BMW is looking to bring the attraction of elevated seating and innate packaging of state-of-the-art SUV to its 5-Series range beginning with the 5-series GT. The latest five-seater, which was previewed last March at the Geneva Motor Show, has now been revealed as a production car receiving only modifications to its details. The 5-series line will be extended to three models for the very first time in its 37-year history with the coming of the GT. The new model will be distinguished by its prominent kidney grill, but overall styling and detailing is far less showy than what BMW has come to be known for.
The 5-series GT integrates a similar look to the new 7-series to the lower half of its body including tight surfacing and conspicuous swage line flowing from the headlights up to the leading edge of the taillights. However, above the waistline the new 5-series GT has similar features with the X6 with its side window graphic and dipping window at the rear.
To increase access opening, the doors are frameless, a first for a four-door BMW. The trunk at the back come with the two-piece trunk lid which can be opened in two ways, in the style of a porthole, with a small opening under the window at the rear, or, more conventionally, where the rear windows can be completely raised. Distinct from the current model's aluminum front section and a steel structure from the A-pillars backwards, the frame and chassis of the new 5-series GT is all steel. However, even when it uses aluminum for the hood, front spring struts and doors, the curb weight of the entry-level 535i GT is still 1,940kg, about 300kg over the 540i saloon.
The vital statistics of the new GT are 4.998m length, 1.901m width and 1.559m height; consequently, it is 158mm longer, 61mm wider and 94mm taller than the current 5-series saloon. The new 5-series also comes with a longer wheelbase at 180mm. The interior of the 5-series GT comes with almost the same room space with the bigger 7-series saloon. Distinct from the concept, which was equipped with four seats, the production model receives a standard five seating capacity including two optional rear seating. Standard at the rear are sliding seats. To isolate noise from the rear section, a separate folding bulkhead partition is added.
The trunk comes with 440 liters of space, which increases to 590 liters when the rear seats are moved up front and the bulkhead divider is removed. An extra 1110 liters of space is created when the rear seats are folded, putting the total volume of luggage space to 1,700 liters. For power, there will be three powerplant options (in contrast to the 5-series ten choices) including a new twin turbo 3.0-liter gasoline six-cylinder powerplant equipped with direct injection. Power output and top torque remains the same as the existing twin turbo six, at 306hp and 295lb-ft, but the torque is now attained at 1200rpm. These figures are enough to propel the car from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 6.5 seconds.
Fuel-consumption is rated at 31mpg and carbon emissions at 209g/km. Just above this is the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 unit found in the 550i GT. Performance figures for this unit includes 407bhp and 442lb-ft, enough to bring the car from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 5.5 seconds. However, because of its 25.2mpg fuel consumption and 263g/km of CO2 it won´t reach a high level of popularity among European customers.
The latest of the carmaker's3.0-liter six-cylinder powerplant which produces 254bhp and 398lb-ft of torque found in the 530i GT would be more appealing to European tastes. The sprint rate for this one has been clocked at 6.9 seconds for the standard 0-62mph and it attains a maximum speed of 149mph together with fuel consumption rating of 43.5mpg and a 173g/km emissions figure. These three engines, without exception, come with the new BMW eight speed auto gearbox. Meanwhile BMW is working on a four-wheel drive version set to be released in 2011. Under the skin, the 5-series GT employs modified 7-series underpinning complete with MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension fitted with air springs.
The production version will come with either 18 or 19 inch wheels, as opposed to the 21-inch wheels of the concept mode. Included in the options is a standard hydraulic steering or a more advanced rear wheel steer system similar to that found in the 7-series designed to provide extra maneuverability. Further options consist of Adaptive Drive system form BMW which connects electronically controlled dampers that come with adjustment for both inbound and rebound strokes and, for additional body control and pitch reduction, it is equipped with anti-roll stabilizers. Retail prices for Germany will be, including VAT: BMW 530d Gran Turismo: €55.200 BMW 535i Gran Turismo: €55.700 BMW 550i Gran Turismo: €75.300!