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BMW ushers in new V8s

Six of the best: 5 Series (below) gains 225kW 4.0 and 270kW 4.8-litre V8 power in November, while the 645Ci coupe (above) becomes the 650Ci.

BMW's 545i and 645Ci will make way for 540i, 550i and 650i nameplates in November

26 Aug 2005

BMW Australia is set to upgrade its V8-engine offerings and introduce variable intensity headlight technology in the 5 Series and 6 Series model ranges.

To debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October, the revised 5 Series V8 range will comprise a 540i and 550i while the 6 Series will offer a 650i.

Priced from $133,500, the 540i will be powered by a 225kW/390Nm 4.0-litre V8 while the $160,000 550i gains the 270kW/490Nm 4.8-litre V8 shared with other BMW variants.

The $201,000 650i Coupe and $217,400 650i Convertible also gain the 4.8.

These vehicles, and the MY2006 7 Series and M6 also due for release around November, will all feature BMW’s new "high-beam assist" system, which automatically sets the bi-Xenon headlights to the optimum range and brightness depending on other traffic movements.

14 center imageA sensor at the front of the car detects any oncoming exterior light source, allowing the car to switch between high and low beam for the best level of illumination.

In a further high-tech lighting move, BMW Australia will next year introduce night vision technology on its 6 and 7 Series.

Night vision uses a thermal imaging camera to detect pedestrians, animals or any objects emitting heat up to 300 metres ahead of the vehicle, displaying an image on the iDrive screen.

BMW AG claims the two safety innovations were developed following research showing the inherent dangers posed by poorly lit roads or busy highways.

It quotes German road safety research showing approximately 50 per cent of serious accidents were caused as a result of the driver not having enough information about the road ahead to take avoiding action.

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