BMW 6-Series convertible update
21st November, 2010
Europe's new BMW 6 Series Convertible fulfils the
wishes of many for luxury and looks. In the exclusive environs of the premium convertible market,
the 2+2 seater makes a case for itself with its appealing styling.
A sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment, long wheelbase and flat waistline embody the
hallmark proportions of a BMW convertible. The new BMW 6 Series Convertible combines these
features with a classic soft-top roof in customary “fin” design. Powerfully contoured surfaces
and the dynamism of its lines promise assured properties. The luxurious ambience of the interior
is highlighted by the driver-oriented cockpit set-up and wraps the front passenger and rear
passengers in a feeling of exclusive security. Nowhere is the functionality of the interior
underlined more prominently than in the redesigned freestanding Control Display of the
standard-fitted iDrive control system.
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is available with two engine variants from launch. The
eight-cylinder powerplant in the BMW 650i Convertible produces 300 kW (407 hp), while an
exclusive variant of the six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo, direct injection
and VALVETRONIC – generating 235 kW (320 hp) – has been developed for the BMW 640i Convertible.
Both engines team up as standard with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox. Standard-fitted
BMW EfficientDynamics features include the Auto Start-Stop function in the BMW 640i
Chassis technology works in tandem with the engines to ensure dynamic capability and an
improvement in ride comfort compared to its predecessor. The new BMW 6 Series Convertible comes
as standard with Drive Dynamic Control, which allows drivers to choose their own suspension
settings, while the Adaptive Drive system is available as an option with electrically controlled
dampers and roll stabilisation. In addition to the standard-fitted electromechanical power
steering, another unique feature in this segment is the optional Integral Active Steering
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible also underlines its progressive 'character' with numerous
BMW ConnectedDrive features. The selection of optional driver assistance systems includes a
rear-view camera, Surround View, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition and BMW Parking
The design: elegance, sportiness and looks
The driving experience of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible is reflected in the elegance and
sense-tingling sportiness of its exterior design. A long, sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger
compartment, long wheelbase and flat waistline combine to provide the proportions typical of a
BMW convertible. The interplay of eye-catching lines and sculpted surfaces help to give the new
BMW 6 Series Convertible its arresting looks.
Like the lines projecting out from the nose of the car and continuing along its full length,
the curved surfaces of the body take their cue from the movement of waves sent out by a the bow
of a motor boat piercing the water. Continuing the theme, the waistline surface which leads the
body into the interior mimics the character of a boat deck.
The front end: surging forward and focusing on the road
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible also displays its dynamic character in its
front end design. The large, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille – its
“shark nose” – gives the car a sense of surging forward, while a broad air
intake, strikingly contoured bonnet and 'muscular' wheel arches hint at its
powerful engine technology and impressive roadholding. High-quality chrome
elements positioned on the outer edges of the front apron further accentuate the
width of the car. The optional foglamps consisting of a string of three LED
units are placed in front of these chrome elements
The standard xenon headlights of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible pick up on the brand’s
familiar “twin round” look. As standard, an accent strip cuts across the top of them; this is
replaced by an LED accent light if the optional Adaptive Headlights are specified. The daytime
running lights take the form of LED light rings, whose bright white light illuminates the
distinctive front-end look. A horizontal light strip below the daytime running lights,
meanwhile, performs direction indicator duties.
Side view: elongated lines, 'athletic' curves
Uninterrupted, flowing lines lend the silhouette of the BMW 6 Series Convertible a sweeping
elegance. Powerful curves mimicking the natural movement of waves give the car’s side view a
natural 'athleticism'. The hallmark BMW swage line at door handle level is spawned in the front
wheel arch gill – which houses the side indicator – and extends all the way back into the rear
Another character line is released from the bulge of the front guard, stretching powerfully
over the front wheel like a wave before dropping down and continuing horizontally towards the
rear. Together with the swage line, it provides a dynamic wedge shape which emphasises the car’s
The striking V-shape and accentuated width of the rear-end
Wide and flat surfaces define the rear of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible. The dominance of
horizontal lines adds extra emphasis to the wider track of the new car compared to its
predecessor. In addition, downward-converging lines underline the car’s focus on the road,
echoing the approach at the front end. This distinctive V-shape is created by lines including
the side edges of the boot lid, the licence plate surround and the contours of the reflectors
positioned in the bumper. The slightly concave lower section of the boot lid produces light and
shade effects which lend an extra lightness to the rear of the car.
