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Convertible for all seasons.

Byline: Steve Hughes

THE new BMW 6 Series Convertible takes to the roads next week, with an announcement today that a stylish new Coupe version is to follow in six months.

The rag-top Convertible arrives here in time for spring and summer, whilst the hard-top Coupe will be timed to coincide with the vagaries of the autumn and winter weather, with prices yet to be decided.

Both models are offered with a choice of V8 and straight-six petrol engines plus the promise of diesel alternatives in due course.

The V8 engine lurks beneath the bonnet of the 650i Convertible model, with twin turbochargers giving a power output of 407bhp for a 0-60mph acceleration time of about five seconds, an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, economy of 27mpg and a CO figure of 243g/km.

The 640i Convertible, which costs about pounds 8,000 less at pounds 65,680, uses a 4.4-litre six cylinder engine with a single turbocharger to generate 320bhp with a 0-60mph acceleration time of about five-and-a-half seconds, official economy of 36mpg and a CO figure of 179g/km.

BMW's acclaimed EfficientDynamics system is standard across the range, including stop/start on the 640i, the most luxurious specification ever seen on a 6 Series plus the most advanced audio system on any BMW.

An eight-speed Sport automatic gearbox is standard on both models, whilst the newly developed chassis comes with Drive Dynamic Control.

This enables drivers to choose how responsive they want the gearbox, steering and throttle to be, while the Adaptive Drive system is available as an option with electrically controlled dampers and anti-roll stabilisation.

The 6 Series Coupe is longer, wider and even lower than its predecessor, with a stretched wheelbase to create more room inside for occupants.

Optional Adaptive LED headlights are available for the first time, providing what BMW claims is the closest-ever light to that of natural daylight, whilst also being able to partially see around corners.

Inside there are new lightweight front seats with an integrated seatbelt system and the ability to move fully forward at the single touch of a button to give access to the rear.

The enlarged boot can accommodate three golf bags.

Both models get Dakota leather upholstery, eight-speed Sport automatic transmission, electric seat adjustment with memory, BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system, Xenon headlights, LED front fog lights and front and rear parking sensors.

Exclusively developed as an option for the new 6 Series, the Bang & Olufsen sound system boasts two bass speakers, seven mid-range speakers and seven tweeters, all with individual amplifiers. Options include surround-view, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Parking Assist, Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System and Speed Limit Display.

The newcomers are the only models in their segment available with a head-up display, incorporating three-dimensional graphics.

The 640i Convertible costs pounds 65,680 and the 650i Convertible is pounds 73,430.

CAPTION(S):

READY FOR SUMMER The rag top version of the new BMW 6 Convertible ALL WEATHER CAR The BMW 6 Series hard top Coup will go on sale in time for the autumn season
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2011
Words:517
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