As expected, soon after pix of the new 5-Series GT were leaked onto the internet BMW decided to completely take off the wraps off the first body variant of the new generation F10 BMW 5-Series, which will also later include the traditional sedan and touring variants.
Despite the 5-Series front end, the 5-Series Gran Turismo actually has plenty of stuff in common with the F01 7-Series. BMW says the rear passenger cabin offers the legroom of a 7-Series and the headroom of an X5.
Continue reading our story after the jump.
But is that really a surprise when the fact is that it has a wheelbase of 3,070mm, which is equal to the F01 short wheelbase 7. So is the 5 GT a long wheelbase 5, or is it a short wheelbase 7 disguised as a 5?
The 5 GT also has more similarities with the 7. You have the rear end design which looks like a hatchback version of the 7. You have either a traditional rear bench for 3 or an individual two-seater design for the rear passengers complete with reclining features, much like how a 7 would have.
There is even an optional dual multimedia display mounted at the back of the front seats for rear passenger enjoyment, complete with full iDrive functions such as a NetFront web browser.
While by default you get 7-Series legroom at the rear, you can bring the rear seats forward by 100mm to create 5-Series legroom but increase the rear luggage space.
Open the hatch and you’ll get access to a 440 litre boot, which has a partition to acoustically separate the passenger and luggage compartments. When the seats are moved 100mm forward as previously mentioned, luggage space goes up to 590 litres. You can further increase this to 1700 litres by folding down the rear seat backrests.
You probably already know about the dual-mode rear hatch, which we’ve seen before on cars like the Skoda Superb. If you have only small items to load, you can just open the small sedan-like lid beneath the rear window glass, so this keeps the tailgate close.
This whole point of this (in BMW’s mind) is so that stuff can be loaded without causing unpleasant noise, draughts or changes in temperature to the passenger compartment.
Also like the 7, it’s been launched with a completely turbocharged engine lineup. One inline-6 turbo for the 535i GT, one V8 twin turbo for the 550i GT, and for fans of turbodiesels there is the 530d GT powered by the new sweet aluminium crankcase 3.0 litre turbodiesel engine that can amazingly provide a consistent strong push all the way to the redline, very unlike a diesel.
Also new in the engine department is the Valvetronic variable valve management and throttle-less operation for the 535i. In the past, the N54B30 3.0 litre twin turbo did not have Valvetronic. This new N55 family engine (likely called the N55B30) now appears to use a single twin scroll turbo instead of two turbochargers running in parallel as with the older engine.
Power is 306 horses at 5,800rpm and 400Nm of torque between 1,200 to 5,000rpm, slightly lower than the 740i’s 450Nm, but Valvetronic probably helps bring peak torque lower in the RPM range as it is now achieved at 1,200rpm instead of the 335i and 135i’s 1,300rpm.
And then there’s the part about the 5 GT being offered exclusively with ZF’s new 8-speed transmission, which means the 5 GT will in fact outspec the regular F01 and F02 models in terms of transmission, with only the 760Li having the 8-speed auto. Of the 8 speeds, two are overdrives with the 6th being a direct gear. The ratios are 4.696, 3.130, 2.104, 1.667, 1.285, 1.000, 0.839 and finally 0.667.
Yet another feature first introduced on the 7 is the optional Integral Active Steering system, which is essentially BMW’s rear wheel steering system which turns the rear wheels the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds to improve maneuverability and turns the the rear wheels the same direction as the front wheels at high speeds to smoothen out maneuvers such as lane changes.
BMW’s new Dynamic Drive Control system is also available with the new car, with choices of modes such as NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ and COMFORT modes to vary the optional Adaptive Drive damper inbound and rebound strokes to vary between sportiness or comfort. The modes also vary the steering assistance and throttle pedal control maps.
Adaptive Drive also adds active anti-roll bars, which I first experienced in the new E70 X5 and believe me they work wonders, allowing big hulks of cars to feel nimble around corners.
Open the frameless doors and you get to access the interior, of which dashboard follows the new design language set by the F01. Like the F01, the little multi-info LCD traditionally positioned between the speedo and RPM meter has been replaced by the Black Panel display which uses a wide LCD display taking up the bottom quarter of the instrument panel to provide vital driver info, including remaining mileage and real time fuel consumption in analog form, presented digitally.
So the front-end looks good in my books, the interior looks like a great place to spend an hour on the Federal Highway, the engines sound good as always from BMW, and it will probably also drive like a dream as with all BMWs but the rear end of the car…
Maybe it will look better in the metal but for now based on the photos I seriously can’t wait for the sedan body to come out so I can get rid of this BMW-ized Toyota Venza’s image as representing the next generation F10 5-series in my head!
The question I have in mind is other than the fact that I don’t see how the word Gran Turismo can be shared by this and the Maserati Granturismo, why did BMW call what is essentially a 7-Series Touring, the BMW 5-Series GT?
Look after the jump for a full photo gallery and a must-watch video of the 5 GT which shows the hatch and rear seats in action, and everyone knows looking at a car in a video is way better than photos!
VIDEO: BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Exterior
[zenphotopress number=99 album=302]
GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Interior
[zenphotopress number=99 album=303]
GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Misc Images
[zenphotopress number=99 album=304]