The last time I had to the pleasure of keeping our long term 2012 BMW 650i xDrive M Sport Package for an extended period of time was earlier this year in May for what some consider the pinnacle of motorcycle events, the Atlantic Beach Bike Feast in South Carolina. During that trip I experienced the comfort and handling of this powerful yet graceful Bavarian beast for the 800 mile round trip journey.
Now, with approximately 12k miles under its belt, our long term Bimmer still performs and handles as superbly as my first experience in the seat. Believe me, Automotive Rhythms’ (AR) vehicles do not sit around collecting dust. In addition to the trip to South Carolina, we’ve driven it to New Jersey, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia and have attended such events as Howard University Homecoming, Hot 97 Summer Jam Concert, the 17th Annual Import vs. Domestic Car Show, NBA and NFL games and several fashion shows. More importantly, almost daily you can find a twitter post or Facebook and Instagram picture of the AR 6 Series enjoying itself in an inviting environment.
This time around, and becoming more familiar with the technology of the BMW coupe, I was able to kick back and enjoy all it had to offer rather than solely evaluate. One of my favorite discoveries is the on-board internet access via BMW Search with direct connections to Google, CNN, Bloomberg as well as access to the stock market, live-time fuel prices, weather, news and more. What makes this technology so appealing is the ability to access this information via voice commands. Combine such a responsive voice command system with one of the most comprehensive and intuitive multi-media and navigation systems available — aka iDrive — and you can’t help but to form an engaging “bond” between man and machine.
In addition to navigating to your destination correctly, you are also kept informed of the vehicle’s status with pictorial warnings such as “low engine oil” indications as soon as the gas tank is ¼ quart low, “engine maintenance” and “low tire pressure monitoring.” Moreover, the digital on-board owner’s manual allows you to visually delve into the given warnings in order to take appropriate, corrective or preventative action. Superb.
The only glitch experienced was a momentary loss of power with the driver’s controls for the door windows and mirrors. This also adversely affected the very accurate blind spot monitoring system. In this technology laden world I did what comes natural. A simple “reboot” of the vehicle and all systems by shutting off the power restored functionality to their normal state of operations.
Being the performance driven team we are, a fresh set of 19” Michelin’s Pilot Sport A/S Plus tires were installed. The A/S Plus has two distinct tread patterns combined with two specialized tread compounds designed to deliver the ultimate wet and dry performance. The 650i already embodies remarkable handling and a heart-pounding launch from its 400 horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. When mated with such an ultra-high performance tire with Michelin’s TriFusion technology, the ride experience is heightened to an entirely different level of enjoyment. And of course the braking system needs to be countered with great tire traction for optimal stopping distance, and the Pilot Sport A/S Plus rubber provided that.
Protecting our $98,054 joyride from the elements when parked is the $169.95 Ultimate Shield car cover which was specifically cut for our BMW. This high-end, form fitting cover is waterproof while remaining very breathable. It features four layers of polypropylene and micro-porous film securely covering a soft inner fleece lining designed to protect your vehicle. The company states the oil-based layers will protect your ride from premature rust. We do know that it kept our Bimmer dry in the rain and the clean finish stayed intact.
As the sun begins to set on my time with Automotive Rhythms 2012 BMW 650i, I can assuredly say my expectations for luxury and performance have been raised to a new standard.