Famous UK show TopGear just published their own extensive review of the new 2012 BMW 650i Convertible. Somewhat expected, the new high-end convertible gets slammed by the overly critical journalists at TopGear. This time, it wasn’t Jeremy Clarkson, but rather Tom Ford.
Let’s have a look an excerpt from their article:
Belting along a gloriously smooth mountain road in 35°C of blistering South African sunshine and part-wrapped in a 400bhp+, turbocharged, rear-wheel-drive V8 convertible, you’d think things couldn’t get any better. The sky is an impossible cobalt blue, and red-gold rocks rise to one side peppered with stubby, uncomfortable-looking shrubberies, while a rocky, light-swallowing gorge falls precipitously away on the other. Random jaywalking baboons add a frisson of red-buttocked expectation to every blind apex. I’m in a rapid car picking idly away at the frayed edges of my comfort zone and getting ever-so-slightly faster into every corner. I should be in my element. Except I’m not.
Which is definitely not the same as saying that the new Six is a bad car, so this is going to take a bit of explaining.
But the engine doesn’t sing. It bellows in the lower reaches, burps up a guttural pop between quick gearchanges like a DSG and sounds like it might open up, but then tails off. The power is broad-shouldered and thrusty, but the convertible weighs in excess of two tonnes, so the grunt never seems given freely. Fact is, the whole car feels filtered.
For instance, the steering remains a major bugbear. Standard steering will now be via EPS (electric power steering), and even though the system extorts far less energy from the car to work than a hydraulic set-up, it does precisely nothing for BMW’s reputation as a driver’s car. Yes, it’s accurate – the car goes where you point the wheel – but the car TG drove, complete with the Active Steering variable-ratio rack, felt, frankly, a bit bizarre.