2012 BMW 650i Convertible Debuts; Absent from LA Auto Show

2012 BMW 650i Convertible Debuts; Absent from LA Auto Show

While BMW displayed its new 6 Series Concept on the floor of the LA Auto Show, out in cyberspace the German automaker one-upped itself by releasing full details and images on the 2012 BMC 650i Convertible.

Powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and making 400-hp and 450 ft-lbs of torque, the 650i will be available with either a six-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.

Using a soft top to reduce weight gain, the canvas can be opened in 19 seconds or closed in 24 seconds and can be operated at speed of up to 25 mph. Other highlights include a stunning new interior, with an optional color heads-up display (complete with 3D graphics no less), as well as a massive new 10.2-inch LCD screen for the Navigation and iDrive systems.

And how can we not mention the car’s design. With the previous 6 Series a bit of a styling dud, the new model is sophisticated yet sporty and a bit more adventurous than the cookie-cutter designs coming out of BMW lately.

With the launch of this new convertible, expect the coupe to follow shortly, then a coupe and convertible 640i model using BMW’s turbocharged inline-six, and finally a 650xi model in both hard top and drop-top forms.

GALLERY: 2012 BMW 650i Convertible

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Official release after the jump:

The All-New BMW 650i Convertible

The Ultimate Driving Machine® with groundbreaking luxury and crisp good looks.

Los Angeles, CA – November 17, 2010, 6:00 pm ET… With the BMW Concept 6 Series Coupe debuting at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show as its backdrop, BMW announced today the production-ready BMW 650i Convertible. The new 650i Convertible will go on sale in the Spring of 2011 as a 2012 model for the United States. Final pricing, options, and packages will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

Words like “breathtaking” and “irresistible” punctuate the history of BMW Convertibles. Now, BMW has opened a new chapter in the tradition of open-top cars. The new BMW 650i Convertible fulfils the wishes of the most discerning automotive enthusiast as The Ultimate Driving Machine® with groundbreaking luxury and crisp good looks. In the premium convertible market, the 650i Convertible presents a convincing case with the most advanced chassis technology and most innovative comfort, infotainment and safety features.

A sweeping hood, aft-set passenger compartment, long wheelbase and muscular profile embody the hallmark proportions of a BMW Convertible. The new BMW 650i Convertible combines these features with a classic soft-top roof with flying buttress design. Powerfully contoured surfaces of its lines promise the anticipated BMW driving experience. The luxurious ambience of the interior is highlighted by a driver-oriented cockpit which wraps the front and rear passengers in a feeling of aesthetic security. Nowhere is the high-class functionality of the interior underlined more prominently than in the redesigned freestanding 10.2″ Central Display of the standard iDrive control system.

V-8 engine with High Precision direct injection and turbocharging. The 4.4-liter V-8 engine develops a maximum 400 hp between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm, and makes peak torque of 450 lb-ft between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm (preliminary). This unique “reverse-flow” engine, whose turbochargers are positioned in the V-area between the cylinder banks, produces an instantaneous and sustained wave of power, making it an energetic delight for the enthusiast driver.

Instantaneous power and torque are the stand-out features of the V-8 engine available of the new BMW 650i Convertible. The engine combines sporting character with outstanding smoothness, linear power delivery, and exceptional efficiency. The engine can be paired with either BMW’s new 8-speed Sport Automatic gearbox or BMW’s traditional 6-speed manual transmission, quite popular with North American enthusiasts.

The new BMW 650i Convertible completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with the manual transmission (4.9 seconds with the 8-speed automatic), and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. This engine also boasts extraordinary efficiency for a model in its output class. EPA figures will be available closer to the on-sale date in 2011.

8-speed Sport Automatic Transmission. The 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission fitted to the new BMW 650i Convertible boasts a perfect combination of speed, flexibility, sportiness, and efficiency. Its minimal torque converter slip and rapid gear changes set it apart. An innovative gear set configuration allows this transmission to offer eight gears, optimizing the sprinting power yet allowing the driver to save fuel by driving at low revs. Naturally, the driver can choose to select gears manually via shift paddles on the standard Sport leather steering wheel.

