Convertibles normally follow coupes to market, but this has not been the case with BMW’s latest 6-Series hardtop. Same goes for the tuning package delivered by AC Schnitzer, who provided us with an Alpine White ACS6 5.0i Coupe for a one-day driving experience over twisty roads and stretches of highway. Packed with every single option on the accessory lists, our final destination was the Formula 1 track at Spa-Francorchamps.
With the ACS6 5.0i Convertible first drive fresh in the back of our mind we stepped inside the luxurious cabin of the 650i Coupe, switched on the sonorous twinturbocharged V8 engine and moved the handling mode to Sport Plus. This remapped the engine, air dampers, steering and in this mode, also disabled the traction control. Ready for action!
First up was a stretch of Autobahn capable of demonstrating the sheer performance potential of the twin-turbo 4.4 liter V8 producing a tuned output of 540hp and 750Nm (+140 and +150Nm). These figures result in an impressive acceleration from zero to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds compared to the 5.0 seconds of the stock 650i we drove before. Additionally, the top speed increased from a (limited) 250km/h to 310km/h.
The extreme forward acceleration of the ACS6 5.0i Coupe is combined with the responsiveness of the ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic, which shifts quickly, precisely and efficiently. The engine improvements by AC Schnitzer are easily felt on a stretch of unlimited German highway. The fun ended when we crossed the Belgian border, and we had to go back to legal speeds. Time for us to run through the different Driving Dynamic Control settings and try the steering feel, while enjoying some tunes from the excellent Bang & Olufsen sound system and discussed the dreadful weather awaiting us in Spa.
The chassis, with its the multilink suspension front and rear, did an impressive job of supplying us with a comfortable ride inside the 650i Coupe. The only noticeable difference felt on the terrible Belgian roads were the new 21 inch Type VIII multipiece rims fitted to our white test car. Especially, in Sport Plus the ride becomes slightly more bumpy. Not something you would expect from a comfortable and rather heavy luxury coupe. The forged racing wheel Type VIII is based on the design of the Type VI wheel and has the classic five double-spoke design. The bolted connections to the wheel bed are easily visible and a trademark of AC Schnitzer. The outer rim is polished and the complete wheel bed clear lacquered.
On the winding roads near Spa the car becomes lively and engaging. The handling is not up to the standards of an M Power car, but it does come quite close in terms of performance potential. The steering feedback feels adequate and secure with a slight lack of feedback. The performance build up and the shifting precision of the gearbox are a motivating force that pushes the luxury coupe to its limits. The audibles from the twin sports rear silencer are intoxicating and provide you with a deeper, sonorous and more sportier sound track.
The complete program for the BMW F12 6-Series Convertible and Coupe is quite similar for both model types. The only main difference is a roof-mounted spoiler, which is available for Coupe. The body kit features some moderate upgrades at the front and the rear, like a front spoiler, which is accompanied by a chromeline mesh insert and chrome front grille. At the rear, a new skirt insert integrates the chromed exhaust tips. A protection strip is fitted to the sill of the trunk.
On the inside, you can opt for an aluminum cover for the i-Drive System Controller, aluminum foot rests and pedals set, and boot and foot mats. These parts are added to the driver-centric cockpit with contrast stitching on all the leather, a full-color head-up display and a 10.2-inch Trans-Reflective control display, which offer bird’s eye and 3D views of buildings and terrains, when in navigation mode. The level of refinement and electronic features has not been touched by the tuner, and lets you experience an atmosphere of sheer luxury and quality as BMW it intended to be.
Despite all the improvements, the ACS6 5.0i Coupe offers all the characteristics of being the ultimate luxury GT. Our day near Spa-Francorchamps proved its capability of combining luxury with sportiviness.
The AC Schnitzer ACS6 is the same 2+2-seat grand tourer as BMW’s Coupe, but one that’s faster, better looking, and more loaded with sporty upgrades than its stock brother. A unique type of flavor is added to the mix, you either love or hate. For those not in favor of the looks, opt for the engine tuning and the twin sports rear silencer! Both are the must-haves in this tuning package.