BMW 5-Series GT Gran Turismo debuts inelegantly
BMW is once again forcefully defining a brand-new segment in the car market, with the all-new BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo. Finally launched in production form after teasing and horrifying the public with a similar concept a few months ago, the 5-Series GT aims to be combine the features of a “prestige saloon, a highly-versatile Sports Activity Vehicle, and a classic Gran Turismo in brand-new, unprecedented style.” Only, in this case, their idea of “unprecedented style” is a hatchback with a tall roof.
As an unattractive version of the BMW 5-Series, which incidentally already has a better-looking regular wagon in its stable, the BMW Gran Turismo even tries to imitate a coupe, with frameless doors and a sloping rear roofline. The GT’s other main features include a panoramic glass roof, LED running lights up front, iDrive computer integrated into the warped-looking dashboard, seating for four only, as much headroom as a BMW X5, more rear legroom than a 5-Series sedan, and a ridiculously-low 440 litres of luggage volume before folding down the rear seats. About the only feature its future owners can brag about is the two-piece tailgate that pointlessly opens in two different ways.
About the only thing pleasing in this package are the engine choices, all lifted from better-looking siblings. The 530i Gran Turismo comes with a 3.0-litre turbo inline-6 with 306 hp at 5,800 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,200 to 5,000 rpm, good for 0–100 kph in 6.3 seconds. The 550i Gran Turismo gets a 4.4-litre turbo V8 with 407 hp from 5,500 to 6,400 rpm, and 600 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm, enough for 0 to 100 kph in 5.5 seconds. Both versions are limited to 250 kph, and both come with a new 8-speed automatic that debuted in the BMW 760i recently.
As expected with all BMWs, the 5-Series GT can be expected to handle like a sports sedan, with NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ programs that change suspension settings and drivetrain response.
The wide range of standard features offered by the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo includes automatic air conditioning, an audio system, an AUX-In connector bush, and the Integrated Owner’s Manual. Optional features include four-zone automatic air conditioning, telecommunication and navigation systems, a USB port, an 80 GB hard disc for navigation data and the user’s private music collection, a multi-channel audio system, a DAB double tuner, a DVD entertainment system at the rear, a Head-Up Display, a panorama glass roof optimised for noise control and attractive design, as well as an electrically swivelling trailer hook.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is also available as an option with the complete range of features from BMW ConnectedDrive, including Cruise Control with Stop & Go, a High-Beam Assistant, Lane Change Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Info, BMW Night Vision with detection of individual persons, Side View, Top View, and a back-up camera. Over and above these features, BMW ConnectedDrive also offers BMW Online, BMW Assist, BMW TeleServices, as well as an Enhanced Emergency Call function automatically determining and reporting the current location of the car.
While the BMW X6 took the world by storm due to its looks and performance, even becoming the second-bestselling BMW in the UAE, we expect the 5-Series GT to go the way of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, another experiment that flopped miserably. It should quietly reach the GCC by the end of this year.