In addition to the efficiency of the engine and 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission, an extensive range of BMW EfficientDynamics measures contribute to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand operation of ancillary components, intelligent lightweight construction and extensive aerodynamic refinement ensure maximum efficiency.

Chassis Management and optional Integral Active Steering. Cutting-edge chassis technology gives the new BMW 650i Convertible the tools to provide both sporty handling and exceptional comfort. The double wishbone front axle and the multi-link rear axle are made predominantly from aluminum. The chassis is geared to the requirements of drivers with sporting intentions, although the dampers also respond sensitively to bumps in the road surface under high lateral acceleration. The optional Active Roll Stabilization combines with the standard Dynamic Damper Control to offer the driver even more precise responses and perfectly flat cornering ability. The electronically controlled shock absorbers adapt to the road surface and the driver’s style to perfectly control the car’s body motions.

The electronically controlled damper system in the new BMW 6 Series Convertible adjusts compression and rebound settings continuously and independently. For example, a stiff chassis setting can be combined with comfortable responses to unevenness in the road surface. The control unit of the damping system processes the data supplied by sensors on the lifting movements of the wheels and the ride height of the car. The driving speed and the damper setting chosen by the driver are also taken into account in calculating the damping force required for each individual wheel to even out body movements. This data is fed back to the damper units at intervals of just 2.5 milliseconds.

The Active Roll Stabilization feature (optional) reduces body roll in high-speed corners and in sudden changes of direction, or transitions. Sensors calculate the amount of body roll based on the driving situation at hand, and this is then counteracted quickly and precisely by hydraulic rotary actuators in the front and rear axle swaybars, leading to a significant improvement in body motion management. The electric power steering features standard Servotronic vehicle-speed sensitive assistance, and serves up the familiar BMW recipe of precision, comfort and linear response.

The new BMW 650i Convertible is the first car in its class that can be equipped with Integral Active Steering. This system combines the Active Steering system for the front axle (available on the previous generation 6 Series Convertible) with a new, steerable rear axle. Precisely harmonized steering angle movements at both axles create a virtual lengthening or shortening of the vehicle’s wheelbase, which fosters greater high-speed stability and enhanced maneuverability for parking and city use.

Brakes, Wheels, and Tires. The lightweight floating-caliper brakes with vented discs are easy to use with precision, and their effectiveness is reinforced by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). DSC brings together technology such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), the Start-off Assistant, the automatic Brake Drying function and Brake Fade Compensation. Standard equipment also includes 8.5 x19-inch light-alloy wheels, with all-season runflat tires (size 245/40 R19) and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Driving Dynamics Control. With standard Driving Dynamics Control, the dominant virtues of athletic driving sportiness and ride comfort can be chosen by the driver as situations demand. The driver can choose settings of COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ modes using the large rocker switch on the center console. Affected parameters include the tuning of the throttle response, power steering assistance, shock absorbers, roll stabilization (if equipped), Integral Active Steering (if equipped), and automatic transmission shift characteristics. In SPORT+ mode, the Dynamic Traction Control mode of the standard Dynamic Stability Control system is activated, raising the thresholds for stability intervention in the most sport-oriented driving circumstances.

Unmatched chassis technology works with the cutting-edge engine to provide the driver with greater dynamic capability and improved ride comfort compared to the previous-generation 6 Series Convertible.

Design: Athletic elegance, natural sportiness. The dynamic driving experience of the new BMW 650i Convertible is reflected by its athletic presence and sporty exterior design. A long hood, aft-set passenger compartment, long wheelbase and muscular profile create the proportions signature to a BMW Convertible. The precise interplay of eye-catching lines and meticulously sculpted surfaces help to give the new BMW 650i Convertible its show-stopping looks.

Like the lines projecting outward from the nose of the car and continuing along its full length, the harmoniously curved surfaces of the body take their cue from the movement of waves sent out by a the bow of a motor boat piercing the water. Continuing the theme, the waistline surface which leads the body into the interior mimics the character of a classic runabout.

