2010 BMW 6 Series - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

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With a profile defined by unique and voluptuous curves, the BMW 6 Series is instantly recognizable like few other motor vehicles. In addition to their provocative silhouettes, the 650i Coupe and Convertible set benchmarks as exemplary driver’s cars, combining performance, luxury and exclusivity in abundance.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i CoupeView more 2010 BMW 6 Series pictures in our 2010 BMW 6 Series photo gallery

For the BMW 650i Coupe and 650i Convertible introduced as early 2010 models, the enhancements continue. Updates in model years 2008 and 2009 included freshened exterior design and functionality, a new Sport automatic transmission as well as functional and esthetic enhancements to the interior.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

Numerous new options, a lavish BMW Individual Composition option package and availability of an extensively enhanced Sport Package were all added to the 6 Series during that time. The 2010 model year BMW 6 Series gets a significant equipment update for the on-board Navigation system, and customers can take advantage of new offerings from BMW Individual, including BMW Individual Full Merino Leather, BMW Individual Paintwork, and BMW Individual Trim.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

Power & performance:
Superlative performance from BMW’s Valvetronic V-8 engine
Under the 650i models’ aluminum hood is a further evolution of the technologically advanced and unique “N62” V-8 engine. As such, this engine continues with BMW’s revolutionary Valvetronic system, which controls engine power by varying valve lift instead of via a conventional throttle. Compared to conventional throttle-equipped engines, Valvetronic enhances torque, power and efficiency of naturally aspirated engines.

Carrying the internal designation N62 TU (TU = Technically Updated), the 6 Series’ V-8 is a standout in terms of torque, power, responsiveness, and efficiency. It produces 360 hp at 6300 rpm and 360 lb-ft. of torque at 3400, and delivers impressive thrust throughout its operating range. It also delivers excellent fuel efficiency considering its performance and the heft of these luxurious, highly safety-equipped automobiles. The Coupe’s 2010 EPA ratings are 15/22 mpg with manual transmission, 15/23 with automatic; this with 0-60 times of 5.5 and 5.6 sec. respectively.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

The 6 Series’ exhaust system is specially engineered to lend the V-8 engine a sporty note. Actuated by engine vacuum in response to engine speed and load as well as the gear currently engaged, a movable element in the right-hand resonator is programmed to achieve the sportiest, most pleasurable engine sound within the overall legal exterior-noise limit. For ’09, the optional Sport Package exhaust system was tuned for even sportier sound.

Transmissions: 6-speed manual or Sport automatic
6-speed manual. The available manual transmission is the heaviest-duty version of BMW’s three 6-speed manual transmissions; it does duty in current models with up to 500 hp, specifically the M5 and M6 with their mighty V-10 engine.

6-speed Sport automatic. Now offered as the standard transmission, the Sport Automatic offers quicker shift response in its Sport mode compared to BMW’s traditional STEPTRONIC automatic. This transmission also includes standard shift paddles on the steering wheel. The 650i Coupe and Convertible also utilize BMW’s E-shift selector. Instead of being moved from one position to the other, this lever is only “tipped” in one direction or another for most functions, returning to the same physical starting position. The shift pattern appears on the lever itself, rather than on the console. Other distinctions include:

* Sport button on console. This results in two Sport modes. In the lever-selected standard Sport mode, only the transmission functions are altered: Shifts occur at higher vehicle speeds, and the shifts themselves are quicker once initiated. Via the sport button, the gear changes are even quicker, and the tachometer is calibrated for quicker response to this mode’s even more rapid engine-speed changes.
* Evolved torque converter, in which mechanical lockup is engaged a high proportion of the time, reducing slippage and improving throttle response.

Driving Dynamics Control
BMW’s Driving Dynamics Control remains standard in the 6 Series. When the driver selects the Sport program via the Sport button, an LED in the button illuminates and vehicle behavior is modified as follows:

* Engine response to the accelerator is “quicker”; a given movement of the accelerator produces more response. (Cruise-control operation is similarly quicker.)
* With the Sport Automatic transmission in Drive, automatic shifts occur at higher road/engine speeds.
* With the Sport Automatic in its normal Sport mode (as engaged with the shift lever), shifts occur at even higher speeds; this is thus a sort of “super-sport” mode.
* Steering power assist is reduced. (6 Series models have Servotronic, or vehicle-speed-sensitive, power steering.)

Thus one might say that the Driving Dynamics Control is a “sport button for the whole vehicle,” and not just for the transmission.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

Aluminum driveshaft
By using aluminum, BMW engineers achieved a significant (6.6-lb.) weight reduction. At the same time, they were able to improve the vehicle’s management of impact energy in a frontal crash: both shaft sections are designed to collapse in a controlled manner under impact load. Connecting elements at the ends of each shaft section are of steel; specific welding techniques were developed to weld the aluminum to the steel.

