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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
“The 650i convertible weighs a significant 463 pounds extra”
braking is strong, stable and straight
Seamless acceleration from refined V8
There are new technologies being applied to its ancillaries
Road & Track
Last year’s Sport Package wasn’t loud enough, so BMW cranked up the decibel level on the exhaust of the M6 with the 2009 Sport Package. The Package also includes additional character lines and a raised center section on the hood, as well as dark chrome exhaust tips.
The BMW 6-Series is nimble and provides "sweet-sounding acceleration," says Edmunds. Handling remains easy, "thanks to aggressive tires and a well-balanced rear-drive chassis." The BMW 6-Series also has "various stability and traction control systems" that make the car "exceptionally stable on low-adhesion surfaces" and gives this 2009 BMW "nearly neutral handling, although understeer will prevail at the limit," Car and Driver adds. Cars.com explains that with the Active Steering option, “A Sport button behind the shifter quickens accelerator response and decreases power steering assist for more turning precision; both deliver noticeable differences.”
A 360-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 powers the 2009 650i. The 2009 BMW 6-Series has a "mellifluous V-8," says Car and Driver. “Although there's a nice surge of power toward the top of the tachometer, there's plenty of torque available at any rpm,” Edmunds remarks of the V-8, and calls it "silken and anxious to rev." As if that weren't enough, MyRide.com notes the 4.8-liter engine in the 650i "makes 360 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 360 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm" and "accelerates the latest BMW to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds."
The 650i’s engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed "automatic sports transmission" that offers paddle shifting and a choice of a Sport mode that speeds up gear changes and retunes the car's accelerator and steering for optimal response. With the manual, BMW says the 650i Coupe will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the Convertible takes 0.3 second more. Both models are limited to 155 mph.
There’s no doubt that the 6-Series has a weight problem. “To keep its weight in check, aluminum is used extensively for the suspension, hood and doors,” Edmunds says. “Thermoplastic front fenders and a composite deck lid do their high-tech best to keep the 6 Series feeling spry, though this is still essentially a 4,000-pound car.” Cars.com states, “The 650i convertible weighs a significant 463 pounds extra—about 12 percent—so it comes in at 5.6 and 5.7 seconds for the manual and automatic, respectively.”
The 500-horsepower M6 exhibits stunning performance. Like the M5 sedan, the M6 is powered by a V-10 engine that comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission; it can reach 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. The M6 is even more impressive with a "500-horsepower V10," says ConsumerGuide. This screamer “accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds,” Cars.com states. “At start-up, the engine produces a 'comfort-oriented' 400 hp, which is more suitable for urban traffic.” The additional 100 horsepower can be accessed through a special switch. “Hammer the throttle in a 2009 BMW M6 and the car bolts forward,” Edmunds reports.
According to ConsumerGuide, the M6s offer the standard "six-speed manual or a seven-speed automated manual transmission." The seven-speed is basically a manual that lacks a clutch. Instead, "gear changes take place via the floorshifter or steering-wheel paddles." Edmunds gripes “performance of SMG transmission is lackluster and inconsistent in automatic mode.”
Too big-boned to be "sports-car agile," the 6-Series models are sure-footed and "balanced...on highways and byways," says ConsumerGuide. Plus, "braking is strong, stable and straight." The M6 in particular is “as confident as Randy Moss slicing through the Miami Dolphins secondary,” Edmunds crows.
The M6’s SMG transmission in the 2009 BMW 6-Series lineup is the only weak point in a collection of models with plenty of raw power and technology.