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The 6 Remixed

Redesigned, Reimagined, Reborn – meet the all-new 6 Series. Again.

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Story by Raj Desor

It’s not very often that a vehicle as distinctive as the BMW 6 Series comes along. Back in 2004, when BMW first introduced this modern, innovative sports car, I knew it would be a success – and it was, so much so that they decided to do it again.

The 6 Series has become a favourite among customers who long forthe extravagance of a luxury performance vehicle. Did I expect the all-new 2012 BMW 650i Coupe/Cabriolet to deliver the same unique combination of power, luxury and performance as its predecessor? No. I believed it would surpass it.

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The 650i marks the first major redesign for the 6 Series since its introduction seven years ago and BMW has, in usual fashion, not overlooked a thing. Due to overwhelming demand for BMW’s popular xDrive all-wheel drive, both the 650i Coupe and Cabriolet will have this feature as of September 2011. It’s a move that elevates the 6 Series into a class of its own, combining sport, performance, luxury and now the ability to handle winter driving.

Never before has a vehicle so intimately suited the needs of Canadian drivers. It will now share the popular 5/7 Series platform, stretching the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe/Cab by 3 inches in length, with a wheelbase that’s 1.5 inches wider. It also boasts a new engine and automatic transmission, an upgraded cabin, refined chassis and plenty of innovative technological quirks. Let’s take a closer look.


One of the most important design aspects of any BMW is driver orientation – how the look and feel of the cockpit helps the driver connect with the vehicle. The new 650i Coupe/Cab is all about intimacy. When I first slide into a car, I want to see luxurious finishes and materials and a space that is all about me. This car caters to my expectations without limit.

Positioned immediately in front of the driver’s seat is the main instrument panel containing the iDrive system’s central display, features and amenities including air vents, audio controls and air conditioning all subtly angled for maximum comfort and convenience.

By far one of the standout features is the impressive 10.2-inch freestanding display screen. Super modern and sleek, like the flat screen TV you might have hanging in your living room. Navigation is standard as is the new, innovative trans-reflective technology that keeps the screen from washing out in bright sun.

The gear shift lever, parking brake and Driving Dynamics Control are also conveniently located on a surface that opens out towards the driver for a natural, easy feel when on the road. But for all these driver centric features, the attention to detail and flowing lines of the dash ensure the passenger is never forgotten. The view from the car’s right side offers the same simplicity and elegance.

Last but certainly not least, we have to discuss the stereo: Bang & Olufsen’s high-end Surround Sound system. Imagine 1,000 watts of power flowing through 12 speakers. It’s simply jaw dropping, whether you consider yourself an audiophile or not – it’s movie theatre-callibre sound in the comfort of your car.


One of the features I love best about this vehicle is the harmony between the interior and exterior. This is especially apparent in the Cabriolet but it is also well-conceived in the Coupe. The stylish ambiance and elegant lines of the interior seem to overflow to the outside and vice versa it’s something I have rarely seen or felt with another vehicle.

BMW 6 Series project leader, Dr. Frank Ochmann, has commented that the most significant change with this new vehicle is the sheetmetal. I most definitely agree. The previous model had a bit of a “soft” feel while the new 650 has a very aggressive, predator-like demeanor, especially when you find yourself staring down the front kidney grille. Even the new light clusters, which now have four round headlamps and all-new active LED fog lights, lend the car a unique kind of dominance. The sheetmetal along the sides and rear is now more defined, without the rounded edges of the former model

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From front to back, the car’s curvy exterior is seamless, like a finely sculpted piece of art. It has been said that the inspiration for the exterior design was taken from the natural flow of water. Much like the wake left by a boat, its curves are meant to emulate the way a solid object would part the water, fanning out from the prestigious BMW badging on the front grille. One feature that was carried over from the previous design is the Cabriolet’s soft-top, with its flared C-pillars and power-operated, glass rear window.

I still marvel at how the top can be raised and lowered without even having to stop. Granted, as with any convertible, there is slightly less visibility than in non-convertibles, but with BMW’s back-up, top-view and cross-view cameras, along with its blind spot warning system, the driver essentially gets a 360-degree view of the world. The car boasts many other safety features, including lane departure warning, a heads-up display and automatic high beams.

Vital stats: 2012 BMW

650i xDrive Coupe

Available Now
Base price: $91,375
L x W x H: 192.6 x 74.5 x 53.7 in
Wheelbase: 112.4 in
Track, f/r: 62.8./65.0 in
Engine: 4.4-liter V-8
Power: 400 hp @ 5500-6400 rpm
Torque: 450 lb-ft @ 1750-4500 rpm
Transmissions: 8-speed automatic
Tires: Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 245/35R20,
275/30R20 (f, r)
Wheels: 9 x 20 in
Curb weight: 1730 kg
Package options: M-Sport Package, Technology Package,
Dynamic Handling and Premium Seating Package


As turbocharging continues to dominate most of the BMW line up, the new 650i xDrive sports not one but two turbochargers – its turbocharged V8 engine will deliver over 400 horsepower, an improvement of almost 50 horsepower. Accelerating from a standstill to 100 km/hour takes 4.8 seconds for the Coupe and only 0.1 second more for the Cabriolet. Torque is increased from 360 lb-ft at 3,400 rpm to 450 lb-ft, and it’s accessible at a much lower range, from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm.

This extreme performance continues all the way to 248 km/hour, where the speed of the car is limited by electronic control. Because BMW listens to its loyal customers, it will drop the option of manual transmission for the 2012 650i xDrive, due to decreased demand. The incoming 8-speed automotive sport transmission is paired with Servotronic, and vehicle speed-sensitive power steering add to the driving experience. High Precision Injection is standard and plays a key role in BMW’s philosophy to save fuel to the greatest possible extent.

As it injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber, this technology has a cooling effect, allowing a higher compression ratio and optimizing the efficiency of the combustion process. With an elegant look to match its power and performance, exceptional motoring refinement, highly advanced technology and outstanding efficiency, the 2012 650i xDrive is the full package.

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