BMW 6-series Convertible (2011): latest spy shots

Published: 02 June 2010

These are the best shots yet of BMW’s new 6-series Convertible – the disguise is steadily being stripped off the big drop-top ahead of its launch in early 2011. The 6-series Convertible will be the first of a three-tier line-up, with coupe and saloon variants on the way.

Talk me through the next-gen BMW 6-series please…

Think of it as a gentle evolution of today’s Six – the flying buttress-style soft-top roof arrangement remains – with styling cues lifted from the recently revealed Concept Gran Coupe. Compared to today’s pair of coupe and cabriolet, the new cars will sit on a slightly longer wheelbase, but BMW engineers have worked hard to reduce the overhangs. Inside you find lots of parts lifted from the Five and Seven, but expect a more dynamic design compared to the two saloons.

Want to know what’s under the skin? Then take a look at the current engine line-up in the 5- and 7-series – both donate powertrains, along with chassis componentry, to the 6-series. That means rear-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the choice of a twin-turbo 640d, a straight-six 635i and a twin-turbo 4.4 650i. And to top the range there’ll be an M6, with a 578bhp/530lb ft M Division-tuned variant of the 4.4-litre V8. A 625i (2.0-litre twin-turbo four) is also rumoured.

I presume there’s a 6-series Coupe coming too?

Yes – alongside the convertible (codenamed F13) BMW is readying a hardtop variant of the Six (F12). And after that there’ll be a four-door coupe, inspired by the Gran Coupe, and dubbed 8-series – it’s a rival for the Mercedes CLS and Audi A7. A four-door coupe with suicide doors, a three-door shooting brake, and a convertible with a folding metal roof were all originally considered too, but ultimately dropped.

BMW will launch the convertible 6-series ahead of the coupe in early 2011, so sales (for once) will start just as the weather is improving.  The 8-series will follow after the two-door pair.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy