Thu, 27 May 2004

BMW 645Ci gives another option for coupe lovers

Primastuti Handayani, Jakarta

Almost 70 years have passed since German carmaker BMW launched its legendary 327 Coupe in 1937, a milestone in automotive history.

Thirty eight years later, the company launched its successful 6 Series, with around 86,000 units sold worldwide from 1975 to 1999.

This year, the company launched the BMW 645Ci, a luxurious sports coupe. The car was first presented to the public at the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Coupe enthusiasts recently brought two black BMW 645Ci cars to the capital.

The four-seater car has a lightweight aluminum, steel and synthetic body. Its design is elegant, luxurious and sporty as can been seen in its long hoods, sleek roofline, short deck and long wheelbase.

The 645Ci also has an electrically operated glass roof with a sun shade, and comfort opening/closing via tip keys.

The car carries a 4.4-liter V8 engine under its hood with Bi- Vanos (variable valve timing), Valvetronic (variable valve lift) and a variable intake manifold. The engine can achieve an output of 333 horsepower at 6,100 revs per minute (rpm) with a maximum torque of 450 Newton meters at 3,600 rpm.

As a sports car, the 645Ci can reach its governed top speed at 250 kilometers per hour and accelerate from 0 to 100 kph within only 5.8 seconds. Despite its nature as a sports car, the 645Ci is quite economical as it only needs 11.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

Advanced technology can also be found in the car, including Active Steering, which was first introduced in the 5 Series, and Dynamic Drive.

The interior of the car is minimal to reduce the complexity of the panel. The 645Ci also has an iDrive controller and display monitor in the cockpit.

Since safety has always been a main concern, the 645Ci is also equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Cornering Brake Control, as well as the standard airbags.

PT BMW Indonesia director of sales and marketing Harold Mayer said the car could proceed with a flat tire, without having to make a stop. With tire damage or completely airless tires, a distance of 150 kilometers could be covered at 80 kph, he said.

The company's president director Josef Honsel said: "The new 6 Series is the fourth new model introduced in the last four months following the new 5 Series, 730Li and X5 Facelift."

However, this car is facing tough competition from Mercedes- Benz CLK, Jaguar XR8 and Maserati Coupe, all are sports coupe vehicles.

With a price tag of Rp 1.685 billion (US$181,965), a limited number of the 645Ci are now available in the city.