Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 BMW 6 SERIES VS 2012 Ferrari California Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 BMW 6 SERIES

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VS

2012 Ferrari California

Safety Comparison

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The 6 Series has standard tall side airbags which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and front passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The California doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

The 6 Series has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The California doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 650i offers all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The California doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The California doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 6 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The California doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 6 Series has standard Park Distance Control to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 6 Series also has a standard backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle, and optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle. The California doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

The 6 Series’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The California doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

The 6 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The California doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 6 Series and the California have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The 6 Series comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The California’s 3 year/100,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The 6 Series’ corrosion warranty is 9 years and unlimited miles longer than the California’s (12/unlimited vs. 3/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Ferrari doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the California.

There are almost 14 times as many BMW dealers as there are Ferrari dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the 6 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The California’s redline is at 8000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The 6 Series has a 6200 to 7000 RPM redline.

Engine Comparison

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The 650i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (450 vs. 358) than the California’s 4.3 DOHC V8.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the 6 Series’ engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the California:

Horsepower

Torque

640i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1400 RPM

650i 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

California 4.3 DOHC V8

7750 RPM

5000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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Regenerative brakes improve the 6 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The California doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 6 Series 640i’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The California doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The 6 Series’ optional 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the California’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 6 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The California doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 6 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Ferrari doesn’t offer an active suspension on the California.

The 6 Series has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The California’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 6 Series’ wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the California (112.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 6 Series is 2 inches wider in the rear than on the California.

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 6 Series Convertible is rated a Subcompact car by the EPA, while the California is rated a Minicompact.

The 6 Series Convertible has 14 cubic feet more passenger volume than the California (89 vs. 75).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The 6 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the California with its top down (10.6 vs. 8.5 cubic feet). The 6 Series Convertible has a larger trunk with its top up than the California with its top up (12.4 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 6 Series’ standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The California’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 6 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The California doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 6 Series has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The California doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 6 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The California doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 6 Series has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The California doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 6 Series also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 6 Series’ standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The California’s standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 6 Series Automatic offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The California doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Optional BMW Apps for the 6 Series allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The California doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address with audible turn-by-turn directions, a GPS navigation system is standard on the 6 Series. The 6 Series’ navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The California doesn’t offer a navigation system.

The 6 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The California doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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