02-08-2011, 12:20 PM
There's no point on trying to get around it ***8211; the first topic of discussion with the new 6 is bound to be its appearance, if for no reason other than how radically (conservatively?) it departs from its forbearer. In the metal, the 6 Series convertible looks much lower, flatter and more angular than the car it replaces. This is particularly true at the rear, an inevitable result of its more conventional trunklid and 5-Series-like taillamps. Up front, the headlamps are more conservative, too, without the droopy lower edge and eyebrow turn signals of the outgoing E63/E64 model. The new light fixtures bookend a nose with a bit more forward thrust to the leading edge of the hood, which leans over a wider twin kidney grille. Contrary to expectation, however, the profile of the new 6 Series actually has more surface character than its predecessor, with an additional crease that plunges dramatically from the leading edge of the side vent. And the lower stance isn't an illusion ***8211; at just 53.7 inches tall, overall height has been given a haircut by a fraction of an inch, accentuating the 6's chopped-top look. You can judge the looks for yourself, but an informal poll among the journalists at the launch revealed something of a split between those who came to appreciate the previous model and the more cautious new look, with most favoring the 2012 design.