BMW Gran Turismo Concept Reborn

When the report made the rounds last month that the Gran Turismo concept would not be greenlighted for production, the idea of a low-slung BMW sedan with a coupe-like profile was presumed dead in the water. Not so. In advance of the Geneva Motor Show, BMW has released official details and images, not renderings, of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Concept in the flesh.

The decision to affix the 5 Series moniker to a smaller, reinvisioned Gran Turismo was a good one. The 5 Series Gran Turismo concept sure looks production ready, and is sized and would presumably be priced to compete more directly with cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Basing a “4 door coupe” from the 7 Series platform would force the idea into competition with the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte.

While the Gran Turismo, if it sees production, will undoubtedly offer some driver thrills, placing it in that rare air of pricing might prove the death of the unorthodox car.

Some details on the 5 Series Gran Turismo Concept: at 196.8 inches it is longer than the 5 or 6 Series, dwarfed in length only by the 7 Series in the BMW product hierarchy. Unlike the 5 Series, though, the Gran Turismo is a 4 seater. With power reclining and sliding front and rear seats, the limited number of passengers will at least be coddled in luxury.

One of the more innovative features the 5 Series Gran Turismo concept carries is what BMW is calling a “bi-modal trunk,” which can be opened in two different ways. For every day use the aft portion of the liftgate can be opened independantly, revealing a cavernous trunk for a luxury car of this size. If additional loading space is required, the front and rear liftgate sections can be opened in tandem, creating 5-door hatchback utility. Split-folding rear seats reveal surf board interior cargo space. Nice!

No word from BMW on engine choices, though the basic powerplants from the 5 Series sedan models will do just fine, thanks. Expect to see an iteration of BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter inline 6 if this thing gets the greenlight. An M version? The way BMW has been slapping M badges on everything from roadsters to SUVs these days, why not?

The most likely scenario finds the Gran Turismo making it to production, perhaps without the fancy video game name, but with design details intact. BMW’s 5 Series wagon has not been a hot seller for some time, dropping in and out of the product line. For BMW buyers who like the X6 but do not need big off-road ground clearannce, the 5 Series Gran Turismo has great potential.

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