The 6 Series’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The California T doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
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 T 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 T doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The 6 Series offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The California T doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The 6 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The California T 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 T 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 T doesn’t offer a lane departure warning 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 T 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 T doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, 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 T have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, front and rear parking sensors and available around view monitors.
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 T’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 T’s (12/unlimited vs. 3/100,000).
There are almost 14 times as many BMW dealers as there are Ferrari dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 6 Series’ warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 6 Series has a standard 210-amp alternator. The California T’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 6 Series has a standard 900-amp battery. The California T’s 850-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
The M6 Competition Package’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 39 more horsepower (592 vs. 553) than the California T’s 3.9 turbo V8.
On the EPA test cycle the 650i RWD gets better fuel mileage than the California T (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the 6 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The California T doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
For better stopping power the M6 Carbon Brakes’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the California T:
M6 Carbon Brakes
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The 6 Series has a standard Brake Assistant to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The California T doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
For better traction, the M6’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the California T (F:265/40R19 & R:295/35R19 vs. F:245/35R20 & R:285/35R20).
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 T’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 T doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
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 T.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M6’s wheelbase is 7.1 inches longer than on the California T (112.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 6 Series is 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the California T.
The M6 Convertible handles at .94 G’s, while the California T pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 6 Series Convertible is rated a Subcompact car by the EPA, while the California T is rated a Minicompact.
The 6 Series Convertible has 13 cubic feet more passenger volume than the California T (88 vs. 75).
The 6 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the California T 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 T with its top up (12.4 vs. 12 cubic feet).
Unlike the driver-only memory seat optional at extra cost in the California T, the 6 Series offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The 6 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The California T doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The 6 Series’ standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The California T’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.
In case of a sudden change of weather, the 6 Series has a standard remote convertible top which can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The California T doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.
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 T doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the 6 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The California T doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
When the 6 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The California T’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
Optional air conditioned seats in the 6 Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The California T doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.
On extremely cold Winter days, the 6 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The California T doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the 6 Series has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The California T doesn’t offer rear vents.
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 T doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The 6 Series (except xDrive)’s 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 T doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the 6 Series first among midsize premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The California T isn’t in the top three.