POSTED: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 6:16pm
This is one of the last of its breed.
The BMW 650i convertible is a big, powerful, outrageous coupe. Almost no one builds two-door cars this big anymore, except perhaps Bentley, and this one is designed like a shark with proportions like a whale.
Looks-wise, there’s not much to dislike here. The 650 is long…very long…low and pretty heavy, tipping the scales at 4400 pounds or roughly half the weight of the center of the earth.
The top is wonderfully insulated and quiet. It goes up and down at the touch of a button, as one would expect in a vehicle costing north of $100,000 dollars. $7000 north to be precise.
Inside, we find leather everything, lots of lovely wood and an array of buttons that is would confuse a Space Shuttle pilot. Of course, being a big Bimmer, there is the much-despised I-drive control knob that is as distracting as Katy Perry, with the exception being that she is a welcome distraction unlike this little misbegotten lump cluttering up the console.
Power comes from a 4.4-liter, twin-cam, twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 400 horsepower. Now, as nice as this engine is, and I only had it up to 120 at one point, in a world of 300 horsepower V6’s in Camaros and Mustangs, we go to all this trouble and only get 400? At a cost of over 100-large? Forgive me for being underwhelmed.
The car’s size takes some getting used to, and at first, your feel disconnected from what’s happening on the road. With more familiarity comes more confidence, but it never feels as organic as a real sports car.
And that’s not really the 650’s mission. It is what used to be called a Gentleman’s Express. That is a car designed to take well-heeled, sophisticated, chi-chi types from point A to point B in comfort and style. Preferably that trip is made at great speed and equally great expense.
As such, the BMW 650i convertible is a success. Being a ragtop it isn’t as solid as a coupe, but it doesn’t really matter. The questions, looks, smiles, upraised thumbs I got during my week with the car said it all.
It’s a rolling Rolex, and as such, works very nicely, thank you very much.