Front suspension: full aluminum, specific 6 Series kinematics
The front suspension system is a further evolution of BMW’s double-pivot front system. Its general concept and design are shared with the 5 Series, but specific characteristics, dimensions and kinematics – including the 6’s lower ride height and center of gravity – endow the 650i models with their own, definitively sporty handling and riding characteristics. Most of its components are of aluminum, which reduces unsprung weight and thus optimizes the suspension’s response to irregular road surfaces.

* Key distinctions between the 6 and 5 Series front suspension (650i Coupe/Convertible vs. 550i Sedan) include:Stronger self-centering feel in steering
* Lower ride height
* Firmer springs and shock absorbers compared to standard 550i calibration, not quite as firm as 550i Sport calibration; the 6 Series offers just one calibration, and it is sporty.

Rear suspension system: specific calibration of a proven system
Like the 5 and 7 Series, the 6 employs BMW’s most premium rear suspension system, a multi-link layout called Integral Link. This system controls rear-wheel angles very precisely, minimizing unwanted effects under load changes (such as lifting off the gas while cornering, and hard acceleration or braking) – and achieves a remarkably comfortable ride.

Here too, aluminum is extensively employed. Because supple reaction of the suspension to bumps is especially critical for road adhesion at the powered rear wheels, the benefits are even more important here than at the front.

Standard Active Roll Stabilization
This advanced suspension feature dramatically reduces body roll in cornering. In so doing, ARS improves handling by virtue of better suspension geometry (wheel angles relative to vertical); but there is also a psychological component: Drivers and passengers alike marvel at the resulting “flat cornering.” The ARS system consists of:

* Active anti-roll bars, replacing conventional mechanical (“passive”) front and rear bars. Each bar consists of left and right portions, twisted in opposite directions by a hydraulic motor between them.
* A valve/sensor block containing various system valves and sensors.
* A lateral-acceleration sensor to detect how hard the vehicle is cornering.
* An electronic control unit (ECU) regulating the entire system.
* A tandem hydraulic pump which, via its two sections, provides hydraulic pressure for ARS and the power steering.
* An oil cooler, reservoir, filter, oil-level sensor and the various hoses, mounting brackets and other minor components.

When the vehicle enters a corner, curve or avoidance maneuver, lateral acceleration is generated. This is read by the sensor, which transmits a signal to the ECU. The ECU processes this signal and transmits it to the valve/sensor block. In turn, the valve/sensor block determines the hydraulic pressure applied to the active anti-roll bars to control body roll.

The keyword is “active.” Active Roll Stabilization –

1. Generates resistance to body roll by twisting the anti-roll bars.
2. Acts in a stronger and more “tailored” way than conventional anti-roll bars.
3. Offers no resistance to bumps in straight-ahead driving, as do conventional anti-roll bars; this improves riding comfort.
4. Increases the vehicle’s maximum cornering capability.
5. Improves steering response, particularly in the range of cornering where body roll is most tightly controlled.

Rack-and-pinion steering with Servotronic power assist and variable ratio
Like the 5 and 7 Series, the 6 has a variable-ratio rack-and-pinion system with Servotronic vehicle-speed-sensitive variable power assist.

The variable-ratio feature (not to be confused with variable assist, nor with Active Steering’s more dramatically variable ratio, next) results from special profiling of the rack-and-pinion mechanism’s gear teeth. The steering ratio becomes quicker (more steering effect for a given steering-wheel motion) as the wheel is turned outward from its center position. The result is a fine-tuning of steering response according to the situation one is in, be it on a fast straightaway (slower steering) or maneuvering into a parking space (quicker steering).

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i ConvertiblePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Convertible

Active Steering:
Dramatic advance in vehicle dynamics
The optional Active Steering expands dramatically on the variable-ratio principle, and is described under options & accessories.

Innovative brakes: abundant stopping power, weight-saving technology
6 Series brakes feature an innovative, weight-saving construction of the brake discs. In this construction, patented by BMW, the brake disc consists of a high-carbon cast-iron outer portion, which functions conventionally as the surface onto which the brake pads grip; and an aluminum center “hat,” which mounts the rotor to the vehicle. The concept’s advantages include:

* Reduced unsprung weight, complementing the aluminum suspension. Compared to conventional all-cast-iron rotors, actual weight reductions are a very significant 2.2 lb. at the front, 1.5 lb. at the rear.
* Reduced rotor deformation under hard braking, by approximately 20%. This means less tendency of the brakes to vibrate when hot, and reduced likelihood of the rotors cracking under extreme heat conditions.

The front brake calipers are aluminum, which further reduce unsprung weight. Thus with the 6 Series, BMW once again takes the lead in combining top handling with amazing riding comfort.