The new BMW 650i Convertible introduces the viewer to its dynamic character through its front end design. The large, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille – the “6 Series shark nose” as characterized by many enthusiasts – gives the car a sense of surging forward, while a broad air intake, strikingly contoured hood and muscular wheel arches hint at the powerful engine and athletic roadholding abilities. High-quality chrome elements positioned on the outer edges of the front apron further accentuate the width of the car. The standard LED foglamps are placed in front of these chrome elements.

The standard Xenon Adaptive headlights of the new BMW 650i Convertible pick up BMW’s familiar “twin round” headlamp appearance. An LED accent strip cuts across the top of them. The daytime running lights appear through familiar LED corona rings, whose bright white light illuminates the distinctive front end. A horizontal light strip below the corona rings, meanwhile, handles the turn signal duties.

Uninterrupted, flowing lines lend the silhouette of the BMW 650i Convertible a sweeping elegance. Powerful curves mimic the natural movement of waves. The hallmark BMW character line at door handle level is spawned in the front wheel arch gill – which houses the side indicator lamp – and extends all the way back to join the rear lights.

Another character line is released from the bulge of the front wing, stretching powerfully over the front wheel like a wave before dropping down and continuing horizontally to the rear. Together with the character line, it creates a dynamic wedge shape which emphasises the car’s forward-surging character.

Wide and flat surfaces define the rear of the new BMW 650i Convertible. The dominance of horizontal lines adds extra emphasis to the wider track of the new car compared to its predecessor. In addition, downward-converging lines underline the car’s focus on the road, echoing the approach at the front end. This distinctive V-shape is created by lines including the side edges of the trunklid, the license plate surround and the contours of the reflectors positioned in the bumper. The slightly concave lower section of the trunklid produces light and shade effects which lend an extra lightness to the rear of the car.

The two-part rear light clusters give BMW’s familiar L-shape a particularly sporty edge. Inside, two LED-powered light strips create the familiar BMW “bloodlines” night-time look. The indicators and brake lights are also LED units.

The new BMW 650i Convertible again features an electrically powered soft-top roof with flying buttress architecture. The multi-layer canvas roof –optimized in terms of its acoustic properties and structural rigidity – offers outstanding thermal insulation and thus enables the new convertible to be used comfortably all year round. The buttresses project out along the flanks of the 650i into its rear section, accentuating the car’s gracefully sweeping silhouette and giving it an unmistakable appearance. The transition of the roofline into the rear end flows as smoothly as on a hard-top coupe.

The heated, vertical glass rear window, which is situated just behind the rear seats, is retracted independently from the soft top itself. This reduces the volume of the soft-top components that need to be stowed in the soft-top compartment, leaving more room for luggage in the low-profile trunk of the new BMW 650i Convertible. The independent rear window also allows just the right amount of fresh air to be admitted to the car, when desired. Conversely, leaving the rear window up while lowering the top keeps air turbulence in the rear to a minimum.

The automatic opening and closing operation for the roof is activated by holding a button on the center console. Opening the roof takes 19 seconds, the closing process 24 seconds. Importantly, as with the preceding generation, both operations can be activated while on the move at speeds up to 25 mph (40 kmh).

The roof of the new BMW 650i Convertible is available in two colors, including new beige. Two non-metallic exterior paint colors and seven metallic shades are available. Exclusive Nappa leather is standard in the United States, and can be ordered in four color options (Vermillion Red, Ivory White, Cinnamon Brown, and Black). The instrument panel, center console, and the upper sections of the rear door panel and side trim can also be lined with Nappa leather with contrasting stitching as an option.

Interior with BMW’s traditional driver-oriented cockpit. The new BMW 650i Convertible is designed to be a 2+2-seater. Its interior offers individually tailored seats for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. High-quality materials, carefully coordinated colors and, once again, meticulously formed surfaces combine to produce an ambience defined by luxury, sweeping style and Teutonic functionality. A hallmark BMW element of the interior design is the driver-oriented cockpit layout. The central section of the instrument panel, containing the iDrive system’s Central Display, the air vents and the controls for the audio system and air conditioning, are all angled slightly towards the driver. Added to which, the gearshift lever and the switches for the parking brake, roof operation and Driving Dynamics Control are located on a surface that opens out towards the driver and is set lower than the front passenger side of the center console.

