Under most circumstances the 650i handles with benign aplomb. Nicely weighted steering feedback keeps you informed of front wheel behavior. The $2,000 optional “Active Roll Stabilization” adjusts sway bar stiffness to G Force loading demand, stiffening the chassis in turns, relenting on the straights. The 20 inch optional alloys ($1,300) carry sizeable, sticky Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires measuring 235/35/20 front and 275/30/20 rear. However, when pushed to the limit in a long, decreasing radius bend, the 650i vacillates between understeer and oversteer. When the 650 starts sliding towards the outside of the turn, a slight steering correction to tighten the car’s line induces the rear end to lose adhesion. Once you experience this disconcerting trait, you will be wary of cornering the 650i at the limit.
Of course, this BMW is unlikely to appeal to hard core racer types. Rather, it’s a beautifully constructed pleasure package with exotic looks, flamboyant styling, and ultra-luxe interior furnishings. As long as you are aware of its cornering limitations, the new 650i will serve as a boulevard cruiser without peer.
2012 BMW 650i Convertible:
- ENGINE: 4.4 liter V8, 32 valves, direct injection, twin turbo
- HORSEPOWER: 400hp
- TORQUE: 450 lb.-ft.
- TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
- FUEL CONSUMPTION: 16 City MPG/ 24 Highway MPG
- PRICE AS TESTED: $105,025
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