18- or 19-inch wheels and tires, run-flat tires standard
Standard 6 Series wheel/tire equipment includes 18 x 8.0 cast-alloy wheels with a V-Spoke design; these carry 245/45R-18 run-flat all-season tires that give standard-equipped 650i models excellent performance and traction.

Sport Package contents include forged 19-in. wheels in a Star Spoke design. Forgings offer a higher strength-to-weight ratio, so compared to cast wheels of the same dimensions these promise slightly better suspension response and greater strength. An alternative 19-in. Star Spoke design (design different from Sport Package wheels, and cast instead of forged) is also available as a stand-alone option. Both equipment sets specify 8.5 in. wide at the front, 9.0 wide at the rear. At the front, the tires are performance-rated 245/40R-19; the rear wheels carry 275/35R-19s. The Sport Package and stand-alone optional tires are also of run-flat construction.

Although run-flat tires are reputed to have a relatively hard ride, BMW’s handling-and-ride engineers rise above the usual compromises. In an August 2006 test of a 650i Convertible, Car and Driver commended the car’s ride, noting “For fast, daylong cruising, the 650i is in a league of its own. Want to do 1000 miles today? Go right ahead.”

A Tire Pressure Monitor alerts the driver to changes in any tire’s air pressure. Because all its models have run-flat tires, the 6 Series was designed without a spare; this contributes to the Series’ generous trunk capacity.

Dynamic Stability Control in advanced form
All BMW models are standard-equipped with Dynamic Stability Control, which provides a wide range of traction and stability functions.

While retaining all these functions, an evolved DSC system now adds several customer-relevant functions that make driving even safer and more pleasant. They are:

* Brake Fade Compensation. Brake fade occurs as the brakes heat up under hard use; a given degree of deceleration requires more pressure on the brake pedal. As brake temperature rises, this function automatically compensates by increasing the hydraulic pressure relative to pedal force.
* Brake Standby. When the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal abruptly, DSC recognizes that sharp braking may be about to occur and applies just enough pressure in the brake system to snug up the pads against the rotors. Thus by the time the driver’s foot reaches the brake pedal, the lag time normally resulting from bringing the pad to the rotor is eliminated, reducing stopping or deceleration distance.
* Brake Drying. Acting on input from the rain sensor (an element of the standard rain-sensing windshield wipers), the pads are periodically brought up to the rotors – just enough to eliminate any film of water between pads and rotors, but not enough to cause a brake application.
* Start-off Assistant. Briefly holds the vehicle when the brakes are released while stopped facing uphill. The driver can then start up without rollback; especially useful with the manual transmission.
* Modulated ABS function. “Analogized” control of the DSC brake valves makes the anti-lockup function (ABS) smoother. Instead of simply being fully on or off, application and release of these valves are now modulated.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i ConvertiblePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Convertible

Exterior design & function
Whether in Coupe or Convertible form, the profile of the 6 Series retains its distinctive curve—a sweeping arc from front to rear that defines its sporting intent. In 2009 the Sport Package began to include a specially-contoured hood with a raised center section.

As on other BMW models, the 650i models include luminescent corona rings around the headlights, which give the cars an instantly recognizable front view, while providing a familial look with other members of the BMW lineup.

The front flanks incorporate additional turn-signal indicators, so-called “repeat blinkers.” These are set elegantly flush into a recess that launches a side character line. The shape here meant the side panels couldn’t be stamped into steel or aluminum, hence the 6 Series’ innovative use of thermoplastic in the side panels or “fenders.” The 2010 Coupe and Convertible retain this construction material.

Similarly, the trunklid is made of Sheet Molded Compound construction to accommodate its very subtle spoiler contours. Connecting the front and rear views is the unmistakable 6 Series profile, which emphasizes the overall low-slung stance of the 6 Series. Smooth aerodynamics continue as before, as demonstrated by an excellent coefficient of aerodynamic drag (CD) of 0.30 (Coupe) or 0.31 (Convertible). This is due in part to extensive underbody fairing, reaching from just behind the front bumper nearly back to the rear suspension. EPA highway ratings of 22(auto: 23) mpg for the Coupe and 21(auto: 23) for the Convertible continue to reflect BMW’s attention to aerodynamic details.

The 6 Series Coupe and Convertible continue their extensive use of lightweight materials and construction techniques. An aluminum front-end structure, door panels and hood, plus the thermoplastic front side panels mentioned earlier, save significant poundage over all-steel counterparts. The SMC rear deck, also a weight-saver, also offers extra resistance to bending – important in a large-area component like this. The hood’s aluminum outer and inner skins – the latter essential for strength – are bonded together with an adhesive that gives it both longitudinal strength (a factor in crash-energy absorption) and vibration resistance.

