Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Jul 2011



The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Jul 2011

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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8 NT NEWS. CARSguide www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 6 -J U L -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 3 0 8 C O L O R : C M Y K CARS GUIDE l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l ntnews.com.au BMWcoupewill unveil newbright eyes By MARK HINCHLIFFE LIGHT-EMITTING diodes are the future of headlamps, says BMW LED program manager Ulrich Henseler. He has spent the past 18 months developing the optional LED headlamps for the BMW 6 Series Coupe arriving in Australia in November. We will see more and more cars with LED headlights, he says, but wont give away which model will be the next with bright eyes. BMW was the first to use LEDs when it employed them as tail-lights and daytime running lights in the previous 3 Series. The 6 Series Coupe is the first BMW to have LEDs available as headlamps. The big advantage of LEDs is the temperature they work at, he says. Halogen lights burn at 3200 calvin, Xenon at 4300 and LEDs at 5500. Its nearly daylight, Mr Henseler says. Customers will recognise the light is brighter and has better contrast for road signs and lines on the road. After a couple of hours, our test drivers say they dont get as tired. The light spread and range is the same as Xenon, but LEDs are 20 per cent brighter. They are also smaller than halogen lights and last a lifetime. You never have to change a bulb, Mr Henseler says. But at the moment, they are more expensive. While Australian prices are yet to be announced, the LED option costs the equivalent of $2950 in Germany. The BMW 6 Series Coupe LED headlights vary their spread and range with speed. Below 50km/h in the city, they have a wide and short spread. They narrow and lengthen up to 110km/h. Hybrids face of future ELECTRIC cars will represent only 5-7 per cent of all vehicles in 10 years, says BMW sales and marketing manager Ian Robertson. But about 50 per cent will have some form of electric interface such as plug-in hybrids, he says. BMW will launch the i3 compact EV and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car in 2013. Mr Robertson says hydrogen power is on the backburner and predicts internal combustion engines (ICE) will still play a huge role. That is why we are developing energy-efficient internal combustion engines, he says. The take-up of EVs will be dependent on several factors such as government incentives and the Chinese market, says Mr Robertson who recently visited Australia. Incentives take time. Im not disappointed by the lack of incentives (in Australia) yet, he says. The big trigger for change to electric power will rely on what the worlds biggest car market, China, does. The Chinese Government is being very aggressive about alternative powertrains,' he says. This will potentially speed up the takeup of EVs. Mr Robertson says the i3 and i8 will be bookends to BMWs alternative powertrain products and will arrive in Australia at the end of 2013. He cannot confirm what other models will be in the i range, but confirms the price for the i8 will be about $300,000. He has no estimate on the i3 pricing. The technology is expensive. We will decide on pricing in the next 18 months, he says. While most EVs are being leased to governments and big corporations, Mr Robertson says the i3 and i8 will be mass-produced for the public. Were looking at various means of ownership, he says. Both vehicles will make extensive use of strong, lightweight, expensive carbonfibre. While carbonfibre is expensive, it weighs less so the battery does not have to be as big, which is a cost saving. Extra grunt has coupe prowling new league ATAGLANCE BMW6SERIES COUPE HHHH Price: about $180,000 (640i), $230-$235,000 (650i) Warranty: 3 years, unlimited km Engines: 235kW/450Nm 3-litre, 6-cylinder turbo; 300kW/600Nm 4.4-litre V8 twin turbo Transmission: 8-speed auto Economy: 7.6L/100km (640i), 10.5L/100km (650i) CO 2 Emissions: 177-181g/km (640i); 245-246g/km (650i), depending on tyres Dimensions: 4894mm (L), 1894mm (W), 1369mm (H), 2855mm (WB) Weight: 1660kg-1845kg Safety: ABS, stability control, cornering brake control, adaptive drive, 6 airbags Rivals: Jaguar XK ($224,115-$254,915); Maserati GranTurismo ($288,800-$364,900); Mercedes-Benz CL ($337,000-$519,250); Porsche 911 Carrera ($223,000-$252,800) It is the prettiest BMWon the road by a long chalk, reportsMARKHINCHLIFFE THE BMW 6 Series Coupe used to look like a final-model Monaro for better or for worse, depending on your taste. It has now hunkered down with a lower and wider profile and a nose like a great white shark, roaming the streets like the scary predator it is. It debuted two months ago in Shanghai and will hit our showrooms in November with 640i six-cylinder and 650i V8 models. VALUE: The 6 Series Coupe would normally compete against the Mercedes-Benz CL but BMW Australia spokesman Piers Scott believes the features, power and acceleration also put this into competition with the Porsche 911 Carrera, Jaguar XK and Maserati GranTurismo. He says it will be priced about $15,000 to $20,000 under the cabrio and expects to sell about 100 a year compared with about 60 cabrios. TECHNOLOGY: BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson says the 6 Series Coupe is jam-packed with cutting-edge technology, with many features from the existing line-up such as dy namic damping control and optional active four-wheel steering. Both are TwinPower Turbo models but the term means different things in different models. In the V8 it means two turbos working together, in the 640i it means a twin-scroll turbo, while in other BMWs it means a small and large turbo working in sequence. Of environmental relevance to Australia is the new driver mode called Eco Pro. It attenuates the throttle and transmission for more frugal driving and gives hints on how to conserve fuel. BMWs Connected Drive takes another step forward with full-colour 3D head-up display that shows a realistic presentation of the road ahead and speed and traffic signs, says Mr Robertson. It also has new night vision with pedestrian awareness, active cruise control, parking assistance, smart phone integration with email capability and active cornering lights, a first for the 6 Series. Mr Scott says standard specification levels will be similar to the current 6 Series convertible. Options include a 14-speaker, mind-and-ear drum-blowing B & O sound system. DESIGN: Mr Robertson says the 6 Series Coupe was designed with golfers in mind, fitting three sets of golf clubs in the back which is important in the US and Asia. It was top-of-mind when we put pen to paper, he says, disingenuously. The key is the lowered look with a bonnet that is a lot lower than a 5 Series, sliteyed headlights, a longer wheelbase, and LED fog lamps and tail-lights. Inside there is a more ensconced feeling as the driver and crew sit lower in the cabin and the drivers seat has a cockpit feeling. DRIVING: The sun shone on the lush green plains around Munich as we headed off on the world media launch in the 640i. While Australian performance drivers may enjoy the rumble of the V8 and the neck-snapping acceleration of 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, the 640i proved no slouch, either. We pushed the electronically limited 250km/h top speed on the autbobahn and reveled in the traditional BMW straight-six growl. At these speeds, the eightspeed transmission is rolling along with little fuss. VERDICT: For the sheer beauty of the sleek sheet metal, the BMW is worth every penny. However, claims it will compete with exotics such as Maserati and Porsche may be harder to defend.

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