First Look: 2010 BMW 5-series Gran Turismo

First Look: 2010 BMW 5-series Gran Turismo

At the 2009 Geneva motor show, rumor had it that BMW's 5-series Gran Turismo concept, a shapely convergence of sedan, wagon, and hatchback, was a good look at a forthcoming production model. Hindsight proves those rumors true-you're looking at the production-intent 2010 BMW 5-series Gran Turismo, which mirrors the concept down to the awkward "GT" badge on its rump.

Apparently leaving the "progressive activity sedan" nomenclature for dead (such terminology is absent in the official press release), BMW describes its latest creation as blending a "sports activity vehicle"--much like the controversial X6--with the classic grand touring formula. Obviously, the latter's genome is dominant--although it's built upon the next iteration of the mid-range 5-series, its 120.7-inch wheelbase and 196-inch length eclipse all BMW sedans, save for the range-topping 7-series.

It also helps to explain the ambience inside the Gran Turismo's cabin. As is the case in the 7-series, emphasis is placed upon the experience for rear-seat passengers. Seats can both recline and slide fore and aft, granting passengers as much legroom as the lengthy 7-series, or maximizing available cargo room. Those desiring the utmost in comfort can always opt for the premium seating package, which replaces the standard bench with a pair of power-adjustable buckets.

The 7's influence is still present in the GT's exterior, but its bearing is overshadowed by forms culled from both the X6 and the slinky 2008 CS concept. The angular, LED-powered headlights are derived from the CS, while the car's rakish roofline seems as if it were directly pulled from the X6.

Unlike its truckish sibling, however, the 5-series Gran Turismo has a few tricks in its trunk. A large hatch allows for bulky items to be hoisted into the cargo hold, but a smaller panel, which opens like a conventional trunk, allows luggage and other items to be loaded in a manner typical of a sedan.

Thus far, BMW has confirmed it will build the Gran Turismo in both 530d and 550i forms, although the diesel-powered 530d won't make it stateside. U.S.-spec 550i cars use the 750Li's 4.4-liter, 400-hp twin-turbocharged V-8, mated to an all-new ZF 8-speed automatic. BMW claims a 550i Gran Turismo can sprint to 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while returning "remarkable fuel economy."

All this, however, comes at a remarkable cost. Final pricing has yet to be announced, but we're told a 550i GT should carry a base price in the range of $65,000-70,000-almost $10,000 more than a current 535i xDrive wagon or an X6 xDrive 35i.

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