Specific Convertible structural details
It’s an unavoidable rule: remove the roof, lose rigidity. Automotive body engineers beef up the lower body to compensate. Measures taken to ensure the Convertible’s structural integrity include:

* Additional diagonal braces, front and rear
* Specific front subframe
* Front thrust plate of 3-mm aluminum, vs. 2.5 mm on Coupe
* Specific reinforcements to side sills
* Strengthened attachment of B-pillar to lower body
* Reinforced attachments for diagonal braces at rear subframe
* Lateral lower-body reinforcement.
* Measures relating to rollover integrity are:
* Ultra-strong windshield frame
* Automatic-deploying Rollover Protection System.

BMW also invested heavily in the windshield frame. It is formed in an “inside high-pressure forming” process that optimizes its strength without rendering it unduly bulky or heavy. Under high heat, the frame is formed with oil inside it, ensuring even distribution of forming pressure and thus consistent wall thickness.

In terms of torsional rigidity – an important measurement of a vehicle body’s resistance to twisting and thus squeaks – the Convertible attains 15,000 Newton-meters per degree (without windshield glass); impressively, this is slightly more rigid than the Coupe with the opening for its Panorama Moonroof, also without its glass panes. With all glass panes in place, the Coupe will of course have greater rigidity than the Convertible.

Comfort & convenience
At its introduction, the BMW 6 Series brought a whole new level of standard equipment to the class, including a choice of manual or automatic 6-speed transmission, iDrive, bi-Xenon headlamps, GPS Navigation, voice activation, 12- or 14-way power front seats and, on the Coupe, a Panoramic moonroof. Not only was this level of equipment well above the typical sport-luxury car, but several of these features were unique to the class.

The same holds for 2010. The new 6 Series includes all the above as standard, and in the years since has added such features as a leather-trimmed console, Dynamic Cruise Control, Programmable Memory Keys for quick access to iDrive functions, power-folding exterior mirrors, and, on the Convertible, Sun Reflective leather. And once again, these items are designed not merely to coddle the occupants, but to help keep the driver more comfortable, relaxed and focused.

These new features enhance one of the most luxurious interiors ever to grace a luxury-sports car, coupe or convertible. A full description of the 6 Series features includes:

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i ConvertiblePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Convertible

The instrument cluster
Two main analog dials, two lower fields of digital displays between the two analog dials, and an upper field of indicators, warnings and graphic displays.

Each of the two round dials has a disc-type “pointer” that rotates behind the dial face to indicate –

* On the speedometer, the cruise-control speed setting
* On the tachometer, the variable warning segment, delineated by white “ticks” on the movable disc that reach as far down as 4200 rpm with a cold engine, and gradually increase the rpm limit to normal as the engine warms up.

Other distinctive features include:

* Chronometer design, with fine scale gradations
* An oil-temperature gauge at the bottom of the tachometer.

Premium lighting features
In addition to the familiar left/right front reading lights and BMW Ambiance Lighting that emanates from above the windshield to softly illuminate the console area at night, the 6 has several additional premium lighting features:

* LED ground lighting in the exterior mirror housings
* Illuminated doorsill logos
* Illumination of interior door handles
* LED illumination of door storage bins.

Power-window features
For users’ convenience and comfort, 6 Series power windows include comprehensive functional features:
Both models –

* 1-touch open/close door windows with anti-trapping feature
* Power door-sealing system. When a door is opened, the window (if closed and, on the Convertible, if the top is raised) drops slightly to clear the weatherseal; when the door is closed, it rises to seat firmly into the seal.
* Windows may be opened from the outside by pressing and holding the remote’s “unlock” button.
Convertible only –
* 1-touch open/close rear side windows with anti-trapping feature
* All-window switch
* Retractable rear window, which can also be raised when the top is down to act as a wind-blocker.

Power-mirror features
The power exterior mirrors include auto-dimming and heating functions as well as a power-fold feature for parking in close quarters.

BMW iDrive, 4th generation: new graphics and controls.

* New controller concept, high-resolution 8.8-in. control display.
* Optimized menu structures, high-resolution graphics, expanded range of functions.
* Greater convenience and more intuitive operation via direct-select keys at the controller, plus more Programmable Memory Keys.

In the 6 Series, BMW’s iDrive system of controls and displays is offered in combination with the standard Navigation system. In this iteration, iDrive enters its 4th generation building upon this pioneering development, while making it more natural, more intuitive, simpler and more elegant in its functionality – and more esthetically pleasing and enjoyable.

More intuitive operation, expanded functions.
When introduced in the 2002 7 Series, BMW initiated a new direction in the control of vehicle features and functions; via a multi-menu color display and a mouse-like controller usable by driver and passenger alike, a potentially crowded landscape of buttons and knobs was supplanted by a computer-logic control path.