The two-part rear light clusters give the brand’s familiar L-shape a particularly sporty,
dynamic edge. Inside the units, two LED-powered light strips provide the familiar BMW night-time
look. The indicators and brake lights are also LED units.
The interior: seats for four
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is designed to be a 2+2-seater. Its interior offers
individually tailored seats for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. High-quality
materials, carefully coordinated colours and, once again, meticulously formed surfaces combine to
produce an ambience defined by luxury, sweeping dynamism and stylish functionality. A hallmark
BMW element of the interior design is the driver-oriented cockpit layout. The central section of
the instrument panel, containing the iDrive system’s Control Display, the central air vents and
the controls for the audio system and air conditioning, are all angled slightly towards the driver.
Added to which, the gearshift lever and the buttons for the parking brake, roof operation and
Drive Dynamic Control are located on a surface that opens out towards the driver and is set lower
than the front passenger side of the centre console.
The front passenger area is bordered by a surface curving elegantly from the armrest over the
side edge of the centre console, upwards and outwards into the instrument panel and then
horizontally into the door trim. This provides a harmonious surround for the front passenger area,
providing a feeling of exclusive security. The contour of the rear 'waistline' surface, which
extends slightly into the interior between the head restraints, highlights the individual seat
layout of the rear.
Premiere: freestanding Control Display with flatscreen design
The black-panel instrument cluster of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible combines the traditional
sports car circular instruments with state-of-the-art display technology. The navigation system,
telephone and entertainment functions are operated using the standard-fitted iDrive control system,
whose Control Display boasts an innovative design. The on-board monitor takes the form of a
freestanding display for the first time in the new BMW 6 Series Convertible. The standard 7-inch
screen can be upgraded to 10.2 inches by ordering the optional Navigation system Professional, and
the larger screen has a high-quality galvanised chrome surround. The minimal depth of the display
gives it the character of a flatscreen unit. The new arrangement of the Control Display – which now
reaches further into the passenger compartment – also influences the architecture of the instrument
panel, which rises up steeply in front of the driver and front passenger in the style of a powerboat
This impression is further enhanced by the structure of the door trim panels. Their surfaces have
a powerfully taut look and, like the black waistline surface, pull in and rise up to make a smooth
transition into the instrument panel, giving the interior the effect of wrapping around the driver
and front passenger.
Exclusive and distinctive: the fin roof
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible again comes with an electrically powered soft-top roof with “fin”
architecture. The multi-layer roof – which has been optimised once again in terms of its acoustic
properties and structural rigidity – offers outstanding thermal insulation and thus enables the new
convertible to be used comfortably all year round. The fins project out along the flanks of the 6
Series into its rear section, accentuating the car’s sweeping silhouette even more keenly than on
its predecessor and giving it an unmistakable appearance. The upshot is that the transition of the
roof line into the rear-end flows as smoothly as on a hard-top coupé. The upright, heated, glass
rear window is positioned directly behind the rear seats and can be lowered separately from the
The automatic opening and closing operation for the roof is activated as standard using a button
on the centre console. The Comfort Access option allows the process to be initiated using the remote
control button on the car key. Opening the roof takes 19 seconds, the closing process 24 seconds.
Both operations can be activated while on the move at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph).
The fin roof of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible is available in three colour variants, including
new Anthracite Silver effect, which adds a stylish lustre. Two non-metallic exterior paint finishes
and seven metallic shades are available. As an alternative to the standard Dakota leather trim,
customers can also specify the Exclusive Nappa leather variant which can be ordered in four colour
options. As well as the instrument panel, the centre console and the upper sections of the rear door
panel and side trim can also be lined with Exclusive Nappa leather as an option. Plus, interior
elements covered with Exclusive Nappa leather can also be ordered with optional stitching in a
contrasting colour. The double stitching stands out from the leather surface, lending a particularly
elegant flourish to the design of the interior.
Optimised seat comfort; boot capacity can be expanded as required.
At 4,894 millimetres (192.6 in.) in length, the new BMW 6 Series Convertible is 74 millimetres (2.9
in.) longer than its predecessor. Its similarly extended wheelbase now stretches to 2,855 millimetres
(112.4 in.). The car has also grown by 39 millimetres (1.5 in.) in width, and now measures 1,894
millimetres (74.5 in.) across, while 9 millimetres (0.35 in.) have been shaved off its height (now
1,365 mm/53.7 in.). These dimensions not only make a more powerful and, at the same time, elegantly
overall impression, they also take interior spaciousness to new levels. Despite its lower height, the
new BMW 6 Series Convertible offers greater headroom in both the front and the rear. Added to which,
the height adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats cover a greater range. The increase in
the width of the interior is noticeable from all four seats, and passengers in the rear seats also
benefit from additional legroom. The tilt angle of the rear seat backrest has seen further
optimisation over the predecessor model and now achieves virtually the same angle as you will find
in BMW saloons.
