Automotive

BMW tries to cover all bases with genre-busting 6 Series GT

BMW tries to cover all bases w...
The 6 Series Gran Turismo is designed to blend hatch, wagon and sedan bodies
The 6 Series Gran Turismo is designed to blend hatch, wagon and sedan bodies
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The 6 Series Gran Turismo is designed to blend hatch, wagon and sedan bodies
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The 6 Series Gran Turismo is designed to blend hatch, wagon and sedan bodies
Air curtains behind the grilles help cut the 6 Series Gran Turismo drag coefficient to just 0.25
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Air curtains behind the grilles help cut the 6 Series Gran Turismo drag coefficient to just 0.25
The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
The hatchback on the 6 Series Gran Turismo is huge, and reveals a 610 liter boot 
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The hatchback on the 6 Series Gran Turismo is huge, and reveals a 610 liter boot 
The air vents behind the front wheels help reduce pressure in the front wheel arches in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The air vents behind the front wheels help reduce pressure in the front wheel arches in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The GT badge has been applied to a few BMWs now, with reasonable sales figures to back the experiment up
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The GT badge has been applied to a few BMWs now, with reasonable sales figures to back the experiment up
The interior design is standard BMW in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The interior design is standard BMW in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo shares plenty with the 5 Series behind the wheel 
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The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo shares plenty with the 5 Series behind the wheel 
The rear seats in the 6 Series Gran Turismo are larger and have more headroom than the 5 Series
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The rear seats in the 6 Series Gran Turismo are larger and have more headroom than the 5 Series
BMW has a knack for cabins, and the 6 Series Gran Turismo looks excellent from behind the wheel 
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BMW has a knack for cabins, and the 6 Series Gran Turismo looks excellent from behind the wheel 
The profile of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is smoother than the outgoing 5 GT 
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The profile of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is smoother than the outgoing 5 GT 
Under the skin of the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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Under the skin of the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The M Performance package on the 6 Series Gran Turismo makes it look more aggressive
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The M Performance package on the 6 Series Gran Turismo makes it look more aggressive
The giant hatchback on the 6 Series Gran Turismo hides a huge boot
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The giant hatchback on the 6 Series Gran Turismo hides a huge boot
The grilles on the 6 Series Gran Turismo can be closed to cut drag 
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The grilles on the 6 Series Gran Turismo can be closed to cut drag 
The shape of the 6 Series Gran Turismo isn't traditionally pretty, but it's an improvement on the outgoing car
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The shape of the 6 Series Gran Turismo isn't traditionally pretty, but it's an improvement on the outgoing car
BMW will offer three engines in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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BMW will offer three engines in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The face of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is similar to the new 5 Series 
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The face of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is similar to the new 5 Series 
The LED detailing on the rear lights of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is standard BMW 
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The LED detailing on the rear lights of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is standard BMW 
The lighting on the ground is designed to welcome people to the interior of the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The lighting on the ground is designed to welcome people to the interior of the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, complete with M Sport package 
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The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, complete with M Sport package 
The radar on the 6 Series Gran Turismo is used for auto-emergency braking and active cruise control 
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The radar on the 6 Series Gran Turismo is used for auto-emergency braking and active cruise control 
The active spoiler on the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The active spoiler on the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
All three seats on the 6 Series Gran Turismo fold individually 
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All three seats on the 6 Series Gran Turismo fold individually 
The interior of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is standard BMW fare 
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The interior of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is standard BMW fare 
There are plenty of options for trim, seat color and technology inside the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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There are plenty of options for trim, seat color and technology inside the 6 Series Gran Turismo
The panoramic sunroof in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
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The panoramic sunroof in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
View gallery - 27 images

Although there are plenty of variations on basic coupe, sedan or wagon design, it's rare for a car manufacturer to truly try break the mold. BMW Gran Turismo – or GT – models are notable exceptions. The new 6 Series GT might look awkward, but that hunchback design is there to blend the best bits of sedan, wagon and hatchback body styles in one package.

The unique shape of the 6 Series GT has been honed over a few years. The Gran Turismo body style debuted on the 5 Series in 2009, and the formula has since been applied to the smaller 3 Series. It's actually done quite well, too, with 3 GT yielding more than 130,000 sales since launch.

Built on the same platform as the latest 5 Series, the 6 Series Gran Turismo is a seriously big car. It's more than 5.09 m (16.4 ft) long, with a 3.07-m (10.07-ft) wheelbase for plenty of rear legroom. Despite the long wheelbase and chunky body, the design team has done a reasonable job of hiding the bulk with a lower roofline and more aggressive front end than previous GT models – although it's still a bit heavy-set compared to a regular coupe, sedan or wagon.

BMW will offer three engines in the 6 Series Gran Turismo
BMW will offer three engines in the 6 Series Gran Turismo

The slicker new design is also more aerodynamic than the old 5 Series GT. Air shutters behind the (massive) kidney grille close up to cut drag on the open road, while the venting behind the front wheels reduces back pressure in the wheel arches. All up, drag coefficient has dropped from 0.29 to 0.25.

On the inside, BMW has tried to make the GT feel more like a regular car than a hulking four-wheel drive, utilizing a 5 Series dashboard and driver-focused console. But the taller rear roofline affords more headroom for the rear passengers, and the higher driver seat makes it easier to see over traffic. Extra soundproofing and restyled seat cushions should make the back seats more comfortable on long journeys, while an optional comfort package allows the outside back seats to electrically recline.

When not being used, the back seats can be folded to turn the 610-liter (21.5-cu.ft) boot into a monstrous 1,800 liter (63.6 cu.ft) load bay. The one-piece tailgate operates like a giant hatch and opens at the push of a button – a good thing, because a panel that big is likely to be heavy.

There are plenty of options for trim, seat color and technology inside the 6 Series Gran Turismo
There are plenty of options for trim, seat color and technology inside the 6 Series Gran Turismo

Power will initially come from a choice of three different engines, all of which are hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 630i gets a four-cylinder gasoline engine with 190 kW (258 hp) and 400 Nm on tap, good for a 6.3-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph), while the 640i handles the sprint in 5.3 seconds thanks to its 250-kW (340-hp) inline six. Diesel power is provided by an inline six making 195 kW (265 hp) of power and 620 Nm of torque.

As you'd expect of a modern family car, the 6 Series GT will be offered with a full suite of active safety features. Auto-emergency braking is standard, and adaptive cruise control will maintain a gap to the car in front between 0 and 210 km/h (130 mph). Steering and lane assist will steer the car within the same speed range, while lane-keeping assist and blind-spot warnings minimize the risk of lane-change accidents while the driver is in control on the highway. You can even park the car remotely with the right option boxes ticked.

BMW is yet to announce pricing for the 6 Series GT, which will make its public debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in September, with the market launch from the following month.

Source: BMW

View gallery - 27 images
4 comments
JemThomas
The concept is nothing new the Rover SD1 wasn't just a joke but also a upmarket hatchback, although that was not it's key feature. That being special "Hard shoulder" mode which it seemed to auto invoke on a regular basis.
Tommo
BMW currently make the finest interiors in their class, those GT cars though sure are fugly....
Kevin Ritchey
BMW sedans are innocuous-looking lumps with no style. They should hire an Italian designer or even an Italian elementary school art student as they have more imagination than what is on the road now. A brick of butter on a hot day = BMW. But their interiors are majestic.
KaiserPingo
BMW totally failed in looks, for this car. Totally failed !