An overarching attribute of iDrive was the separation of control (via the console controller) and display (the centrally placed iDrive monitor). This basic arrangement remains; the controller has been further developed and the display has evolved markedly.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

Positioned centrally in the instrument panel, the new control display sets higher standards for logical, readily understood menus and attractive graphics. The controller has been refined for comfortable, intuitive selection and activation of functions via standardized turn, push and tilt motions, while being augmented with new direct-selection keys for specific menus, plus more of the Programmable Memory Keys that were included in the previous model year.

Greater functionality, satisfying to use: controller with direct-selection keys.
Benefiting from the newest biomechanics R&D, the state-of-the-art controller operates with tactile precision and clearly structured motions. New control elements, menu schemes and graphic representations in the control display become evident upon first use, yet user appreciation grows over the longer term. A graphic depiction of the controller in the display itself helps orient the user to the next control step; the rotation, pressing and tipping motions generally correspond to those of a computer mouse.

Thus interpreted, rotation of the controller takes the user through menu selections; pressing it makes the choice. Tilting the controller to the left or right commands navigation through various menu levels. Via clear graphic organization in the form of stacked layers and onscreen depiction of controller movements, the user enjoys highly intuitive navigation. All menus are structured according to a consistent scheme, so that one is almost immediately at ease; menus are broad so that the user can view relatively numerous options without switching to another level. Also, functions are arranged so that in longer-term use the most important options are reached more rapidly.

An additional new refinement is four direct-selection keys, placed adjacent to the controller, for the most frequently used menus. These allow quick selection of CD, radio, phone and navigation menus, and are augmented by three further keys of general utility: one takes the user directly to the start menu (MENU), one to the most recently active menu (BACK), and the third (OPTION) presents various options within the current area. Thus searches are likely to be shorter, or unnecessary.

Familiar and proven, yet now more useful: Programmable Memory Keys.
An iDrive enhancement recently introduced in various BMW models represents a further user convenience: Programmable Memory Keys. When first introduced, there were six of them; now there are eight. Lined up above the audio controls, these allow the user to capture and store favorite or frequently used functions (radio stations, phone numbers, navigation destinations for example) on various keys and recall them instantly. The stored functions can be as specific and detailed as a navigation map in the preferred scale or an audio balance setting. And because the keys are sensitive not just to being pressed but also to being merely touched, one can see the stored function on the control display by lightly touching the key. If it’s the right one, the user need only press the key and it’s there, ready to use.

High-resolution display, preview maps and full-screen images.
With its 8.8-in. high-resolution monitor, the new iDrive displays remarkably attractive images. The system is appropriate to the vehicle, achieved via up-to-date hard- and software. White-on-black menu lists; effective symbols and icons; contemporary graphics; and clear, consistent color-coding are among the elements that enhance not only function but also esthetics.

Menu structures, too, make finding desired functions easier. In the Start Menu, all functional areas served by iDrive are listed. Selecting a given item leads to its menu layer, where the options of that level are also listed. This consistency in navigation assists in orienting the user, as does the “stacking” of menu layers in the display. Visual assists further contribute to clarity. And if the user gets to a place where he or she didn’t mean to be, the Back key usually reverses the error.

User-friendlier Navigation system, standard.
This overall refinement of functionality means simpler and more enjoyable use of the on-board Navigation system. Full-screen map displays offer outstandingly detailed views of the geography; maps as well as specific symbols can be shown in 3-dimensional form. Selected points of interest along the travel route appear with near-photographic realism.
Mere input of destinations reveals the new system’s impressive capabilities. If the destination appears on a list in the system, a preview map appears as the user scrolls the list; this can help distinguish between places with similar or identical names. If a destination (or a phone number) needs to be entered manually, this is done with a new, circular “speller” that makes the entry go more quickly.

Convenient combination of voice entry and controller operation.
Yet, another iDrive innovation is its ability to combine voice and controller entry called Multi-mode Input. The user can go back and forth between the two methods, while actually inputting; indeed, voice recognition can remain active during input via controller and the user can modify an input via voice. Voice recognition – BMW calls it Voice Command – is activated by its function key on the steering wheel, and de-activated either upon completion of the action or by pressing the key again. Voice Command is simplified by visual display of the available commands, yet its capabilities go further in that numerous synonyms of these commands are also recognized.

This newly enhanced iDrive introduces a very significant step forward in the operation of automotive features and functions. Greater efficiency, improved logic and clear, attractive displays help define and advance the 6 Series’ unique character. The newest iDrive helps the 2010 BMW 6 Series create a user experience that is truly unique.

Dynamic Cruise Control
An extension of the original programmable system, Dynamic Cruise Control broadens its functionality by using brake actuation to control speed. When a downhill section causes the car to exceed the set speed, Dynamic Cruise Control can gently apply the brakes to maintain the set speed. The optional Active Cruise Control also added new functions in 2008; see options & accessories.

