2012 BMW 650i
2012 BMW 650i. Click image to enlarge

First Drive: 2012 BMW 650i

Manufacturer’s web site
BMW Canada

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

Photo Gallery:
2012 BMW 650i

BMW’s ritzy executive two-door gets a complete makeover for 2012, and in a move that somewhat strays from tradition, the convertible 650i was launched first in the spring of 2011, followed by the this coupe version in the fall.

It all makes sense, as the drop top is the bigger seller, and why not have it ready for the well-heeled sun worshippers?

If you prefer your 650i with a hard top, the Coupe comes to Canada only with xDrive full-time all-wheel drive — a first for the BMW 6 Series. Conversely, the 650i Cabriolet can be had with rear-wheel drive ($106,800), xDrive ($109,900), and even with a no-cost six-speed manual replacing the excellent ZF 8-speed auto — a car that will surely be as thin on the ground as chicken lips.

2012 BMW 650i
2012 BMW 650i. Click image to enlarge

With a starting price of $101,500 (emphasis on “starting”), the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe is everything a super-premium 2+2 should be. It’s big, beautiful and has the heart of a lion. The exceptional 4.4L twin-turbo V8 makes 400 hp and 450 lb-ft and pushes this sybaritic siren down the road with effortless grace. It pairs beautifully with the ZF box that shifts imperceptibly yet responds to tugs on the paddle shifters with all the alacrity of the best twin-clutch gearboxes. This tester was fitted with an optional sport exhaust, giving the bent-eight a deliciously authoritative growl.

While immediately identifiable as a 6 Series, this newest generation tones down the Bangle shock factor of the previous version, coming across as more refined and classically elegant. It is longer, lower and wider, and while it may have lost some of its edge, the new 650i is more in keeping with its intended target of the wealthy and mature.

And speaking of wealthy, my Alpine White tester with Vermillion Red Extended Nappa Leather interior had an additional $31,000 in options — a likely scenario for this car. BMW and Porsche are king when it comes to inflating the bottom line with options and packages.

2012 BMW 650i
2012 BMW 650i. Click image to enlarge

The $6,900 Executive Package adds rearview camera, soft-close doors, leather-covered instrument panel, contrast stitching, electric rear sunshade, head-up display, surround view, SIRIUS, and upgraded audio.

Hang on. We’re just getting started.

The $3,900 M Sport Package nets 20-inch alloys with performance run-flat tires (this tester was wearing 18-inch winter boots), M body bits, chunky M steering wheel, sport exhaust, dark chrome tailpipes, M footrest and doorsills and Alcantara headliner.

Moving on to the $4,000 Technology Package we see a host of safety tech in auto-dimming headlights, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and adaptive cruise control that will bring the car to a complete stop if necessary.

The $4,500 Premium Seating Package brings ventilated and active “Comfort” front seats to the party. They are indeed truly comfortable.

At this point you might wonder what else BMW could sell us.

Connect with Autos.ca