When BMW's 6 Series made its local appearance last month, it managed to melt the icy demeanours of many set against the marque’s styling objectives. Will the new offering, at R811 000, continue the trend?

When BMW's 6 Series made its local appearance last month, it managed to melt the icy demeanours of many set against the marque’s styling objectives. Will the new offering, at R811 000, continue the trend?

The 645Ci convertible features a conventional, electro-mechanically powered soft with a full, vertical glass rear window. For the first time, the ample C-pillar has been used for a soft-top creating the impression of "fins". A side-effect of the "fin" incorporation is the addition of the BMW’s "Hofmeister kink".

A conventional rear window would have taken up too much space, but the vertical window hardly takes up any space in the luggage compartment. It also operates completely independently of the roof structure and bars and may be moved up or down regardless of whether the roof is open or closed.

The fully automatic power roof opens both by remote control and by means of a button in the instrument console. Six hydraulic cylinders are responsible for opening and closing both the roof and the roof compartment lid.

The complete process of opening or closing the roof takes less than 25 seconds. Within this period the rear window and all side windows are also retracted or moved up as required, and the soft top is fastened electrically on to the windshield frame and roof lid.

In line with the current 6 Series, BMW insists that despite the sloping roof, the 645Ci is a genuine 2+2 with room for adult passengers at the rear.

Power is the 4,4-litre V8 unit that won the International Engine of the Year award in 2002. Combined with one of three six-speed transmissions, including BMW's F1-inspired SMG, the 645Ci convertible accelerates from zero to 100 km in 6,1 seconds (6,2 seconds in the automatic transmission model). Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Keeping in line with its convertible image, the 645i will come fully specced with run flat tyres and tyre pressure monitor, front seats with electric adjustment, active steering and dynamic stability control including ABS, ASC, DBC, EBV and CBS. Standard too are adaptive Bi-xenon headlights, a six CD changer with audio system, a navigation system and voice control preparation.

Optional features include the Dynamic Drive package and Head-up Display - available in the fourth quarter.

Prices start at R811 000 for the standard six-speed manual gearbox, R825 000 for the automatic and R824 000 for the SMG gearboxes.

Original article from Car