Audio systems
Two audio systems are offered: standard and premium, which is part of the Premium Sound Package (see options & accessories).

The standard AM/FM/CD system includes 8 speakers:

* 2 subwoofers, 210 mm, one each in cavities at bases of the B-pillars (Coupe) or in rear side panels (Convertible)
* 2 conical midrange, 100 mm, in front doors (both models)
* 2 conical midrange, 100 mm, in rear shelf (Coupe) or rear side panels (Convertible)
* 2 tweeters, 25 mm, in the front-door mirror triangles (both models).

Upholstery and trim
Standard Dakota leather upholstery is available in two color schemes; the optional Pearl Leather adds two more. Brushed-aluminum trim accents are standard; two wood trim options – Maple and Dark Birch – are available at no extra charge. Pearl Leather, the even more elegant Full Merino Leather option, and the trim alternatives are described in options & accessories.

Sun Reflective Technology for the Convertible
This Convertible-specific leather treatment is designed with modified color pigments that reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heat absorption. Capable of reducing upholstery surface temperatures up to almost 70ËšF, this remarkable treatment is used on the seats, armrests, head restraints and gearshift lever in the 650i Convertible, regardless of color or leather type.

Front seats: two choices in each model
The Coupe’s standard seats offer 12-way power adjustments, including 4-way power lumbar support. To the Coupe’s standard front seats, those in the Convertible add power head-restraint/shoulder-belt height and a powered easy-entry feature. (The latter, which moves the seat forward for rear-seat ingress/egress, is manual in the Coupe.)

Another special feature of the Convertible front seats is their seat-integrated safety belts. This belt system, which anchors the 3-point belts entirely on the seat structures, provides the ultimate in positioning the belt on the occupant, and makes for easy entry and exit for rear-seat passengers. Also standard on the front seats are Active Head Restraints, covered in the Safety & security section.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i ConvertiblePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Convertible

Sport seats are included in each model’s Sport Package and are described in options & accessories.

Power-tilting Panorama Moonroof (Coupe)
The Coupe’s short roof precludes a conventional tilt-and-slide moonroof; the Panorama Moonroof more than compensates with its own functional and esthetic attributes. Its glass panel is an extra-large 43.3 inches wide and 29.8 in. front-to-rear; there is a powered interior sunshade. All functions have 1-touch operation and anti-trapping protection; a double-click forward or rearward closes or opens the glass panel and interior shade together.

Fully automatic, fully lined power softtop (Convertible)
The 650i Convertible’s softtop is a work of art and science in its own right. Available in Black or Dark Gray according to exterior and interior colors, it is unique in design, with vertical rear window and “fins” extending rearward of it for an unusually sleek profile with the top raised.

It’s elegant on the inside, too, with its full lining concealing the framework and folding mechanism. Yet beauty and elegance aren’t all this softtop offers:

* Its quiet, fully automatic electrohydraulic power mechanism raises or lowers the top in approximately 25 sec.
* Advanced softtop design reduces wind noise heard by passengers inside the vehicle with the top up.
* The full lining and sleek profile enhance weather protection and further reduce wind noise.
* With the top up, lowering the rear window enhances openness and ventilation.
* With the top down, raising the rear window creates a wind deflector for rear-seat passengers. (A wind deflector for those up front is available.)

Technology developed to improve softtop “performance” is employed in the 6 Series. Instead of the usual flock, the top’s inner surface (not the headliner) is coated in polyurethane; this reduces wind noise and the tendency to vibrate. Low-frequency vibrations of the kind sometimes heard inside closed convertibles are eliminated; at 90 mph, BMW has measured an impressively low 75 decibels (dBA) inside the 650i Convertible. In addition to this, the top is fully lined; with the Sport Package the headliner is now in Anthracite color.

Roomy trunk with attractive, functional features
The roomy trunk would do credit to a midsize sedan; at 13.0 cubic feet according to U.S. EPA measurement, the Coupe provides just 1 cu ft. less space than the generous 5 Series compartment. The Convertible’s trunk encloses 12.4 cu ft. with its adjustable softtop storage compartment raised, 10.6 cu ft. with it lowered. In either model, two large golfbags can ride here, and the Coupe takes a suitcase as well. With the optional ski bag, two pairs of skis or a snowboard can be loaded. Standard run-flat tires allow the spare tire to be omitted, which helps achieve the spacious cargo compartment.

Safety & security
The list of standard safety features offered by BMW’s premier Coupe and Convertible is virtually unmatched in the luxury-performance field. Active safety systems such as Adaptive brakelights and headlights, DSC, a balanced chassis and outstanding braking performance ensure that 6 Series owners have an impressive array of accident-avoidance capabilities at their command. Augmenting that capacity are state-of-the-art passive safety systems that include BMW’s Smart Airbags for driver and front passenger, side-impact airbags, Active Knee Protection, Battery Safety Terminal and automatic safety-belt tensioners and force limiters.