The front passenger area is bordered by a surface curving elegantly from the armrest over the side edge of the center console, upwards and outwards into the instrument panel and then horizontally into the door trim. This provides a harmonious surround for the front passenger area, creating a feeling of exclusive security. The contour of the rear waistline surface, which extends slightly into the interior between the head restraints, highlights the individual seat layout of the rear.

Premiere: Freestanding Central Display with flatscreen design. The black-panel instrument cluster of the new BMW 650i Convertible combines the traditional sports car circular instruments with state-of-the-art display technology. The Navigation system, telephone and entertainment functions are operated using the iDrive control system, whose Central Display boasts an innovative design. The on-board monitor takes the form of a freestanding display for the first time in the new BMW 650i Convertible. The standard 10.2 inch screen features a high-quality galvanized chrome surround. The shallow depth of the display gives it a modern character. Transreflective technology ensures the display remains easy-to-read in bright sunlight. The new arrangement of the Central Display – which now reaches further into the passenger compartment –influences the architecture of the instrument panel, which rises steeply in front of the driver and front passenger.

This impression is further enhanced by the structure of the door trim panels. Their surfaces have a powerfully taut look and, like the black waistline surface, pull in and rise up to create a smooth transition into the instrument panel, giving the interior the effect of wrapping around the driver and front passenger.

Dimensions and Storage. At 4,894 millimeters (192.6 in.) in length, the new BMW 650i Convertible is 74 millimeters (2.9 in.) longer than its predecessor. Its extended wheelbase now stretches to 2,855 millimeters (112.4 in.). The car is 39 millimeters (1.5 in.) wider, measuring 1,894 millimeters (74.5 in.) across, while 9 millimeters (0.35 in.) have been shaved from its height (now 1,365 mm / 53.7 in.). These dimensions create a significantly more powerful and elegant impression, while taking interior spaciousness to new levels.

Despite its lower height, the new BMW 650i Convertible offers greater headroom in both front and rear seats. The height adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats also cover a greater range of travel. The increase in the width of the interior is noticeable from all four seats, and passengers in the rear seats benefit from additional legroom. The tilt angle of the rear seat backrest now achieves virtually the same angle as found in BMW Sedans.

A ski bag with a pass-through opening in the rear seat backrest is available as part of the Cold Weather Package (also adds heated steering wheel and heated front seats) and offers space for two sets of skis. The new BMW 650i Convertible boasts 300 liters (10.6 cu. ft.) DIN of trunk space with the convertible top open, allowing two 46-inch golf bags and a business case to be accommodated. With the roof closed, the variable soft-top stowage compartment can be folded up in a single movement to increase trunk capacity to 350 liters (12.3 cu. ft.) DIN. The principles of lightweight design were similarly followed in the construction of the soft-top roof, the stowage compartment for the roof weighing 50 percent less than its predecessor.

New lightweight technology, comprehensive safety equipment. The new BMW 650i Convertible is fitted with newly developed lightweight seats with an integrated seatbelt system and standard 20-way multi-contour adjustability and adjustable lumbar support. Optionally, the Luxury Seating Package adds front ventilated seats and active fatigue reduction can be added. All seat variants come with crash-activated anti-whiplash head restraints.

The range of standard safety equipment also includes front airbags, head-thorax side airbags integrated into the seat frame, three-point automatic belts for all seats, belt force limiters and front belt pre-tensioners, ISOFIX child seat mounts in the rear and a standard Roll-Over Protection System. The Roll-Over Protection System developed for the new BMW 650i Convertible consists of two high-strength aluminum roll-bars hidden behind the rear head restraints. If the integrated safety electronics register a risk of the car rolling over, the pyrotechnic release mechanism is activated, causing the high-strength aluminum roll-bars to rise from their stowed position in a fraction of a second.

