Home2011 Detroit Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
BMW 6 Series convertible
What is it? After a short hiatus from the market, the BMW 6 Series returns in the form of the 650i Convertible. When it goes on sale this spring it will carry a staggering $91,375 starting price.

BMW didnt stray too far from the silhouette of the previous 6 Series with the new convertible. It is still a large two-door car that is more of a 2+2 grand tourer than sports machine. Front seat passengers should be comfortable, while the rear seats are far better for kids or short adults. The new car is longer and wider than the old 6 Series, with a longer wheelbase and lower overall height. BMW says that headroom has actually improved despite the lower height.

Power for this large car comes from a 4.4-liter, 400-hp V8 that produces a peak of 450 ft-lbs of torque. It can be had with either BMWs new eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.9 seconds with both transmissions, and top speed is limited to 155 mph.

One optional feature is the Integral Active Steering, which combines BMWs Active Steering system, which controls the front axle, with a steerable rear axle. BMW claims this improves high-speed stability as well as low-speed parking lot maneuvers.

The cloth top of the 650i Convertible can open in 19 seconds and close in 24 secondsactions which the driver can control while the car is moving at speeds up to 25 mph.

What is new or notable: BMW makes a special note to say that the six-speed manual is "quite popular with North American enthusiasts."

When will it be available? Spring 2011.

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