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2005 BMW 645Ci

The Ultimate Driving Experience

by Alain Gayot

In short: A luxurious sports coupe you’ll want to keep on driving.

If you have to ask how much it costs, then this car is probably not for you. Having said that and before you invest $77,000 (or $84,000 for the convertible), you may want to ask why. It’s a good question, and we have plenty of answers for you. And yes, if you can afford it, buy one.

The 645Ci is a driver's car that you will enjoy in the city and on the highway but will totally fall in love with if you ever get it on a track. It has looks that are luxurious and inspire speed. While the humpish “whale tail” could be rethought, overall, the exterior lines are pleasing to the eye. Inside is a different story. There is nothing wrong necessarily. The cabin is spacious but spartan in feel, and some of the instruments and controls seem too simple. Then there is the iDrive, the electronic system that runs everything, which will drive you mad trying to figure it out. However, once in, buckled up and familiar with systems, the fun starts.

The car is sure footed and handles and corners beautifully. Acceleration is good and braking is simply sensational. BMW has come up with a racy specimen with precise steering that won’t skid.

Despite its sports car pedigree, the ride is not that rough and enables you to thoroughly enjoy it as an everyday car. With good trunk space, it is perfect for weekend trips sans kids. All this excitement in driving comes at a much lesser price than an exotic and will give you the reliability of a BMW.

Standard features of note include: Digital Motor Electronics engine-management system with adaptive knock control; Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with electronic brake proportioning; Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic Traction Control; Anti-lock Braking System with Dynamic Brake Control; Vehicle-speed-sensitive, variable-assist, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion power steering, Active Roll Stabilization; Active Roll Stabilization; Rain-sensing windshield wipers; and Park Distance Control.

Warranty/Service: 4 year/50,000 mile Full Maintenance Program; 4 year/50,000 mile Limited Warranty; 12-year Limited Rust Perforation Warranty; 4 year/ 50,000 mile BMW Roadside Assistance Program.

Base Price: $69,900 /As tested: $76,670

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 4.4-liter V8
Horsepower: 325 bhp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 330 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3,792 lbs
Wheelbase: 109.4 in
Length/Width/Height: 190.2/73/54 in
Turning circle: 37.4 feet

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS and electronic brake assist
independent front and rear with active roll stabilization
traction control, vehicle stability control

Safety: front air bags, front side air bags, front and rear side curtain air bags; rear parking assist

0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (governed)

EPA City: 18 mpg
EPA Highway: 26 mpg

Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 08/31/10 AR)