Carefully researched advances in materials and development of the car’s load-bearing structure have significantly enhanced the body’s construction in terms of the agility and safety it offers. Its static torsional rigidity is about 50 percent greater than that of its predecessor. In the interests of perfect balance, the doors, hood and front spring mounts are all aluminum, while the front side panels, roof lid and trunklid are made from reinforced composite.

This weight optimization has been combined with an improvement in passive safety; the car’s mean body strength is 29 percent greater than its predecessor. This has been achieved primarily through the use of high-strength multi-phase steels, high-strength hot-molded steels and aluminum.

Cutting-edge features from BMW ConnectedDrive. The new BMW 650i Convertible is available with a great variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. The comprehensive Driver Assistance Package includes Automatic High Beams, Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Rear and Top View cameras, Parking Assistant, and a new three-dimensional, full-color Head-Up Display. Also available are BMW’s Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection, Active Cruise Control with stop-and-go capability.

HiFi stereo system. The standard HiFi audio system in the new BMW 650i Convertible comes with an HD Radio receiver, MP3-compatible CD drive, AUX-IN connection, and a HiFi loudspeaker system with nine speakers. The available Premium Sound Package adds SiriusXM satellite radio with a 1-year subscription, iPod and USB adapter, and the Premium HiFi system comprised of 12 loudspeakers and a digital amplifier. It features DIRAC signal processing and model-specific equalizing.

World debut of new-generation Head-Up Display. Like its predecessor, the new BMW 650iConvertible is the only vehicle in its class with an optional Head-Up Display system. By projecting important information onto the windshield, directly in the driver’s line of sight, the Head-Up Display minimizes distraction from the road and traffic. The new-generation system brings a further improvement in display quality: the symbols are projected as three-dimensional graphics and in ultra-clear resolution onto the windshield. Full-color capability makes the road sign symbols even more realistic. At the same time the Head-Up Display is now able to present a wider range of information. Depending on vehicle specification, guidance information supplied by the Navigation system, Check Control messages, status messages from the Lane Departure Warning System and warnings from the BMW Night Vision system can all be shown in the Head-Up Display. The positioning of the messages on the windshield is highly ergonomic, so that drivers are aware of them without having to refocus or take their eyes off the road.

The intensity of the projection automatically adjusts to the ambient light level, and the brightness setting can be adjusted via the iDrive menu. The driver can also choose what information will appear in the Head-Up Display in addition to road speed and warnings from the driver assistance systems.

Rear-View, Top View, and Side View Cameras. To supplement the standard Park Distance Control, which uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor distance from objects in front or behind, the new BMW 650i Convertible also features a standard rear-view camera. The camera is integrated in the trunklid under the BMW “roundel” badge, which protects it from dirt. When the rear-view camera is activated, the roundel badge pivots up out of the way to expose the camera lens. The perspective-corrected color images are relayed to the Central Display. Superimposed on the images are interactive tracking lines which indicate the optimal steering angle for parking, as well as the tightest turning circle.

The optional Top View system with Side View provides an even more comprehensive picture. In addition to the rear-view camera and the PDC sensors, this system also uses a fish-eye camera in each of the side mirrors. The data acquired by Top View is relayed to a central computer which generates a bird’s eye view of both vehicle and surroundings and presents the image in the Central Display. This view allows the driver to maneuver precisely in confined spaces. The Side View function uses two cameras integrated in the front fenders to provide an improved view of cross-traffic at speeds below 10mph. These images are relayed to the Central Display where they may give the driver an early idea of what is happening on the road to the left and right of the car when pulling out from narrow and concealed gateways or car park exits.

The BMW 650i Convertible: Production in Dingolfing, Germany. The new BMW 650i Convertible is built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany. Also rolling off the assembly line at the BMW Group’s largest production plant are the BMW 7 Series and BMW 5 Series models. The flexible and efficient processes at the plant combine state-of-the-art production technology with a standard of quality defined by meticulous craftsmanship in the manufacture of premium cars configured to customer requirements.

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