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Formula One driver to launch new BMW 6 Series

Media release
February 12, 2004

Formula One driver to launch new BMW 6 Series

The much-anticipated new BMW 6 Series Coupé will be unveiled in New Zealand by Formula One motor racing star Ralf Schumacher on 1 March.

Schumacher, who drives for the BMW Williams Formula One team, will launch the new car during a brief stopover in Auckland en route to Melbourne for the first Grand Prix of the 2004 season.

The Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Geoff Fletcher, said the release of the new 6 Series 14 years after the last model shook the motoring world is exciting and to have one of the world’s most recognisable sporting figures in New Zealand to launch it is doubly exciting for the company.

“The 6 Series has been lauded internationally as BMW’s ultimate coupé and represents the very latest in design innovation and automotive technology,” said Mr Fletcher.

The powerful new 645 Ci features a 245 kW V8 engine and six speed automatic transmission and is priced at NZ$207,900.

Visits to New Zealand by current Formula One drivers are rare and mostly occur around the time of the Australian Grand Prix. In the past decade only Mika Hakkinen (2000) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (1997) have crossed the Tasman. Ralf Schumacher is the only driver who has visited the country immediately before the race itself.

While in New Zealand Schumacher will spend the day fulfilling some limited media engagements and be the guest of honour at an exclusive private luncheon attended by BMW dealers and key customers, including those awaiting delivery of their new 6 Series.

At the luncheon there will be an auction of signed memorabilia, with proceeds going to BMW's partner charity Cure Kids. Following the luncheon Schumacher will be flown straight to Melbourne to prepare for the Grand Prix.

Last year Schumacher won two rounds outright and finished fifth overall in the World Championship. 2004 sees him in a new car with the latest BMW engine and Schumacher says he is determined to build on his late-season pace to challenge for the title.

The BMW Williams Formula One Team was one of the first to launch its 2004 car and has taken a bold step forward in design, aiming to match the excellent performance of the car’s V10 engine with race-winning aerodynamics.

Schumacher’s recent testing times in the new BMW Williams suggest he will be very competitive as he attempts to be the one to wrest the World Championship title from his brother, Michael.


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