Automakers baffle us at times with unusual models that offer answers to questions no-one really asked. BMW’s 5-Series Gran Turismo is one of those cars; a cumbersome attempt at a more practical 5-Series. What was wrong with just offering the 5-Series wagon to all? Sigh…
Nevertheless, BMW still sees potential in such an offering, as they’re in the final stages of prototype testing of the 5 GT’s successor. However this time round, it will fall under the 6-Series GT banner, whilst the better looking Gran Coupe is said to disappear. Color us perplexed.
Strange, But Better Looks:
Improving on the departing 5-Series GT is no hard feat; whilst the stodgy and upright proportions are still there, the overall look is much better balanced.
Frontal styling borrows heavily on the newest 5-Series, albeit with a more sculptured appearance below the twin-kidney grille. Side sheetmetal surfacing is restrained in typical BMW fashion, whilst the Hofmeister kink appears rather diluted. The look from the rear is conventional, albeit with an active spoiler and split-opening hatch.
Under The Skin:
The Gran Turismo will be based off BMW’s CLAR (Cluster Architecture) modular platform, shared with the G30 5-Series. This means it will benefit from significant weight reduction; yielding better fuel efficiency along with enhanced performance and handling.
Whilst not much is known about the cabin, one shouldn’t expect it to differ vastly from the 5-Series. The main point of difference here will be the elevated seating and increased cabin dimensions to offer space comparable, if not better than the 7 Series.
Engine variants will mirror that of the new 5-Series; this means we’ll see turbocharged inline four and six engines in both diesel and petrol format. Rear wheel drive is standard and xDrive (AWD) is optional across most of the range.
For the CO2 conscious, a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid version will debut under the 530e iPerformance branding. This 185 kW/252 hp unit will offer astounding fuel economy and ultra-low CO2 emissions for its size.
We could see a performance jewel in the range with the M550i V8, which pumps out 462hp and 479 lb-ft of torque in the sedan. Power in this model is put to thee pavement via all four wheels and an eight-speed auto.
Definitively speaking, BMW basically have a segment all to themselves – perhaps this is why the Bavarian manufacturer is giving the GT a second shot? Nonetheless, Audi’s A7 Sportback is similar in some ways (hatch opening), though we expect the BMW to be more practical and spacious. It’s a bit of a stretch, but you could argue that conventional high-riding wagons like Volvo’s V90 Cross Country and Mercedes-Benz E-class All-Terrain could also be cross-shopped with the GT.
Expect an official debut as early as March 2017, with sales starting before 2018.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes