Detroit motor show 2011 - BMW 6 Series Convertible

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The BMW 6 Series Convertible is being shown in the metal for the first time at the Detroit motor show – an ironic location, perhaps, given the sub-zero temperatures and snow if you venture outside the show halls.

The new 2+2 soft-top is longer, lower and wider than the car it replaces. The electrically operated roof can be opened in 19 seconds and closed in 24, and operated at speeds of up to 25mph.

With the roof down, boot capacity is 300 litres, and the heated glass screen behind the rear seats can be raised and lowered separately from the roof itself.

Although the new car is lower than the old model, BMW says it has more head- and legroom in both the front and rear, while the way the major controls are angled creates a driver-focused cabin.

Two engines will be available from launch: a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder unit in the 640i (which comes with stop-start system) and a 4.4 V8 in the 650i. The 640i hits 60mph in 5.7 seconds and does an average of 35.8mpg, while the 650i manages 5.0 seconds and 26.4mpg.

The 6 Series will come with Dynamic Drive Control as standard, which allows drivers to choose how responsive they want the gearbox, steering and throttle to be.

Among the options there will be an Adaptive Drive system – with electrically controlled shock absorbers and anti-roll stabilisation – and an Integral Active Steering system, which steers the rear wheels, allowing for more agility in town as well as more stability at faster speeds.

UK buyers will be able to order the car from March.

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