Thursday December 11, 2003
BMW has announced the arrival of the BMW 6 Series Convertible, a variant on the 6 Series Coupe that incorporates a side fin roof designed to give the same visual impact as wide C-pillars and maintain the unique balance between coup'-like styling and the new 2+2-seater Convertible form.
Entering the market in the guise of the 4.4-litre, 245 kW/333 bhp, V8 BMW 645Ci, the convertible is combined with one of three six-speed transmissions - including the Formula 1 derived SMG Sequential Manual Gearbox controlled via buttons on the steering wheel - and features adaptive headlights, active steering, parking with ultrasound, optional Head-Up Display plus a newly developed roof designed to provide exceptional noise and heat insulation. Add this to performance that sees the vehicle reach 100kmk in 6.1 seconds (manual gearbox version; automatic transmission model in 6.2 seconds) and an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmh and you can see why BMW are billing it as a car for the "aficionado of open-air motoring".
When swithching to open air mode the fully-powered softtop disappears completely within a few seconds and the rear window can be retracted completely into the luggage compartment bulkhead by means of an electric motor with the roof both open or closed. This creates a draught-free ventilation effect similar to that offered by a sliding roof in a saloon.
The versatile 8-cylinder engine allows for adjustment of virtually all relevant parameters including valve timing (bi-VANOS), valve lift (VALVETRONIC) and the length of the intake manifolds and achieves fuel consumption of 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres.
The driving experience of the new 6 Series Convertible is enhanced by the extra-stiff body which reduces vibrations, a range of BMW chassis and suspension control systems, Active Steering which provides more direct handling at low speeds and yaw rate control, swivelling Adaptive Headlights improvements in illuminating of up to 90 per cent.
BMW's Head-Up Display is among the many technological innovations showcased in the 645Ci aimed at improving performance, comfort and safety. Available as an option at the 6 Series Convertible, the Heads-up system projects important information directly into the driver's line of vision. The virtual image provided by the Head-Up Display appears as if its on the road ahead so there's no distraction or glancing down required to obtain road speed, navigation instructions, speed limits and other relevant driving information.
A voice based navigation-system is available that allows the driver to activate nearly all display functions through his voice alone and activate an extended range of "iDrive" functions including access BMW Online services providing selected internet-based options. A text-to-speech function can also be used to read out e-mails, SMS messages or the names of radio stations.
The 2+2 convertible offers comfort for all four occupants with electrical adjustment of the driver's and front passenger's seats featured as standard. A triple memory function is also included on the on the driver's seat and the separate leather seats in the rear are extra-deep to provide enough headroom with the top down.
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