BMW's 6 Series Convertible faces major competition in the form of the Jaguar XK and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and improvements include:
An improved head-up display system that projects vital information onto the driver's windscreen.A longer and wider body and a more spacious cabin compared to the previous modelAvailable with two turbo-charged petrol engines in either 4.4-litre, eight cylinder or 3.0-litre, six cylinder layout, the new 6 Series Convertible is also be available with a more economical turbo-charged diesel.
Capable of 0-100 kmh in 5.7 seconds the petrol-engined 640i returns an impressive 7.9 litres/100 at the fuel pumps.
With the stylish new 6 Series, BMW has incorporated added practicality to their high profile drop-top whilst maintaining strong performance and reduced emissions.
The diesel 640d SE Convertible manages 5.6 litres/100 kms which is very impressive for this type of car. Petrol engined 640i and 650i models are much thirstier.
Ride quality is superb, with the body remaining composed over different tarmac surfaces, even handling pot holes with surprising ease (good news for Gauteng drivers).
Inside, the larger cabin allows passengers more head and legroom and is a welcome improvement over the previous model, easily beating a Jaguar XK for comfort. All materials used are of high quality, including the sumptuous leather seats used throughout the range.
An area where BMW has made noticeable improvements over the previous model, the 6 Series Convertible still struggles to carry four adults in comfort even though the rear seats are more spacious.
Access to the back seats isn't easy with roof up either. The useful 350-litre boot however is large enough to carry golf clubs and small suitcases, making it a more practical choice than sportier cars such as the Porsche 911 or Audi R8.
BMW is famous for a rewarding drive. The latest 6 Series soft-top is no exception.
Improved chassis stiffness means the car remains stable over mid-corner bumps handling almost all road surfaces in the same composed, grippy way, the total lack of body roll highlighting the sophisticated suspension setup.
Engines are wonderfully strong, with the 232 Kw, and the 640d being the surprise candidate, capable of sprinting from 0-100 kmh in 5.6 seconds- slightly quicker than the 236 Kw 640i.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is slick with all 6-Series models with three driving modes (Normal, Sport and Sport+), and optional 'Adaptive Drive' lets drivers fine-tune the suspension, engine, steering, traction control and gearbox.
The 6 Series is laden with high-tech gadgets. The 640i M Sport Convertible comes with voice activated 'Sat Nav', Bluetooth, heated front seats, sports steering wheel, parking sensors and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.