A ski bag with an opening in the rear seat backrest is available as an option and offers space for
two sets of skis. The new BMW 6 Series Convertible boasts 300 litres (10.6 cu. ft.) of boot space with
the roof open, allowing two 46-inch golfbags and a business case to be accommodated. With the roof
closed, the variable soft-top stowage compartment can be folded up in a single movement to increase
boot capacity to 350 litres (12.3 cu. ft.).
Newly developed lightweight seats, comprehensive safety equipment
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is fitted with newly developed lightweight seats with an
integrated seatbelt system, and the seats are available in three variants. As an alternative to the
standard items, customers can also order sports seats with integral head restraints or comfort seats
with a wider range of adjustment. All seat variants come with crash-activated head restraints.
The range of standard safety equipment also includes front airbags, head-thorax side airbags
integrated into the seat frame, three-point automatic belts for all seats, belt force limiters and
front belt tensioners, ISOFIX child seat mounts in the rear and a roll-over protection system. The
roll-over system further developed specifically for the new BMW 6 Series Convertible consists of
two bars placed behind the rear head restraints. As soon as the central safety electronics register a
danger of the car rolling over, the pyrotechnic release mechanism is activated, at which point the
high-strength aluminium bars rise up from their rest position in a fraction of a second.
Carefully targeted advances in the use of materials and in the development of the car’s
load-bearing structure have significantly enhanced the body’s construction in terms of the agility
and safety it offers. Its static torsional rigidity is now around 50 per cent greater than that of its
predecessor. In the interests of weight optimisation, the doors, bonnet and front axle spring mounts
are all aluminium, while the front side panels, roof lid and boot are made from glass fibre composite.
Majestic power: eight- and six-cylinder engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo
Instantaneous power development and majestic torque are the stand-out features of the two engines
available for the new BMW 6 Series Convertible from launch. The V8 powerplant and six-cylinder in-line
unit both have BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and direct injection, and combine their sporting
character with outstanding smoothness and exceptional efficiency.
The 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine in the new BMW 650i Convertible develops a maximum 300 kW/407 hp
between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm, and puts its peak torque of 600 Newton metres (443 lb-ft) on tap between
1,750 and 4,500 rpm. This unique engine, whose turbochargers are positioned in the V-shaped area between
the cylinder banks, produces an instantaneous and sustained wave of power, making it a feast for the
enthusiast driver. The new BMW 650i Convertible completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0
seconds, and the engine electronics eventually step in to halt acceleration at 250 km/h (155 mph). This
range-topping engine also boasts extraordinary efficiency for a model in its output class, as average
fuel consumption of 10.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the EU test cycle (26.4 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions
of 249 grammes per kilometre clearly show.
The six-cylinder in-line engine under the bonnet of the new BMW 640i Convertible complements its BMW
TwinPower Turbo technology and petrol direct injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control.
All of which enables the 3.0-litre unit to develop a maximum 235 kW (320 hp) at 5,800 rpm and maximum
torque of 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft) between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm. This engine propels the BMW 640i
Convertible from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of
250 km/h (155 mph). Its average fuel economy in the EU test cycle comes in at 7.9 litres per 100
kilometres (35.8 mpg imperial), while CO2 emissions are 185 grammes per kilometre.
Eight-speed Sports automatic and BMW EfficientDynamics as standard
The eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox fitted as standard in the new BMW 6 Series Convertible boasts
a combination of sportiness, shift comfort and efficiency unmatched in its segment. Its minimal converter
slip and rapid and precise gear changes set it apart from the crowd. An innovative gear set configuration
allows this transmission to offer eight gears and a correspondingly wide gear range – which optimises the
car’s sprinting power yet also allows the driver to save fuel by driving at low revs – despite its compact
construction and low weight. The driver can also change gear manually using shift paddles at the steering
In addition to the efficiency of the engines and eight-speed Sports automatic, an extensive range of
BMW EfficientDynamics measures also contribute to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Technology
such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering (EPS), the need-based operation of ancillary
components, intelligent lightweight construction and low-rolling-resistance tyres ensure maximum
efficiency. Plus, the new BMW 640i Convertible is also equipped with automatic active air flap control
and the Auto Start-Stop function. When the driver draws to a standstill at junctions or in a traffic jam
the engine is automatically switched off. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine
starts up again. If the driver is using the Auto Hold function, the engine is restarted when the
accelerator is depressed.
