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BMW’s New 6-Series a High-Visibility No-Show at L.A. Auto Show

We have the pics, the details, but where’s the sheet metal?

by on Nov.19, 2010

BMW pulls a sneak preview for the new 2012 650i Convertible, which goes on sales early in 2011.

The much-anticipated L.A. Auto Show preview of the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible may have happened but no one seems to know where.  Despite a press release suggesting the debut took place, the German maker didn’t show up on the media preview schedule, nor did it pull it off a surprise unveiling by, say, hijacking some other manufacturer’s timeslot.

That said, we’ve got the details and pictures of the 6-Series drop-top and are pleased to pass them along.

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Set to launch next year as a 2012 model, the next-generation cabriolet is a decidedly cleaner and more elegant-looking offering than the old 6-er convertible.  The basic dimensions are classic BMW, with the long hood, rear-set passenger compartment and muscular fenders.  The vehicle is a bit larger than the outgoing convertible in most dimensions, the overall length, for example, growing 2.9 inches, to 192.6 inches.

Though some had thought the Bavarians might opt for a 3-Series-like folding hardtop, BMW has kept the basic ragtop approach it used for the last-gen 650i Convertible.  The cloth top can be opened in just 19 seconds.  Closing it requires an extra 5 seconds – but the top can be operated at speeds up to 25 mph, so you won’t have to come to a complete stop if you get caught in a sudden rain squall.

The passenger compartment will be familiar to those who’ve seen or driven the latest large BMW sedans, such as the new 5- and 7-Series models, and is essentially identical to the 6-Series Coupe revealed at the Paris Motor Show.  Among the most prominent features is the 10.2-inch, high-res navi display.  There’s also an updated version of the Head-Up Display system that BMW previously offered only on the 6-er line.

Though a variety of powertrains will eventually be offered under the new 6-Series’ hood, the show car features a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 making 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.  Drivers will get a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or the new 8-speed Sport Automatic, with its manual override.

That powertrain will deliver an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph and launch from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds.  Even so, a variety of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technologies, such as brake regeneration, will boost fuel efficiency – though we’ll have to wait for final EPA mileage numbers – and a MSRP price.

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