The New 6 Series Coupe | Part Four (2003)

The New BMW 6 Series Coupe


Featuring a six-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment or optional six-speed SMG transmission allowing the driver, like in Formula 1, to shift gears by means of paddles on the steering wheel or by the gearshift lever without using a clutch pedal, the BMW 645Ci offers a level of performance on the road only a few thoroughbred sports cars are able to match: Top speed is 250 km/h or 155 mph (limited electronically), acceleration from 0?100 km/h is in 5.6 seconds.

Dynamic performance of the highest standard - this naturally also applies, without restriction, to the optional six-speed automatic transmission combining sports motoring and a smooth, comfortable gearshift with a standard of perfection never seen before in this category: running in automatic transmission, the 645Ci accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds and returns superior fuel economy of 10.9 litres/100 km (25.9 mpg Imp) in the European combined cycle.

Performance of an even higher standard at the touch of a button

Pressing the DDC (Dynamic Drive Control) button featured on all transmissions, the driver is able to give the entire car an even more sporting and dynamic character. Motoring comfort is intentionally reduced at the same time, the engines responding with even faster acceleration while the gas pedal remains in the same position. Pressing down the gas pedal, in turn, the driver will trigger an even more dynamic, progressive response.

On models fitted with automatic transmission, DDC waits for higher engine speeds before shifting to the next gear, whilst on models with SMG transmission gearshift times become even shorter. A further effect of DDC is the modification of steering forces (not with Active Steering), DDC thus giving the sporting and ambitious driver an even better response and feel for the road.

Sporting, safe, comfortable

Performance beyond any doubt is one thing, the way this supreme power is conveyed to the road is another. And to ensure perfect transmission of power to the road beneath, the new 6 Series comes with an all-aluminium chassis and suspension tailored perfectly to the sporting character of the car. Hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering with Servotronic ensures the high standard of directional accuracy and precise feedback from the steering so essential on a coupé of this calibre, Servotronic varying the degree of steering assistance by means of a control curve geared to road speed.

Active Steering for even better handling

Only active control systems are able to further enhance the safe and comfortable driving pleasure the BMW 6 Series offers from the start as a regular feature. Fitted with Active Steering available as an option, the 645Ci responds even more directly and, as a result, with a far higher standard of agility and precision to the driver's steering commands at low speeds, steering response then becoming increasingly indirect at higher speeds in the interest of even better and smoother directional stability. The big advantage for the driver is that the 645Ci is far more agile and offers much better handling than one would expect of a car of this size. Indeed, it is quite appropriate to describe this as a kind of go-kart feeling, with Active Steering enhancing the agility of BMW's large coupé to a standard never seen before.

BMW 6 Series | Part Five
Published 25 October 2003 Melanie Carter

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