BMW 535i Gran Turismo, the new twin liftback wagon
Meet the BMW’s 5 Series Gran Turismo, a distinctive new five-door that aims to meld the practical utility of a CUV and a station wagon. The four-door coupe market segment at this point of time (and space, if you will) is busy busy indeed. But few recent models go beyond the mediocrity line, be it aesthetics or price.
Maybe the car looks pretty traditional at first glance, but wait a bit. After a rather aggresive front look – no big surprise for a BMW mind you – you are shocked by how this little underdog hangs it’s tail. The interesting dual-hinged liftback could be usefull in some situations, and it gives the car a rather high-tech feeling.
BMW5 kept using “elegant” in press releases about the 5351i GT, GT’s proportions acquit themselves significantly better in the metal than they do in print or on screen. Natural light plays with the body’s details in more flattering ways, and on the road, its scale can be more readily appreciated. In addition, the 5GT is a motion-sensitive design, looking quite a bit better on the move than it does when static. Car tests made so far have ranked the car higher after the actual drive test than at first glance or preview.
Like other BMWs, the dashboard is a study in horizontal layers that emphasize the interior’s width, and the 5GT has genuinely inspired door panels whose undulating lines flow uninterrupted between the front and rear passenger compartments. Among interior features that are noteworthy are the individual climate control for each occupant, posh sunshades, lots of legroom and headroom. Add an optional dual-screen DVD interior to make sure you feel as in a limousine in this BMW gran turismo. Not to mention that auto soft-close doors and power headrests are standard equipment, as well as state-of-the-art iDrive enhancement.
Apart from the obvious, why is the twin-hinger liftback hatch so cool? Well, think of that “boom” that echoes in your head every-time someone closes the back hatch. Say bye bye to that. Extra space and mobility when opening in low garages is also a plus.
As far as the drivetrain is concerned … the BMW GT features a twin turbo V-8 engine cranking out 400 hp and delivering 5.4 second 0-60-mph times. All that power it put to the ground via a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The new slush-box, which adds two new gears delivers quicker shifts, greater smoothness, enhanced efficiency.
The new 5 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system. This system controls the times at which the alternator charges the battery. In the Gran Turismo, the brakes charge the vehicle when it’s decelerating or braking; otherwise, the alternator freewheels, drawing virtually no power from the engine. An electronically controlled clutch, somewhat similar to that used with the air-conditioning compressor, is added to engage and disengage the alternator. Pretty smart … I wonder what the alternator costs to replace though.
All in all a super car for families, for business approaches or for any practical person, with German standards and visage, high quality materials and lots of space. Oh, did I forget to mention the twin hatch thingy?