2005 BMW 645

Written by tonks on December 3, 2006

2005 BMW 645People are “wowing” at the $76,300 BMW 645Ci Convertible and at the cousin of the 6 series convertible, the $69,300 645Ci Coupe. Both cars are huge head turners. But they’ve also got something else.

A certain menace to their mien that other cars in this class and price range the $70,000-$80,000 Mercedes-Benz CLK500 coupe and convertible, the $81,000 Maserati Cambiocorsa Coupe and the $70,000-$90,000 Jaguar XK series cars lack. To get a car with this level of performance (more on that soon) and this sort of big-muscled styling, you have to look at a Porsche 911.

The 911 is actually a good car to compare with the new 6 series. The 911 comes as both a coupe and convertible, and the prices are quite similar as well unless you start steering hard toward the top-end performance editions such as the 911 GT 2, which has a MSRP of $191,700.

Why not compare the BMW to the Benz, the Jag or the Maserati? We will, but as you’ll soon understand, these are very different breeds of automobile, with both the Maserati and Jaguar leaning toward a certain quirky exoticism and the Benz going entirely the other direction, toward quiet refinement.

We think BMW engineers and designers knew all this going into the 6 series project, and we think they were right to not follow the lead of their competition. BMWs are meant to be different to be for drivers first. The 6 series is just that kind of car, with a few updates to the usual BMW swagger that we love, and a few we dislike.

We know this because when we look at the air vents of a lot of high-end cars (even $80,000 luxury cars), we often see something a tad annoying they’re the same ones used in cars that cost less than half as much. Ditto the cutouts for radios and consoles, for instruments and door levers.

This is OK when the company (like BMW) has thought about these shapes and dimensions, and made the parameters fit both lower-end and top-end vehicles, each of which may use different materials but in similar patterns.

Speaking of basic functions, the Mercedes CLK has more backseat room than the BMW. We packed four adults into both the 6 series Coupe and Convertible, and if each trip had been longer, those unfortunate enough to be stuck in back would have been begging to get out. Another point about form.

We wish BMW had found a way to lose the B pillars in this car. Drop the windows on the CLK coupe and you’ve got a wide-open, metal-and-glass-free space shooting right through the sides of the car.

Sure, that makes structural stability tougher to achieve, but with B pillars, as the BMW has, you’ve just made a very sexy car look a little less so. And besides, somehow BMW achieved tremendous stiffness (actually with more bracing throughout the undercarriage) in the 6 series convertible, and that car doesn’t have any B pillars.

Posted Under: BMW,Cool Cars

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