Friday 11th July 2003


6 SERIES IS BACK

4.4 litre V8 powered Coupe takes on Mercedes

BMW have finally revealed the production version of the new 6 Series Coupe. Not since 1989 has BMW had a 6 series in the range, leaving Mercedes to pick up the wealth customers seeking two door, premium fun.

The 4.4 litre V8 is lifted from BMW's 7 series and is good for 333bhp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Top speed as ever is limited to 155mph. The 645 will reach 60mph in 5.6 seconds.

Six speed gearboxes will be standard with manual, automatic and the Sequential Manual Gearbox option with both steering wheel paddles and gear lever.

The new coupe weighs in at a reasonably respectable 1600kg, thanks to extensive use of aluminium and synthetic materials in its construction. In fact the bonnet, doors and the entire front body structure are made of aluminium. The front wings are thermoplastic whilst the boot is made of something called 'Sheet Moulding Compound'.

Car balance should be good with a 50:50 weight distribution and if things to go pear shaped BMW's usual assortment of electronic aids will step in to try and regain traction and stability. Active cruise control will also stop you driving into the car in front if you're busy reading a book or on the phone. Variable ratio steering comes as standard.

This will also be the first BMW to feature a Heads up Display on the windscreen showing navigation instructions, speed etc.

There's no spare wheel clogging up the boot and BMW don't expect you to bluff it with a car of Tyre Weld either. The 6 series comes with run-flat tyres allowing you to drive up to 90 miles at 50mph to get you home.

The new car will be available in the UK from December and the 645Ci will be supplemented by a convertible version next year. Prices are yet to be confirmed.