, motoring writer IAN LAMMING says BMW’s 650Ci Convertible is good as they come.
WE all deserve a treat – even we less than popular pariah motoring hacks.
Logic dictates that we test the more accessible, affordable and mainstream models because that is where maximum interest lies among the buying public.
And it’s no sob story driving the mundane and modest because modern variants are pretty impressive nowadays.
But now and again it’s great to be decadent. Sun out, hood down, big V8 burbling in the background, this is one of those times, courtesy of BMW’s gorgeous 650Ci.
All is right with the world as resentful passersby stare, their green eyes flaring, the sneer of envy spreading across their lips.
Ironically, this BMW is an absolute flier, yet conversely there seems no rush today. This journey is about prolonging the moment, revelling in the luxury, glorying in being the centre of attention.
Pick an angle, any angle, it doesn’t matter. The 6 Series is obscenely striking whichever way you look. The new back end is my favourite. Passing through towns there is just one more thing to do; drop all the windows – including the back, by pressing a single button on the door and there is no clutter to interrupt fabulous lines.
It also means that observers can grab a longing glimpse of the supercar cockpit – it’s a lesson in design, being instinctively functional, superbly made and a feast for the eyes. Respect is due and given.
The symphony from the twin exhausts could not be played by any other virtuoso than the V8 and BMW have perfected theirs. You choose the composition, whether that’s the lullaby tickover or the crescendo of the top of the rev range. Simply conduct with your right foot and enjoy.
While it is difficult to get past the triumphant slow parade, this particular BM is built for speed. More than 400bhp under the bonnet gives the Ci blistering performance, a five second sprint time, time continuum-warping mid-range and gentleman’s agreement 155mph top speed.
All that power is handled magnificently by hi-tech wizardry which allows you to tune the suspension whilst on the move, from soft, through normal, to sport and electronic stability limiting sports plus, for those who want to go drifting – that’s not me your honour.
Oversized grown-ups will put up with the restricted rear legroom just for the pleasure of stowing aboard and while the boot aperture is limited because of the electric hood, at least the load bay is impressively deep.
In reality few 6Cis will carry more than two people in grand touring style, so practical issues matter little. There’s enough room for the designer luggage for a Continental blast, which will be helped hugely by the superb satnav.
Test over, my decadent streak is sated for a while and it’s back to reality with a bump. The 6 Series convertible is pleasure personified, so whatever it takes, treat yourself.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
Model: BMW 650Ci
Engine: 4.4 litre, V8 petrol
Drivetrain: Eight speed auto
Top speed: 155mph
Insurance group: 50
Miles per gallon (combined): 26.4
CO2 (g/km): 249