Advanced chassis technology
Cutting-edge chassis technology gives the new BMW 6 Series Convertible the tools it needs to lay on
sporty handling characteristics and exceptional comfort. Both the double track control arm and the
integral rear axle are made predominantly from aluminium. The chassis set-up is geared to the
requirements of drivers with sporting intentions, although the dampers also respond sensitively to bumps
in the road surface under high lateral acceleration. The optional Adaptive Drive system, which includes
Dynamic Damper Control and the Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation system, offers the driver more
precise responses. The electronically controlled dampers adapt to both the nature of the road surface
and the driver’s style to prevent unwanted movements in the car body. The roll stabilisation system
reduces factors such as body sway in fast-driven corners and sudden direction changes.
Electric Power Steering with Servotronic serves up the familiar BMW 'recipe' of precision, comfort
and efficiency, and is unique in the BMW 6 Series Convertible’s segment. Added to which, the new BMW 6
Series convertible is the first car in its class that can be ordered – as an option – with Integral
Active Steering. This system combines the Active Steering system for the front axle already available
for the predecessor model with a steering rear axle, allowing the steering angle and power assistance
to be controlled at both the front and the rear with the help of electric motors. Precisely harmonised
wheel turns pave the way for extraordinary agility in dynamic driving situations. And Integral Active
Steering also displays an impressively deft touch around twisty mountain passes and in city traffic.
Drive Dynamic Control allows a choice of suspension settings
With Drive Dynamic Control the virtues of sportiness and comfort can take precedence as the
situation demands. The driver can make his own choice of suspension settings in NORMAL, SPORT and
SPORT+ modes using a button on the centre console. If the Adaptive Drive option has been specified,
he can also make use of the COMFORT setting. In this mode, as well as adjusting the accelerator pedal
progression, engine responses, power steering characteristics, DSC response thresholds and the shift
dynamics of the automatic gearbox, Drive Dynamic Control also tweaks the damper responses and roll
stabilisation settings. On cars fitted with Integral Active Steering, the basic steering set-up is also
adjusted according to the mode selected, not just the level of power assistance. As a result, in SPORT
and SPORT+ modes the car’s sporting responses are sharpened even further.
The lightweight floating-calliper brakes with inner-vented discs are easy to use with precision, and
their effectiveness is reinforced by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). This driving stability system
brings together technology such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC),
Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), the Start-off Assistant, the automatic
Brake Drying function and brake fade compensation. Standard equipment also includes 18-inch light-alloy
wheels on the new BMW 650i Convertible or 17-inch rims for the new BMW 640i Convertible, as well as run
flat tyres and a run flat indicator.
Cutting-edge comfort-enhancing features and exclusive options from BMW ConnectedDrive
Among the comfort-enhancing features included as standard in the new BMW 6 Series Convertible are
2-zone automatic climate control with convertible mode, a hi-fi audio system with CD player and
AUX-IN socket, a multifunction steering wheel, electrically operated front seats with memory function
and a rain sensor with integrated automatic driving lights control. Among the highlights of the
optional equipment list are Adaptive Headlights, a heated steering wheel, active seat ventilation,
active seats and the Navigation system Professional with a hard disc for storing maps and personal
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is available with an even greater variety of driver assistance
systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. It can be ordered with technology such as the
Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, Speed Limit Info, BMW Night Vision with
pedestrian recognition, rear-view camera, Surround View and the BMW Parking Assistant. Innovative
technologies optimise the integration of the Apple iPhone and other smartphones, as well as music
players. And, in addition to internet access, BMW ConnectedDrive also allows email messages received
on a smartphone to be shown on the Control Display as well as the use of internet-based services for
navigation and entertainment.
What’s more, the latest-generation Head-Up Display is making its debut in the new BMW 6 Series
convertible. The system projects driving-related information onto the windscreen within the driver’s
direct field of view. The three-dimensional graphics are now displayed using a full spectrum of
colours, allowing real-life traffic symbols to be accurately depicted.
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany. Also rolling
off the assembly line at the BMW Group’s largest production plant are the BMW 7 Series and BMW 5
Expectations for the Australian release of the new BMW 6-Series convertible are for a launch date
during the latter part of the first quarter 2011. Stay tuned to Next Car for details.