May 25, 2009 BMW has announced the 5 Series Gran Turismo, a car which combines a coupé-like silhouette with the luxurious interior of a BMW 7 Series, while at the same time giving the functionality of a BMW 5 Series Touring or X5. Available as either a four-seat Executive specification car or in a five-seat SE configuration, the Gran Turismo's truly innovative feature is a two-piece tailgate offering two ways of opening the rear of the vehicle depending on the objects needed to be stowed.
The 19th distinct model shape to be offered in the BMW portfolio has a vehicle length nearly on par with a BMW 7 Series to create a greater feeling of space for those inside. This translates into the second greatest amount of legroom offered by any BMW while headroom is equivalent to that of a BMW X5. Meanwhile, boot space can be enhanced from 440 litres up to 1,700 litres, only 50 litres behind the capacity of the BMW X5 and the second largest space compared to all current BMWs.
A more conventional saloon style boot opening provides access for smaller objects. This allows the cabin area to remain warm and without noise intrusion. The hatch-style opening combined with a flexible partition comes into play should the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo owner wish to make full use of its load-lugging capacity. The rear seats can be moved 100mm fore or aft to either increase boot space or provide greater legroom for rear seat passengers. With the rear seats moved forwards, the seat backs folded virtually flat and the parcel shelf removed and stowed beneath the luggage compartment floor, much bulkier items can then be transported.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo has been styled to represent its unique position in the market. The familiar BMW kidney grilles and large air intakes hint at the car’s performance potential, while a roof line that curves downwards towards the rear and the frameless doors both give a coupé feel. Inside, the seats are all set in a semi-command driving position for the best mix of forward vision yet comfortable access. One of the key features of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is the height of the seats. Potential customers have expressed a desire for the luxury of a BMW 7 Series but also the feeling of security and all round visibility a car with a command driving position such as the BMW X5 offers. Black Panel technology first shown on the BMW 7 Series features for an added touch of luxury. Black Panel technology is a signature piece of design that allows the displays of the centre console to double as a stylish trim. The electronic displays are visible through the Black Panel technology when needed, but are discreet enough to form a stylish black band across the interior. Control switches in galvanised metal are set into the centre console by way of contrast.
Three engines power the three models available at launch
The biggest seller in the UK is predicted to be the BMW 530d GT. This 2,993cc six-cylinder car features third generation common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors for the best in diesel refinement and efficiency. Producing 245hp at 4,000rpm, the 530d accelerates from zero to 62mph in 6.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of 149mph. The peak torque of 540Nm from just 1,750rpm provides smooth yet swift progress in any gear. Fuel economy is exceptional with a combined fuel consumption figure of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 173g/km.
Joining the diesel-powered car is the BMW 535i GT. This 2,979cc six-cylinder powerplant is the first ever to combine a single turbo with VALVETRONIC - BMW’s system that varies how much the engine’s valves open for optimum efficiency. This partnership ensures the car meets the latest stringent emission regulations while offering optimum performance. The 306hp BMW 535i GT also features High precision direct injection technology for added efficiency. The performance credentials of the car are underscored by a zero to 62mph time of 6.3 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Consumption and emissions figures are impressive with 31.7mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 209g/km.
Topping the range is the BMW 550i GT. Powered by an acclaimed 407hp 4,395cc V8 engine with twin-turbo technology, the 550i GT offers near supercar performance with a zero to 62mph time of 5.5 seconds and an electronically-limited 155mph top speed. Its twin-turbochargers provide a near flat torque curve to provide relaxed yet rapid in-gear acceleration. Peak torque of 600Nm is on hand from 1,750rpm through to 4,500rpm. The BMW 550i GT records a combined consumption figure of 25.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 263g/km.
All cars come as standard with BMW’s new eight-speed automatic gearbox announced earlier this month on the 760Li. The all-new transmission is six per cent per cent more fuel efficient than the previous six-speed automatic yet it is as compact and weighs the same.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo comes with many of the EfficientDynamics technologies already shown on other BMWs. Brake Energy Regeneration which recharges the vehicle’s battery during engine over-run is standard. On-demand control of the car’s ancillary units such as the electrical coolant pump and the powering steering pump can all be decoupled to save draining power from the engine. Active aerodynamics also plays a part in the range’s performance and efficiency by closing off flaps behind the kidney grilles to improve the aerodynamics of the car.
All cars come as standard with Drive Dynamic Control, a feature first showcased on the BMW 7 Series, that allows the driver to fine tune the chassis configuration to suit their needs. Drivers will be able to specify Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, with each setting changing the steering assistance, throttle response and gear change characteristics.
Double wishbone front suspension and an integral V rear axle with air suspension provide the occupants with a composed ride. The car is also available with Integral Active Steering instead of the standard hydraulic steering configuration with Servotronic assistance for enhanced driving dynamics and comfort.
Highest ever standard specification The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo comes with a level of standard specification greater than previously offered on any 5 Series. Dakota leather upholstery, four-zone air-conditioning, panoramic sunroof and metallic paint are included. A USB audio interface, ambient lighting and heated front seats are also standard.
Features such as Reversing Assist Camera and Side View camera capability are available on the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo to add to the ownership experience. The Reversing Assist Camera works in conjunction with the Park Distance Control system to provide a 360 degree picture of the car when manoeuvring at slow speeds. The Side View camera option allows drivers to pull out of blind junctions with confidence. A host of additional optional equipment from Night Vision with pedestrian recognition and Head-up Display to Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go can be specified.
So who will buy the car? BMW has identified three key buyers for this vehicle. Those who like the idea of an SUV/SAV and the practicality that type of vehicle brings, but who do not like the styling of such a vehicle. Buyers who want the luxury of a 7 Series in a design that’s more coupé in profile and those that just want to be different and are open to new concepts.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo goes on sale in October, 2009. Confirmed prices will be announced at a later date, but the range is expected to start from approximately UKP40,000 for a BMW 530d SE GT.
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