Tom Ford24 January 2011

New BMW 6-Series convertible: first drive

Is the new drop-top Six any good? Top Gear’s Tom Ford gets behind the wheel to find out

BMW 6 Series convertible

Launched in convertible format initially, the new 6-Series is certainly less controversial in the styling stakes: less of a bustled rump and a smoother, sharper profile. Certainly in the pictures I saw before coming out, and on the stand at the Paris show, I was keen.

But I've mellowed towards it after driving it today. In real life, it's more of the same: there's nothing here that actively offends, but you can't help thinking that the car is lacking a certain something. On the road it looks nice enough, but nothing very striking. There's just not that much to get excited about.

See more pictures of the new BMW 6-Series convertible

Still, a 407bhp, 442lb ft 650i V8 should sort that, right? Well, again, not quite. The 650 weighs over two tonnes, so despite having plenty of get-up-n-go from the motor, the Six never really feels quite as fast as the figures suggest - five seconds to 60mph is respectable, but the car feels like a cruiser from the off.

It's also a tad firm on anything other than smooth roads - very German - and the active steering is about as tactile as remote surgery. I've got an eight-hour odyssey of driving tomorrow, so there's more to come, but first impressions are that there are no surprises here.

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