Active Head Restraints
Standard on all current 6 Series vehicles regardless of seat options, Active Head Restraints help minimize the chance of whiplash injuries in rear-end collisions. These use a pyrotechnic charge that pivots the restraint forward in severe rear-end impacts, cradling the occupant’s head. Impact sensors in the rear bumper activate the system. Active Head Restraints allow passengers to adjust the restraints to a comfortable position without compromising their effectiveness in a rear-end collision.

Active Knee Protection
Unlike those of other countries, U.S. safety regulations require that production vehicles meet certain front-impact safety standards with unbelted occupants. Thus U.S. BMW models, along with those of other manufacturers, incorporate specific knee protection in the lower instrument-panel areas. The 6 Series incorporates Active Knee Protection for this purpose; two dedicated airbags, positioned ahead of the driver’s and passenger’s knees, reduce the space taken up by the knee protection.

Advanced Head Protection System (Coupe)
An inflatable Head Protection System is standard in the Coupe. It is essentially for front occupants, though it extends somewhat rearward of the B-pillar. Made of airbag-type material, a “sail” spans between the inflatable tube and the ceiling; it and the tube cover essentially all body-side and side-window areas likely to be impacted by a front occupant’s head.

Rollover Protection System (Convertible)
This system, which offers Convertible-specific protection, consists of:

* Two interdependent modules, one behind each rear seat, each with a mechanical actuator and a deployable rollbar
* A highly sophisticated rollover sensor/control module.
* A g-sensor to detect the vehicle’s becoming airborne, also in the control module.

If either sensor system is triggered, the rollbars are deployed upward by powerful springs in a fraction of a section, and locked into position to help sustain rollover forces. The rollbars and deployment modules are entirely of aluminum; each bar has a molded pad at its top. When retracted, they are concealed by the head restraints.

Options & accessories
Given the very extensive standard equipment on both 6 Series models, their option list is relatively short. Yet there are three appealing Packages here, a BMW Individual Composition that is much more than just a Package; a no-extra-cost choice of two transmissions; two optional interior leather treatments beyond the standard one; and high-tech options that include Active Steering, Active Cruise Control with Frontal Collision Warning, Head-up Display, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assistant, Logic7 premium stereo and HD Radio. Following are some highlights:

Sport Package
This Package is almost the same for both models; it includes changes for ‘09.

* 19-in. wheels and performance tires. In place of the standard 18 x 8.0 tires with all-season tires, the Sport Package specifies 19 x 8.5 front/19 x 9.0 rear forged wheels, with 245/40R-19 front / 275/35R-19 rear performance tires.
* Exhaust system with sportier sound and Black Chrome tips.
* Special color selection including classic Imola Red and Carbon Black Metallic.
* Distinctive hood design, with raised “power dome” center.
* High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim around the Coupe side windows, replacing the standard chrome-trimmed matte black. On the Convertible, Shadowline appears along the body’s beltline.
* Front sport seats. BMW’s typical sport-seat contours, with more prominent side bolsters on the cushions and lower backrests, enhance lateral support; manually adjustable thigh support is also added.
* Anthracite-color headliner, Alcantara material in Coupe, fabric in Convertible.

Cold Weather Package
This Package includes heated front seats and steering wheel, and a ski bag that’s concealed behind the rear seats’ centerpiece and accessible through the trunk. The heated front seats are also available as a stand-alone option.

Premium Sound Package
This Package includes:

* Logic7 audio system. Upgrades the entire audio system with –
o Increased audio powerEven higher-caliber speakers, plus additional speakers (total 13 in Coupe, 11 in Convertible, vs. standard 8)
o Digital Sound Processing (DSP), adjusted along with other Logic 7 parameters on iDrive monitor
o Surround Sound simulation
* 6-disc CD changer
o Permits owners to view their audio options on the 6 Series iDrive display
* USB adapter for iPod or MP3 player
o Integrates an iPod or MP3 player completely into the stereo system without losing the CD-player connection
o Allows access to any of the player’s features through the iDrive display
o Permits changing selection or volume via the 6 Series’ steering-wheel controls
o Fully compatible with both the optional High Definition Radio and standard Real Time Traffic Information, so both features are available with the Premium Sound Package.
* Smartphone adapter. Enables playback of audio files from cellphone; requires BMW-approved cellphone model.

Pearl Leather
More supple and luxurious than the already impressive standard Dakota leather, Pearl presents a different texture and distinctive stitching as well as two additional colors—Chateau Red and Saddle Brown. Option includes leather-trimmed sun visors and instrument panel.

Comfort Access
This convenient system eliminates the need to activate a remote to unlock or lock the vehicle, or to insert it into the dash before starting the engine. The system recognizes the authorized driver as he or she approaches, and unlocks the vehicle; upon exit, the user merely presses a door handle to lock the vehicle.

Active Steering
Active Steering offers unique benefits:

* Widely variable steering ratio. Steering-wheel movements for parking maneuvers, U-turns and sharp corners are greatly reduced for amazing agility. With increasing vehicle speed, the steering becomes “slower,” favoring stability over agility.
* Vehicle stabilization; in critical situations, can intervene to preserve stability. For example, if the driver applies the brakes while driving on a surface with uneven traction (one side of the road slick, the other grippy), Active Steering can recognize incipient instability and steer against it.

Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go capability and Frontal Collision Warning
In addition to the speed-maintaining, acceleration and deceleration functions of the standard Dynamic cruise control, ACC can adjust the BMW driver’s speed according to traffic conditions. Employing a radar sensor at the front of the vehicle, ACC senses the speed of vehicles traveling ahead, and adjusts the BMW driver’s speed to maintain a safe following distance.

Photo: 2010 BMW 650i CoupePhoto: 2010 BMW 650i Coupe

Two functions were added in ’08. Stop-and-Go provides the ability to bring the vehicle to a complete halt if traffic requires it; then the driver need only press on the accelerator to start moving again. The Frontal Collision Warning System utilizes the radar sensor to detect critical closing-rate situations with standing and moving objects, even with ACC switched off; a “soft” warning in the instrument cluster comes first, followed by an “acute” warning both visual and audible, and reversible tensioning of the front safety belts.

ACC can also reduce vehicle speed when a curve is entered at too high a speed. Indeed, ACC “looks ahead” into curves and can adjust vehicle speed accordingly. In addition, the interaction between ACC and GPS Navigation gives the ACC “knowledge” of the particular road the vehicle is traveling. This significantly enhances ACC’s driver assistance in a wide variety of driving situations.

Even though the system relies upon the Navigation database to determine its operational characteristics, it is not too rigidly linked to the database. It was essential to develop this “smart” capability because no matter how good the database, it can become outdated and may not be 100% correct even in the best case. Therefore the ACC continuously compares actual road conditions with those predicted by the database; the more discrepancies it detects, the less aggressive its intervention. Whatever automatic intervention occurs under such conditions, the driver can override it by stepping on the accelerator or brake pedal.

High Beam Assistant
Automatically toggles the headlights between high and low beam, depending on vehicle speed, light conditions and oncoming traffic; a sensor on the windshield monitors traffic and light conditions to determine if the high beams should be switched on. An icon on the instrument panel alerts the driver whenever the Assistant is enabled; the high beams can also be turned off manually any time.

Head-Up Display
HUD displays driving information in color on a 6 x 3-in. field in the windshield, approximately in line with the end of the hood in the driver’s field of sight. Thus the driver can observe the information with essentially no diversion from the road ahead. Via the iDrive i-menu, the driver decides which information is to be displayed and the brightness of the display; the display can also be turned on and off.

Night Vision
The Night Vision system uses a thermal imaging camera mounted below the front bumper to help detect objects that are difficult for the human eye to identify in low-light conditions. The thermal imaging camera covers a range of up to 300 meters or almost 1000 feet ahead of the car.

The image generated by the system is trans¬mitted to the Control Display monitor, which displays detected objects with increasing brightness as a function of the heat detected by the camera – making human beings and animals particularly conspicuous.

HD Radio
HD Radio provides higher-quality sound from terrestrial transmitters and requires no subscription. FM reception is of digital quality; AM achieves virtually the quality of current FM. HD Radio represents the greatest step forward in sound quality since the advent of FM broadcasting. Digital broadcasts also give more stable and dependable reception. The HD equipment receives both analog and digital signals.

HD’s compressed digital signals allow three or more stations within the bandwidth used by one conventional station; thus an expanded range of stations is gradually forming as more stations adopt HD transmission.

Satellite Radio
An appealing path to entertainment, news and information channels. Service requires a subscription fee after the first year of BMW ownership.

Wood interior trim
Because some customers prefer the more traditional luxury of genuine wood interior trim, BMW offers Maple and Dark Birch wood at no extra cost.

Heated front seats
Though included in the Cold Weather Package, heated front seats can also be ordered separately.

Wind deflector
Available as an accessory from BMW centers, the Convertible wind deflector reduces drafts and turbulence around the driver and front passenger when the softtop is lowered. It stores handily in its pouch in the trunk, is relatively light (5.6 lb.), and is easily mounted. For rear passengers, a similar effect is achieved by raising the retractable rear window.

View more 2010 BMW 6 Series pictures in our 2010 BMW 6 Series photo gallery:

2010 BMW 6 Series specifications, overview, information and imagery courtesy of: BMW

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