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Old 05-26-2009, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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BMW 5 Series GT Officially Revealed


BMW has just released the first official photos and details on the 5 Series Gran Turismo (GT). The "Gran Turismo" name was attached to this new model as BMW believes the car will bring the functionality of a hatchback or crossover to the luxury sedan segment in the same way a traditional Gran Turismo vehicle brings the functionality of a luxury car to a sports car.

There are a few unique aspects to the 5 Series GT, and the rest will be familiar to BMW aficionados.

Obviously original is the vehicle's design, looking somewhat like a big Japanese hybrid. That large rear end serves a purpose, however, and can be opened in one of two ways. First, just the back panel can swing up to give access to a dedicate trunk space. Second, the entire hatch can be opened - and with the rear seats folded cargo room goes from 15.5 cubic feet to 60 cu.-ft.

Another unique exterior highlight are the trademark halo lights, which now use LEDs. A panoramic glass roof will also come standard on U.S. models. Finally, the 5 Series GT also uses frameless doors - marking the first time BMW has ever gone this route with a four door.

Inside, a great deal of attention was paid to the rear passenger compartment. The rear seats can be adjusted forwards or aft by 3.9-inches and the back rest can tilt from 15 to 33 degrees. BMW says legroom is close to that found int he 7 Series, while headroom is close to what can be had in the X5.

A Luxury Rear Seating Package will also be offered with more adjustability for the rear seats as well as a large center console that takes the place of the middle seat - making the 5 Series GT a 2+2. This package also allows for the rear seatbacks to recline to 40 degrees.

As for the rest of the car, it is reminiscent of the new 7 series - right down to the engine. Yup, while the 5 Series GT may be called a 550i, it uses BMW's new 4.4-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V8 with 400hp and 450 ft-lbs of torque. It also uses the new 8-speed transmission, which first appeared on the 760Li. Together this combo allows for a 0-60 mph time of just 5.4 seconds.

Other features this car shared with the 7 is the Driving Dynamics Control system, the Integral Active Steering (with rear steering), the black-panel display and the self-leveling rear suspension.

More: BMW 5 Series GT Officially Revealed on AutoGuide.com
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