The New BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo

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A unique blend of style, space, luxury and sportiness, or at least that’s what BMW says. And apart from the styling, who am I to argue? Essentially the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is what is loosely termed a “crossover vehicle” these days. It’s like an SUV, only more like a station wagon, so I guess that’s a style.

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“The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo adds new facets to BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine tradition and refines the concept of first-class travel. For the first time, attributes of an elegant sedan, a contemporary Sports Activity Vehicle and a classic Gran Turismo are masterfully melded into a single, harmonious vehicle concept. ”

Or so starts the BMW presser on their latest … well, let’s just call it what it is: A station wagon. The thing seems to be the very model of (expensive) practicality. It sure seems like it could get you and 4 or 5 of your friends and all of their stuff from point A to point B with ease. A good road trip car, in other words.

BMW says that its design has abundant sportiness, elegance, luxury and versatility. Well, it does look like it has typical BMW proportions, but I’m not sure I agree with the corp-speak on the “communicate dynamic character and sportiness” front. But hey, there’s only so much you can do with a wagon, after all. The new GT does have a long wheelbase that gives it a graceful, almost coupe-like roofline, and that helps, but it’s still comes across as big and sort of boxy and eminently practical. Since you’ll be paying through the nose for one of these, you’d expect the interior to come with a contemporary design, generous dimensions and premium materials.

From the side view you’ll notice that the BMW GT has frameless door windows and still has that “Hofmeister Kink” that the Bavarians are curiously proud of. And at the rear it sort of apes the 7 Series L-shape of the rear lighting clusters with LED lighting that wraps far around the body sides and provides yet another recognizable BMW design cue. And since it’s more-or-less a wagon, it does away with that hideous Bangle-butt.

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On the inside the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo interior has lots of space, and luxury that the normal clientele has come to expect. Lots of leather and wood and techno this & that. The seats can be folded and flipped and configured in all manner of ways. The rear seating accommodates three passengers, with a 40-20-40 split of the backrest allowing for selective fold-down. In addition, the entire seat cushion can be adjusted 3.9-in. fore and aft and the individual backrest sections can be adjusted over a range of 15″-33″. The legroom on the scale of BMW’s 7 Series Sedan and headroom comparable to the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. The whole ride is first-class comfort for all occupants of the Gran Turismo.

As far as the drivetrain is concerned … the BMW GT features a twin turbo V-8 engine cranking out 400 hp and delivering 5.4 second 0-60-mph times. All that power it put to the ground via a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The new slush-box, which adds two new gears delivers quicker shifts, greater smoothness, enhanced efficiency.

The new 5 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system. This system controls the times at which the alternator charges the battery. In the Gran Turismo, the brakes charge the vehicle when it’s decelerating or braking; otherwise, the alternator freewheels, drawing virtually no power from the engine. An electronically controlled clutch, somewhat similar to that used with the air-conditioning compressor, is added to engage and disengage the alternator. Pretty smart … I wonder what the alternator costs to replace though.

The Front suspension is a new multi-link system, as is the rear. I’m sure it does all sorts of neat stuff, and fulfills a whole slew of packaging requirements, but I’m still a big fan of unequal length A-arms front & rear. The GT also features Dynamic Damping Control which is a set of electronically controlled shock absorbers nicked from the 7 series and also has Active Roll Stabilization. Active Roll Stabilization reduces body roll in cornering and improves handling by virtue of better suspension geometry.

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The 5 Series Gran Turismo has a whole alphabet soup of acronyms concerning brakes and more suspension wizardry and this and that, but the short answer (to the question of what it is) is this:

It’s a completely modern German station wagon.

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Filed Under: BMWCar News