Monday, 28 March 2011

BMW 650i Convertible: Magnificent & elegantly heavenly

- by GB Bajaj, CEO & Strategist at GB LUXE LIFE for Stylefluid Trendz

The newly styled 650i by Nader Faghihzadeh, the Exterior Designer of BMW 6 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe, portrays the true BMW design elegance which relates to the first-generation 6 introduced in 1976, depicting a good balance between luxury and performance dynamics, which became the iconic vehicle in the BMW family since it was introduced. The cabriolet has empowered owners and seduced them with its sporty and sharky lines.
IT exudes a subtle yet aggressive sharky look with an underlying element of elegance. The front look features a new fog-light style, with LEDs and ofcourse the subtle shark nose. Fitted with Xenon adaptive headlights with dynamic auto-leveling, corona headlight-rings & cornering lights, it certainly has a distinctive BMW front look. The previous 650i used the heavy folding hardtop but to cut weight it currently has made use of fabric roof instead.

The all new redesigned 6 series is built on the all new aluminum-intensive structure inspired from the BMW's 5 and 7 Series sedans which provides greater structural rigidity and keeps weight down. 

I had to go to the International airport to pick up a close friend, who was arriving from Dubai.Her jaw dropped, seeing the 650i, and as soon as she sat on it, hmmm, her heart melted. Just flick a button and in 20 secs it is time to bask in the sun while cruising.

The beauty of the convertible is its soft top intelligent roof design which allows for the rear window to be controlled separately. The roof is on top for added ventilation or raise it with roof down as a wind deflector. The top is constructed of multiple layers of fabric and gives a quite operation.

To provide more space for seating and legroom, the 650i's body length has been increased by 3 inches than its predecessor and the width too has increased by 1.5 inches, providing optimal rear seat back angle and slightly more spacious seating.

The interiors which is so enticing and gives a warm feeling of being at a CEO's plush executive office chair, a very focused view of the drivers display, with data being displayed on the dashboard and all round view.

The dash top and top of the glovebox, the sensous sculpted and twisted style to the centre stack and centre console, is truly an evolving design. With premium materials- Fine leather, precious wood, there is a vast combination one can choose for as per his/her personal tastes.

My tester 650i came with Napa Vermilion red seats, choose suede or snazzier Alacantara leather the interiors are truly luxurious and adjustable. It boasts of high quality materials and very high tech instruments with a leather-wrapped black dashboard.

With stitched leather dash , perfect wood trim and a dna of a sporting convertible, this is definitely a driver's delight. Relaxed with the memorized seating position, press the start button of the 650i’s aspirated twin-turbocharged 400-hp, 4.4-liter V-8, the soundtrack makes you excited, the slight burble from the exhaust, automatically puts you in BMW mode. 

From 2006, the name was changed to 650i and its engine was upgraded to a 4.8-liter V8 that produced 360 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The 2012 650i's turbocharged V8 engine is more powerful, rising from 400 horsepower to 445 hp, which shoots immediate power through a series of smooth shifts.
The trunk is very spacious even with the top down, with 10.6 cubic feet with top lowered and 12.3 cub. Ft., when roof on top. The upholstery is specially made with a fabric that stays cool when top is down on a sunny days, pretty cool, heat-reflective leather upholstery which works amazingly well.  In particular, the under-thigh support can be extended for long drives.
A large 10.2 inch high-res display, prominent enough, in upright position provides latest infotainment system for the BMW driver. Time to put on some Lana Del Ray. The iDrive controller makes things a lot easier to change music or car settings, etc for a relaxed drive, customization at its best.

The sound system is one of the best features, fitted with the all new Bang & Olufsen high-end audio system. Hearing Lana Del Ray voice coming out from those 16 speakers with 1200 watt of hi fi crystal, clear sound, wowwww, so unbelievable.  A  dash-mounted tweeter that rises when the sounds goes live with a pair of sub-woofers under the front seats, keeping you wide awake. Some fabulous acoustics,a sheer driving pleasure.

The stereo system has the usual AM/FM stereo CD/MP3 audio system and for the tech savvy, iPod & USB adapter is provided too. In case of a call, the Bluetooth wireless technology makes it easy for hands-free conversation. For long cruises, put on Phil Collins, and to hear it on the Bang & Olufsen audio system,is an out of the world experience.

BMW’s body-to-glass approach with pillarless doors of the 650i Coupe which fits harmoniously with the rest of design, is their best trademark providing best all around visibility and sexy look.

The sides have two sharp lines that run from the front of the car back, accentuates the BMW design, very similar on the 7 Series.
After the evening tea at Four Seasons, I want to understand the 650i’s performance and handling, and my best place is the Hanging Gardens, voila, roller coaster test.

