16 October 2003

Autocar has finally got behind the wheel of BMW’s controversially styled and hi-tech 6-series coupé.

Driving the 645Ci at the Spanish launch, Autocar editor Steve Sutcliffe gave it the thumbs up, describing it as ‘a hugely seductive everyday car, a great cruiser and a good sports GT. But no sports car.’

Munich’s newest 2+2 rides on the current 5-series chassis but manages to outpoint its saloon brother on the road. Where the Five lacks handling balance over a lumpy B-road, the 6-series feels more resolved and intuitive, with better front-end grip.

The 329bhp 4.4-litre V8 we tested is the only engine currently on offer, fitted with standard six-speed manual or optional six speed auto or paddle shift SMG ‘box. In 2005 we’ll be getting a 3.0-litre straight six and a 500bhp V10-engined M6.

Styling-wise, the 645Ci belongs to the 7-series era of BMW design. It’s at its best in profile, the long bonnet line, shallow glasshouse and dramatically sloping roofline, perfectly captures the coupé’s personality. But the clumsy, inelegant rear inherits the Seven’s bulky, added on look and is sure to be the focus of much criticism.

Inside, this two-door coupé is a full four-seater with wonderful leather buckets and a terrific driving position. The dashboard is heavily based on the 5-series, including the simplified iDrive system.

The 645Ci hits UK showrooms next March costing £49,850, putting it in the firing line of the Mercedes CL500 and Jaguar XK8. Unusually, a convertible version will also appear at the same time although prices for the ragtop have yet to be decided.

Read the full story in this week’s Autocar

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK