The Mighty BMW 6 Series Returns | Part Two

The New 6 Series Coupe

BMW 6 Series

Fluent exterior lines are reflected in a sporty interior. Core driving functions are located on or around the steering wheel while the iDrive controller, which accesses most of the vehicle’s secondary and comfort functions, is within easy and convenient reach of driver and front seat passenger. Owners can also specify a panorama roof option which is larger than a normal electric sunroof, adding light and clarity to its luxurious interior.

The power and the glory

Power and refinement come as standard. At launch, the 6 Series will feature the 4.4-litre engine with VALVETRONIC which lies at the heart of BMW’s luxury 745i model.

Its V8 power plant produces an effortless 0-62 mph time of just 5.6 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. This engine produces a maximum power output of 333 bhp and develops 332 lb.ft (450 Nm) of torque at 3,600 rpm.

Rear-wheel drive

Complementing the powerful engine is a choice of three different six-speed gearboxes, which transmit power to the rear wheels in traditional BMW style. As well as a manual six-speed transmission, the new BMW 645Ci comes with an optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic. For those with a taste for Formula 1 shifting, there is also a Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) with steering wheel paddles and gearshift lever.

Driving Dynamics Control (DDC) is similar to the sport function on BMW M3 and M5 models. Operated by a ‘Sport’ button on the centre console, DDC sharpens up throttle reaction for more responsive acceleration, as well as producing a more direct feel from the speed-related, power-assisted steering. When fitted with SMG or the Steptronic automatic, DDC also shifts gears at higher revs, changing ratios in a lightning 150 milliseconds.

Lightweight materials, heavyweight thinking

Weighing just 1,600 kg or 3,528 lbs, the new 6 Series uses a combination of aluminium, steel and synthetic materials, making a significant contribution to driving performance, with the added benefit of improved fuel economy.

The bonnet, doors and entire front body structure are made of aluminium. Front wings are fashioned from thermoplastic while the boot lid is made of sheet moulding compound (SMC).

continues... | Part Three
Published 15 July 2003 Melanie Carter
 

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