Say hello to the brand-new G32 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo. Yes, BMW has taken a clean slate to its much-maligned GT line, kicking the 5 Series moniker and the rather, um, aesthetically-challenged design of its predecessor to the kerb. And while it’s still not quite the prettiest car in the world, it’s at least come to a point where you no longer have to shield your eyes every time one passes by.

The founding premise of the Gran Turismo was to provide the looks of a coupé with the rear legroom of a limousine, the practicality of an estate and the commanding driving position of an SUV. That proved too much of a compromise, not least in terms of looks, so BMW has given up on the SUV bit somewhat – by making the 6 GT some 21 mm lower than the 5 GT.

Mind you, it’s still a big car – measuring 5,091 mm long, 1,902 mm wide and 1,538 mm tall, the 6 GT is 155 mm longer, 34 mm wider and 59 mm taller than the G30 5 Series on which it’s based. There’s a whole three metres between the wheels too, with its wheelbase being 99 mm longer than the 5er at 3,070 mm.

The front end will be familiar to those who own the 5 Series, but the 6 GT has a more expressive headlight design with “eyebrows” that arch upwards towards the outer corners for a more assertive gaze. Full-LED headlights come as standard, and adaptive units with three-dimensional “corona ring” light guides, variable light distribution and Selective Beam anti-dazzle high beam are available as an option.

Along the sides, the Air Breather vents have been integrated neatly into the flanks, while the much more heavily-raked A-pillars provides a sleeker glasshouse that flows into the 64 mm lower rear deck. As such, the rear end of the 6 GT doesn’t look anywhere near as heavy as the outgoing car’s

To that end BMW has fitted striking three-dimensional tail lights to reduce the visual weight still further. You still get an integrated rear spoiler that rises at speeds over 120 km/h, and with the Air Curtains, Air Breather vents and lower roofline, the drag coefficient has been cut from 0.29 Cd to just 0.25.

In typical BMW fashion, the 6 GT will be available in standard, Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport trims, each bringing their own aesthetic touches (gloss black highlights for Sport, chrome for Luxury, a sportier bodykit for M Sport) and interior accoutrements. There are also wheel sizes ranging from 17 to 20 inches in diameter, and if those aren’t big enough, you can find massive 21-inch rollers in the accessories catalogue.

Much of the interior has been lifted wholesale from the 5 Series, so there’s a low dashboard, a freestanding centre iDrive display, a tall centre console and a digital instrument cluster that can be upgraded to a full widescreen display. Unique touches include a GT badge in pearl chrome at the rear, as well as optional electrically-operated sunblinds for the rear side windows (5er’s is manual).

At the back, there are three full-sized seats, which BMW says can fit three child seats – although ISOFIX anchors are still only fitted to the outer seats. Those seats can be fitted with a electric reclining function, and refinement has been improved through the use of soundproofing in the roof, doors and rear headrests.

The novel separately-opening bootlid and tailgate combination is no more, likely to reduce weight and visual bulk, so there’s now a power-operated one-piece item with handsfree opening as part of the optional Comfort Access keyless entry. Here, you’ll find 610 litres of boot space – that’s a whopping 110 litres more than before, even with the much lower rear end – and that enables it to fit four golf bags with all seats up.

Fold the 40:20:40-split rear seats and you get up to 1,800 litres, 100 litres larger than the old 5 GT. The load sill is now more than 5 mm lower, while the length and width of the load area has been increased by 185 mm and 25 mm respectively. There’s also a button inside to fold out the optional trailer coupling.

Engine options largely mirror the 5 Series, with the base petrol engine being a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder mill in the 630i that produces 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque, propelling it to a 0-100 km/h time of 6.3 seconds. Fuel consumption is rated at between 6.2 and 6.6 litres per 100 km.

On the diesel side, there’s the 630d powered by a 3.0 litre straight-six turbodiesel, developing 265 hp and 620 Nm. This allows the oil-burner to reach 100 km/h two tenths of a second faster than the petrol model (6.0 seconds with xDrive all-wheel drive), all while being capable of fuel consumption of between 4.9 and 5.3 litres per 100 km, or 5.5 to 5.9 litres per 100 km with xDrive.

Sitting at the top of the range at launch is the 640i, with a petrol version of the inline-six that punches out 340 hp and 450 Nm. This one is the quickest of them all, dispatching the 100 km/h benchmark in just 5.4 seconds, or 5.3 seconds with xDrive. Fuel economy is listed at between 7.0 and 7.4 litres per 100 km (7.7 to 8.2 litres per 100 km with xDrive).

Under the skin, there’s an increased use of aluminium and high-strength steels to trim around 150 kg from the 6 GT’s weight. The lighter body sits on double wishbone front and five-link rear suspension, and self-levelling air suspension is fitted as standard at the rear.

Options include full air suspension with adaptive damping, Executive Drive with active roll stabilisation and rear-wheel steering. Specifying the two former options will also add the Adaptive drive mode that uses navigation data to adjust the car’s setup on-the-fly, along with a new Comfort+ setting.

Like the 5 Series, there are plenty of options to splurge your money on, including the touchscreen Display Key, a large panoramic sunroof, comfort seats with ventilation and massage functions, Ambient Air fragrance, multi-colour ambient lighting and a 16-speaker, 1,400 watt Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system. You can even get a “light carpet” that illuminates the ground when stepping out, like the 7 Series.

The upgraded iDrive system in the 6 GT features a 10.25-inch touchscreen as standard, along with improved voice control that can respond to freely-formed instructions. You can also specify gesture control, a high-definition colour head-up display that is 70% larger than before, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay.

A smorgasbord of active safety features are offered, with Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation coming as standard. Also available are Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, steering and lane control assistant, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Side Collision Warning with evasion aid and crossroads warning and wrong-way warning.

Elsewhere, buyers can select a three-dimensional Surround View system with smartphone Remote 3D View, night vision, full parking assistant and Remote Control Parking that can move the car in and out of a space using the Display Key. There are also several connectivity options on offer, including BMW Connected with smartphone and smartwatch integration, On-Street Parking Information and car-to-car communication.