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BMW 5-series Gran Turismo

Stephen Dobie
26 May 2009

BMW's segment-straddling 5-series Gran Turismo to come with all turbo power

The German big three seem to constantly strive to out-niche each other, and BMW appears to have notched up another win by launching this, the world’s first luxury SUV estate coupe.

At least that’s what it’d have us believe. The BMW 5-series Gran Turismo apparently straddles all four of those sectors, yet in reality it appears to be an X6 without four-wheel drive but with an extra dose of practicality and plushness. Its proportions and luggage space wedge it between a 5-series Touring and X5 in size and height.

Like all Propeller-badged cars it’ll probably offer a cracking drive, and while the engine range is fairly small for now – three units – they come from the BMW greatest hits collection.

First of the petrol options is the 535i – the firm’s turbocharged 302bhp 3-litre six-cylinder, which in the Five GT boasts Valvetronic, a system that varies how much the engine’s valves open, for optimum efficiency. It means the car is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.3sec while emitting 209g/km and achieving a combined 31.7mpg.

Topping the range is the 550i, with a 401bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, with 443lb ft of torque from a lowly 1750rpm ensuring it hits 62mph in 5.5sec. Fairly impressive stuff for a car likely to be approaching two tons in weight.

The biggest seller, though, will be the 530d. The 3-litre six-cylinder diesel provides the most rounded package of the lot, with 242bhp and 398lb ft performance coupled to 43.5mpg and 173g/km economy.

All engines are mated to an eight-speed auto gearbox (it debuted on top-spec versions of the new BMW 7-series) as well as Drive Dynamic Control, which tunes chassis control with the usual array of settings – Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

There’s similar flexibility on the practical side of things too, with options of two or three seats in the back while the boot can be opened either in hatchback or saloon style.

In BMW’s words, there are three key target buyers for the Five GT – ‘those who like the idea of an SUV and the practicality that type of vehicle brings, but who do not like the styling of such a vehicle. Buyers who want the luxury of a 7-series in a design that’s more coupe in profile and those that just want to be different and are open to new concepts’.

If you tick any of those boxes then you’ve got until October to save up the £40,000 (approx) that BMW will charge you for the 530d SE that’ll kick off the UK range. The new 5-series saloon and estate will follow next year, with front styling likely to be nigh on identical to the GT which will top the range in size and price.

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