Negotiating the downhill from Hanging Gardens, a good S curve, the chassis is stiff and sportier.I feel its the weight that should be reduced by a good 250kgs, yet handling is firm and solid.

The settings on the 650i can be changed to your driving moods and conditions, from Comfort to Sport plus, which respectively alters the throttle map, firms the suspension, quick gear changes and steering firmness. The Driving Dynamics Control system is a boon for the drivers, a dashing morning drive to the office or attending a dinner with someone special or for just the adrenaline feel, I always prefer the sport.

The 650i is quick & responsive, not only for its V8, twin turbo, but also for its transmission too, the ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Quick shifts with efficiency, and the extremely tall top gear helps keep fuel consumption at good levels. But if you are an aggressive driver, the 650i will hand you a nice fat fuel bill. The 8-speed sport automatic transmission has automatic sport & manual shift modes, and the much needed steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

0-60 mph acceleration, full nailed, get a good punch, good force, rock steady, no wheel spin,  and voila in about 5.1 seconds, tested by BMW is 4.9secs. At the same time, the 8-speed sports automatic transmission keeps the engine in the optimum revving range and shifts almost imperceptibly while offering you supreme traveling comfort with a top speed of 155mph (250 km/h ). 
A very responsive torqy engine, at 400HP and 450 lb-ft, the 650i’s new 4.4L twin-turbo engine is up 40HP and 90 lb-ft compared to the outgoing 4.8L naturally aspirated engine from last year. The twin turbocharged V8 is smooth and delivers power in the entire rev range with a very quick torque response from 1,750 RPM.Being aggressive all the way to 4500 RPM,it is more powerful than its previous 650i. 

Truly and practically, the 650i has performance technology with excellent engineering in the drive line and suspension and steering that adjust depending on driver settings and conditions.
BMW 6 Series Coupe is the first vehicle from the Munich-based automaker to get full LED treatment; driving lights, indication lights, brake lights and rear-lights.

The deisgn of the 6 series as described by BMW’s Chief Designer Adrian van Hooydonk, the front-end “a shark-like nose” featuring a slightly forward-leaning kidney grille and a full-width air duct within the lower part of the bumper. The front-end design reflects both, sophistication and aggressiveness that went into this design. The kidney-grille are unique across the lineup with glass inserts along the top ridge. The rear with its L-shaped taillights continue to remain a BMW icon and the full LED treatment brings out the luxury and sportiness of the new 6 series.

The handling characteristics of the 650i’s innovative multilink suspension front and rear is phenomenal, which has actually added the extra pounds, while the ride quality being smooth as it hugs the road, thanks to the Driving dynamics control w/ECO PRO mode. The BMW 650i has a ride which is dynamic & smooth, the brakes are powerful and despite weighing nearly 2 tons, the handling remained fabulous and thanks to its aggressive tyre size and a well-balanced rear-drive chassis. Having being equipped with the optional active roll stabilizer, it provided superb road holding, even the roughest surface it did not unsettle the car.

In the front, the suspension setup is the Double wishbone front suspension with front & rear stabilizer bars, Dynamic damping control, and in the rear Multi-link rear suspension and all shocks are Twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers, a carpet ride, yet stiff and added stability at rough terrains and tight turns.

Thanks to the 19" x 8.5" star-spoke light alloy wheels, P245/40R19 run-flat all-season tyres, it offers a smooth ride and hugging grip. The active suspension does a superb job.

The stability system assists in maintaining the 650i with no oversteer or understeer, in normal or sport  mode. As in other BMWs, the chassis settings are sporty, normal and comfortable.
There are numerous safety features, the important are the 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) with dynamic brake control (DBC) and Dynamic stability control (DSC) .

Other few standard safety equipment includes four-wheel antilock brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, active head restraints and BMW Assist rearview camera. 

The impressive 650i has the best of all features of a grand touring car, spectacular good looks, awesome power under the hood and a great amount of handling dynamic capability that will ensure a superb drive to mountainous regions or inter city highway driving. The state-of-the-art infotainment fitted, keeps oneself busy with the entertainment of one’s choice. It inspires with style, elegance and class, it is one of the most exhilarating luxury experiences you can have, either with top down or up.

For those seeking a two-door style, convertible, with a luxurious package, and elegance, the answer lies with  the BMW 650i Convertible and yes, a must have for  BMW’s die hard enthusiasts and loyalists too.

The styling boasts elegant contours and design with slight beefed-up sharky proportions while maintaining  BMW’s 6 series dynamic genes on an enhanced level. The 650i is agile at handling, with a composed ride, superb engine and a well sculpted cabin.



1 comment:

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