BMW has finally revealed what it has been referring to as its "Progressive Activity Sedan". Officially dubbed the BMW Concept 5 series Gran Turismo (BMW's naming conventions just keep growing, it seems), it's essentially a 5-series hatchback.
With a wheelbase of 120.9 inches and a length of 196.8 inches, the 5-series GT is longer than every other BMW vehicle except the 7-series. The concept will also be the German automaker's tallest offering outside of its SAV model range, standing at 61.2 inches.
The 5 series GT may be a welcome addition to the BMW lineup for those who enjoy the X6's unique styling, but can't justify the purchase of a 4-passenger crossover: the hatchback concept looks like a lowered X6, with a 7-series snout, concept CS headlamps and an X6 butt. The 21-inch light-alloy wheels look stylish on the concept, but will likely be at least an inch smaller on any production-ready model.
An interesting feature of the concept is the dual-opening rear hatch. The rear door can be opened like a trunk on a sedan, or like the typical hatch on a hatchback. Opening the rear as a trunk keeps the interior temperature undisturbed, while opening the whole hatch offers more versatility.
Inside, slightly elevated seating for the driver and passenger offers optimum outward viewing comparable to BMW's other SAV models. A panoramic roof allows plenty of light into the car. The rest of interior is standard BMW fare, with a 10.2 inch display in the center stack, audio and HVAC controls below the horizontal belt that contains the HVAC vents, and iDrive controls integrated into the floor console.
The 5 series GT has rear seats that can move fore or aft up to 4" (BMW says that with the seats slid aft, legroom is roughly the same as in the rear seats of the 7-series) and headroom is "virtually the same as in the BMW X5". Luggage capacity with the seats aft is 15.1 cubic feet; with the seats moved forward and the bulkhead partition opened, capacity increases to almost 20 cubic feet.
The concept looks production ready, so we can probably expect to see real thing relatively soon. In the meantime, however, BMW will officially debut the concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show this March. Check back during the show for more photos and coverage of the BMW Concept 5-series Gran Turismo then.