When the BMW 645i convertible breaks cover at the Detroit Show next month it will, in all likelihood, decisively swing public opinion of the 6 Series.

By Lance Branquinho

When the BMW 645i convertible breaks cover at the Detroit Show next month it will, in all likelihood, decisively swing public opinion of the 6 Series.
BMW has finally reincarnated one of its most venerable performance models. The new 6 Series, with its horizontal bootline and droopy eye headlights, has divided opinion. But whereas the ‘Eighties range were all coupés, the new Six will have convertible, later even M6, variants.
With head designer Chris Bangle pushing the envelope of design, much to the chagrin of traditional BMW fans, public trust in the aesthetic direction of Munich might be restored with the 645i convertible. It has many of the Bangle design themes – strong side flanks ending in geometric ellipses and triangles – but somehow the larger profile embodies those cues with aplomb.
Whereas the Z4 is too small to carry the sharply defined geometric shapes Bangle prefers, the larger 645i does the ‘shark’ nose and sharp profile justice with its increased size. Simply put, the 645i convertible is the best-looking BMW right now.
Mechanically, it’s typical, over engineered Munich. The 645i convertible will feature a conventional, electro-mechanically powered soft top (which can be dismissively raised or lowered at up to 40 km/h), with a full glass rear window instead of PVC plastic. Having a full sized, glass rear window comes in especially handy when the soft top is dropped, and the rear window can be raised to shield rear passengers against wind buffeting.
Harmonizing with its performance image, the 645i convertible also features the full complement of electronic driving aids: ABS, active steering and DSC.
Power comes from the 4,4-litre V8 which has already won it’s class at the best open capacity engine in 2002. Drive is via three six speed transmission options: manual, steptronic or sequential manual gearbox (SMG). BMW claims 0-100 in six seconds and a mandatory top speed limited to 250 km/h.
Keeping in line with it aristocratic convertible image, the 645i will come fully specced: quixotic iDrive, head up display, 8-speaker, 6 CD shuttle, sound system and DVD powered satellite navigation.
In line with the original 6 Series and its current coupe cousin, the 645i will be a genuine 2+2. BMW claims it will seat four adults in comfort, and swallow a copious amount of luggage, notwithstanding the folding drop top’s space constraints.
All in all, a very attractive package, especially with the option of six speed manual or SMG transmissions, yet it is to be seen how BMW will be pricing the 645i convertible. Will it slot in between the Mercedes-Benz CLK and SL range, for example?

Original article from Car