BMW 5 series GT makes surprise UK debutNew Gran Turismo model unveiled at Motorexpo
09 June 2009
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo has made a surprise public debut at Motorexpo, a free motor show currently taking place in London’s Canary Wharf.
The 5 Series Gran Turismo is a brand new product from BMW, aiming to combine the luxury of a with the practicality of an X5 – while costing little more than a high-spec 5 Series. It was scheduled to make its first official public appearance at the in Germany this September, but has snuck out early to star in London.
Which? was not allowed to take any photographs of the vehicle at the show; it is being displayed in a sealed enclosure, and the pictures you see here are earlier press images. But the general public is being allowed access to the car, so you can go and view it for yourself.
First impressions of the 5 Series GT
In many respects, the 5 Series Gran Turismo is best thought of as a flattened . It has a similar coupé-esque profile, and the suspension is raised in comparison to the regular 5 Series while still remaining lower than a traditional SUV.
The idea is to give drivers a more commanding view of the road. However, sat in the front it seemed to us difficult to judge the position of the car’s nose, as the bonnet drops well out of sight beyond the windscreen. Better make sure you specify all-round parking sensors.
The example on show is a pre-production version, and fitted with a lot of non-standard equipment. But overall, the interior comes across as spacious and rather sumptuous, with an airy feel created by the enormous – and standard – panoramic sunroof.
Saloon or hatchback?
Rear passengers get sliding, reclining seats, and the kind of legroom you would expect from a car almost as long as a 7 Series. Frameless windows grace the doors, while the boot is unusual for its two-position lid.
Similar to that found on the , this allows the 5 Series Gran Turismo to function as a saloon or a hatchback, depending on how much access is required. In saloon mode the opening is rather small and cave-like, but with flat-folding rear seats the hatchback offers almost as much storage space and convenience as an X5.
Judging by reaction amongst the show-goers, we remain uncertain that the buying public will be convinced by the unique nature of this new car. But the boot mechanism certainly drew gasps of approval, so BMW may have better luck persuading people than Mercedes has had with the unusual, unloved R-Class.
Gran Turismo pricing
The car, initially available as 530d turbodiesel plus 535i and 550i turbo petrols, is due to go on sale in October. Prices are expected to start around £40,000.
Alongside the 5 Series GT, the entire BMW range is on display at Motorexpo, including the new – making its UK show debut.
Motorexpo is located in Canary Wharf, immediately in the vicinity of the underground station, runs 8-13 June, and is completely free.
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