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BMW 6 Series

E63 6 Series

1 May 2004

BMW waited 14 years to resurrect the famous 6 Series moniker, and was determined not to make the same mistake with the 1990s E31 8 Series.

This time the Bavarians based the ‘6’ on the E60 5 Series platform, so the resulting 645Ci coupe and convertible – both launched in May 2004 – shared many of its brilliant dynamic attributes, as well as the extremely controversial Chris Bangle-led ‘flame surfacing’ styling.

Priced from around $200,000, BMW had jam-packed the 635Ci with features and gadgets.

Among the more noteworthy were Active Steering – which altered the ratio according to the vehicle’s speed – Dynamic Drive (basically active anti-roll bars), i-Drive (a dash-mounted computer mouse-like interface for many of the car’s functions) and a cornucopia of electronic safety and driver aids like stability control.

Powering all this was a 245kW/450Nm 4.4-liltre V8 engine mated to either a six-speed manual or ZF six-speed automatic gearbox. But this motor was to be short-lived.

In the last quarter of 2005 BMW released a revised 6 Series, featuring completely new engines and some minor trim and detail upgrades.

Now dubbed 650Ci, it featured a 270kW/490Nm 4.8-litre Valvetronic V8 engine that was capable of taking the Coupe to 100km/h from standstill in 5.5 seconds (Convertible: 5.8s).

There was also a stop-start button, Head-up instrumentation display and upgraded stability control implemented.

If all this were not enough, BMW also introduced the M6.

Using many mechanical parts from the brilliant M5, including its 5.0-litre 40-valve V10 engine producing 373kW of power and 520Nm of torque, the M6 proved faster than its sedan sibling, due to an extensive use of lightweight materials.

Drive was channelled rearwards via a seven-speed sequential-shift manual SMG III transmission, enabling the M6 to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds.

Part of the extensive weight-paring procedures included a carbon fibre roof and bumpers and aluminium body panels, suspension and brake components.

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