In the interest of full disclosure and helping you get your head around what you’re about to read, you should know that the author is an unabashed BMW “fanboy.”

My wife and I currently own a BMW 3-Series Convertible that is several years old but looks like new because it is babied. Sitting next to the car in our garage are two BMW motorcycles that also receive loving care. They are the latest of seven BMWs that we’ve acquired not counting our 11-year-old son, whose initials are BMW.

Now that you know where I’m coming from, here’s where this is going: The 2012 BMW 650i Convertible is one of the most enjoyable vehicles I’ve ever tested. If you want to know why anyone would pay a small fortune for a vehicle, wait for a mild, sunny day and take one for a long test drive.

If you like convertibles, love to drive and can afford the asking price of around 100 grand, you’ll probably keep driving until the 650i is safely tucked away in your heated garage. Send the dealer a check, and tell him to take care of the paperwork and send the title ASAP.

When you get tired of the 650i — 10 or 15 years from now — and decide to buy a new one, remember who recommended this one in the first place. I might be able to afford a used one at that time.

Certainly not now. With its starting price of $91,375 (including the omnipresent destination charge), the 650i is priced well beyond the means of the average consumer. With options — the cynical among you are wondering why a car that costs over $91,000 isn’t already equipped with every feature offered by BMW — the bottom line on the test car’s window sticker read $103,525.

Those of you driving an $11,000 (new) Nissan Versa or even a pretty luxurious $30,000 Toyota Camry may have a hard time swallowing your coffee and Danish as you contemplate that number. In this economy, it’s hard to digest the fact that some folks can still afford to pay more than $100,000 for a vehicle.

The 2012 650i Convertible, which represents a total redesign of BMW’s 6-Series, was created for those lucky few. After testing one for a week, I developed a serious case of auto envy and tried to recall why I became a moderately paid journalist instead of a surgeon.

For one thing, the 650i isn’t just stylish, it’s mesmerizing. Its lines flow like those in a Botticelli painting, a perfect harmony of curves and creases punctuated by angularity.

Unlike many drop-tops, the 650i looks great from any angle with its top up or down. Raise the roof on some convertibles and they transform from Elle MacPherson in a bikini to Rosie O’Donnell in a hoodie. Raise its cloth top and the 650i remains lust-worthy, thanks in part to the BMW stylists’ attention to detail (note the flying buttress design that frames the rear window, for example).

Some might eschew cloth tops in this era of hardtop convertibles, but they have advantages. They can be faster to raise and lower, and occupy less trunk space when tucked away. They also tend to weigh less than retractable hardtops.

No doubt the 650i’s cabin would be a bit quieter if it had a hardtop. But the fully lined and insulated 650i top does an excellent job of keeping wind and road noise at bay. And it fully raises or lowers in 20-23 seconds, according to my stopwatch, at speeds up to around 25 mph.

That’s a pretty neat trick, but not the only one. The 650i’s glass rear window (with defroster) can be raised or lowered independently of the top. You could lower it with the top up to enhance interior ventilation. A more practical application is raising it when the top is down to reduce wind buffeting in the passenger compartment.

It’s one of those features you see and wonder why every convertible maker doesn’t follow suit.

Probably because few convertibles exhibit the attention to detail or possess the array of high-tech gadgetry found in the 650i. Its standard equipment catalog reads like a premium car buyer’s wish list, and some of its options sound like they were specked-out by George Lucas.

For example, every 650i Convertible comes with a voice-activated navigation system, Xenon adaptive headlights, parking distance sensors and dynamic cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed to traffic conditions.

The test car was also equipped with options such as a color heads-up display (including navigation directions), active anti-roll system, 360-degree video parking display, and cameras in the front quarter panels that enable the driver to “peek” into busy intersections or parking lot lanes before entering.

In some cars such features can seem like a distraction. But BMW has done a wonderful job of deftly integrating the technology so that it’s easy to use and feels natural in operation. Even its one-touch iDrive control system is much improved and closer than ever to feeling intuitive.

I’ve described the handling on previous BMW test vehicles as intuitive because the cars responded so quickly and adeptly to the driver’s wishes. The 4,500-pound 650i doesn’t achieve quite that level of serendipity with the driver. I’m not sure if that’s because of its weight or its electronically boosted rack-and-pinion steering system.

That’s not to say, however, that the 650i doesn’t handle well. On the contrary, I was stunned the first time I pushed it hard into a corner. Given its comfortable ride, the 650i’s tenacious grip, precise aim and dexterity in the tightest turns took me by surprise. The luxurious cruiser turned into a fearsome fighter when it had a challenge thrown it.

This fighter was never mismatched. It not only conquered every cornering challenge thrown at it, but made me feel like F1 driver Michael Schumacher while doing it. Even unexpected dips or bumps fail to perturb the unflappable the 650i.

Thanks to its 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8, the 650i is as much fun going in a straight line as it is on a winding country road. It launches from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and passes effortlessly at highway speeds.

It offers up 450 pounds-feet of thrust at just 1,750 rpm, enabling the 650i to jump at the nudge of its throttle. With all of that power flowing as smoothly as maple syrup right up to 4,500 rpm, the 650i is one of those rare vehicles that always seems to be moving 15 or 20 mph faster than you think it is.

Thank goodness for its heads-up display. And thank goodness that in this day and age of downsizing and stretching a buck, BMW is still producing incredible machines such as the 650i for those who can appreciate and afford them even if I’m not among them.

Scott Wasser is executive editor of MaineToday Media. He writes a weekly auto column for the Sunday Telegram and other newspapers. He can be reached at:

[email protected]