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DOWNTIME cruise


STATELY POWER L


AUNCHED IN MARCH this year, the BMW 6 Series 650i convertible feels


more corporate, more grown-up than its predecessor. A sturdy, regal frame replaces its former chassis – which was sporty but divisive. At over 16-foot- long and two tonnes in weight, the new model is wieldier than its former incarnation, but the Bavarians have still scored a winner with extremely seductive styling. The car’s long lines, muscular 19-inch wheels and updated ‘shark nose’ all hint at the power and engineering that lies beneath. Unlike BMW’s more obviously sporty


models – the Z4, for example – the car feels smoother, heavier and more


The turbo-packed 650i is ideal for a corporate racer TEXT By AliCiA BullER


controlled but, at the same time, more automated. Depending on your feelings about being a ‘real driver’, your answer to this will determine whether the 650i is right for you. This high- end, automated car yields the fruits of decades of German R&D with a swish eight-gear responsive automatic gearbox and powerfully-assisted steering – and, frankly, there isn’t a gadget or gizmo this wonderful car doesn’t possess. (Can you guess which side I’m on?) The over-riding USP of the 650i lies in its sheer, belting power. Make no mistake – this stately-looking car is a 400bhp+, turbocharged, rear-wheel-drive V8 road monster. Even the smallest push on the accelerator pushes hard on the G-force- meter. Add to this the satisfying burble of the frequently shifting gearbox and you’re in for a fast, race-like drive. This car’s oomph is staggering, with a speed of 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds. The 650i also offers the dynamic driving control option, allowing you to customise the drive to your own settings – including ‘classic’, ‘comfort’,


102 / DECEMBER 2011


‘dynamic’ and ‘sport’. These four options will dramatically alter the parameters, such as accelerator pedal response, the shift points of transmission and power steering response (as well as fuel consumption). In conjunction with the optional Active Drive chassis control system, you also have the option of selecting individual settings for the shock absorbers. The 650i possesses a high-quality interior anchored with burnt-red leather upholstery and a cockpit-esque range of buttons and griddles. But while this car is relatively comfortable (for the front seat passengers, at least – the backseat space is minimal), it’s not the ideal everyday car. The thrill of the 650i lies in its painstaking attention to detail, its horsepower and its head-turning beauty, not in its boot space or versatility. As you might expect, this car is not


cheap, in terms of its fuel consumption (26.4mpg) or initial cost. But if you’ve got cash to burn, literally, and you’d like to cover longish distances – al-fresco style with the wind in your hair – then this is the fast and safe car for you. According to BMW market research if you’re shopping for the 650i model, this is likely to be the third or fourth car in your garage. Congratulations.


Price: Dhs 490,000


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