Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BMW drops the details on its 2010 5 Series Gran Turismo

2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo

Despite the departure of controversial lead designer Chris Bangle, BMW is showing no signs of returning to the "One sausage, three-sizes" styling brief that it once adhered to. The latest proof of this is the announcement of the production 5 Series Gran Turismo, which, as expected, looks little changed from the concept that set tongues wagging in Geneva, save for a few details like smaller wheels, more conventional interior fabrics and real-world-sized side mirrors.

The genre-blurring 5 Series GT is, in the words of BMW, meant to combine "the characteristic features of a prestige saloon, a modern, highly versatile Sports Activity Vehicle, and a classic Gran Turismo" – outwardly, at least, we'd say that they've succeeded in meeting that goal, although the final judgment on whether this amalgam of characteristics is a even a direction worth pursuing will ultimately be made by consumers.

In the meantime, we can focus not only on the five-door hatchback's design, but also its internals, as BMW has released specifications and pricing for its European market models.

In the main, BMW has disclosed that Europe's gasoline model range will be composed of the 306 horsepower, 3.0-liter 535i Gran Turismo (a derivative of the fabulous dual-turbo inline-six seen in the engine bays of the 1, 3, and 5 Series) and the 550i Gran Turismo, which relies on a stonking dual-turbo 4.4-liter V8 good for 407 horsepower, an engine that promises to be just the thing when you're running late for your squash court appointment. Finally, there's the 530d Gran Turismo, which offers a 3.0-liter, 245 horsepower I6 diesel powerplant and a tidy C02 rating of 173 grams per kilometer. Regardless of which engine the buyer chooses, the sole gearbox offering will be the eight-speed automatic gearbox borrowed from the 760i luxury sedan. The cog-happy unit should not only help with overall fuel economy, but it makes any model in the range a sprightly performer, with BMW quoting 0-62 mph times of 6.3 seconds for the 535i GT, 5.5 seconds for the 550i GT, and a thoroughly respectable 6.9 seconds for the 530d GT (which also achieves 43.5 miles per imperial gallon, or around 36 mpg US).

It isn't yet clear what models will come to the States, but we're hearing that the 550i will be the first to make the journey, and it is likely to arrive carrying a price tag of around $70,000, which would represent around a $10,000 premium over the less-powerful 550i sedan.

[Source: BMW]

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