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Roadshow Video Reviews
BMW's 650i is a ride worth takingThe 2012 BMW 650i has the sleeker design, lighter body frame, and some robust tech that we've been waiting for.
It's almost cliche that you get a big bonus and go buy one of these. That's right. BMW 6 Series. In this case, the 650i with the twin-turbo motor but I wouldn't have touched one with a 10-foot paycheck until they fix the styling and to my eyes, they did that. So let's get in and check the tech. Now, the 6 Series has always been a nice place to sit and be a rich guy but I think even more so now, they have recast the cabin and this is a signature BMW thing now. This fixed, very generous display that is mounted as if it was a pop-up but it's not a very high, in fact the midline of that display is actually higher than the midline of your main gauges and that screen is gonna display a lot of base tech as you can imagine the can of this tier. Navigation is standard of course, Bluetooth hands-free is standard even though BMW tends to nickel-and-dime you on certain tech. One of the technologies I like the best though is in that nickel-and-dime category. Make sure you get the BMW apps options for a cheap $250 allowing you to have Facebook, Twitter, streaming radio. It's really cool. It's iPhone only. It goes in this dock. CR BMW 328i video we just did for a complete tour of the connected stuff going on here and their apps integration. Without optioning, you get AM/FM HD radio, optical CD slot right here, no DVD playback as well as an aux jack. Now, to go beyond that basic set-up of inputs and get better sound, you option Premium sound. It's about 1,800 bucks. It gets you Logic 7 amplification and speaker 7.1 is the arrangement and you also then get USB plus iPod here in the console as well as satellite radio with a year of activation and if you wanna go even further than that Logic 7 audio upgrade, go for that thing on the top but looks some kind of a little gun port about to shoot you. That's part of the Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade, 3,700 bucks all by itself, part of an over-all speaker array they says gives everyone in the car no matter where you are sitting equal sound dispersal. Now, this car is also lit up in a of driving assistance. You are seeing a blind spot detection system and the lane departure warning. You can defeat those obviously. This car is gonna let you know if someone is in your blind spot, indicator right there in the mirror or it's gonna vibrate the wheel if you are drifting. Okay. Now the real crowd pleaser. I saved the best for last. This is an optional technology that puts a camera package to work. If I press it now while I'm sitting here still, I get kind of an fish-eye cam. It's two cameras but they are looking completely out left and right from the front of the vehicle and of course I've got the standard back-up cam when I go in reverse and check this out, I can also get an around-view cam that shows sort of the god-view of the car. The rear camera lives under a needlessly clever motorized trunk badge. I bet that'll be cheap to fix when it jams. Now, normally a lux status cars like these are automatic transmission all the way but this one bases with a 6-speed manual even with the big hairy V8. That's unusual. You can option this 8-speed sport automatic with paddles here on the wheel for no extra cost. 650i on the back end means a 4.4 liter V8 on the front end, with direct injection and dual twin-scroll turbos. That does 400 horse and 450 foot-pounds of torque to get this 2-ton coup up to 60 in a tick under 5 seconds while delivering decent MPG of 15-23 or 22 if you get the automatic. Keeping the birdimum on this power train low as possible are aluminum hood and doors, plastic fenders and trunk lid and aluminum sub frames front and rear. That 400-pound curb weight is actually something of a victory. The kind of power this car delivers is not violent. You could tune it that way if BMW chose to. With those kind of numbers, you certainly could but instead it comes on as this inexertable force. That fits the character of the car really well I think. They've got this 8-speed automatic really well programmed where I'm not sure I'd ever go for a manual on this car. I think this is gonna make you very happy. Now, the way these drive modes work. I describe them like this. Comfort Plus is soft, cushy ride at least by BMW standards. It isn't very soft and cushy at all. Comfort is normal. Sport is what you would expect. It will tighten up the chassis transmission and accelerator behavior and Sport Plus takes it one more level. It turns off track control and has all the Sport settings. This car is really a joy to drive because it has so much power which tends to erase weight which it does have a fair amount of but most importantly perhaps is BMW has almost entirely dialed turbo lag out of this engine. You never find it at least not discernible on top of the automatic. There's a certain amount of vaguery in automatic gear box and you can't detect any turbo light, at least I can't beyond that bit of filtering. The Driver Assistance Package also includes self-parking. Now BMW carefully couches this feature in language that makes it clear. They do believe purchasers of the ultimate driving machine do know how to drive and park. Okay, the 650i is not a cheap car of course, 84 grand base with delivery. Here's what I'm not gonna option to it to keep it well below a 100 'cause that comes up pretty fast on this car. I'm gonna skip the Driver Assistance Package. I don't need the lane departure, the blind spot, the head-up display, all that stuff. Skip it. I'm also gonna blow off the Bang & Olufsen sound at $3,700. I don't pay that for sound anyway, let alone in a car. I will spend 250 on the BMW App Support. So it's just premium sounds for 1,700 and apps for 250 bucks. That's a must-do if you are watching a video on this website.