13 February 2009 - 15:00
If you thought BMW was all niched-out after the X6, think again. These concept pictures revealed today show the new ‘Concept 5-Series Gran Turismo’, which we expect to see at Geneva next month.
We reported on the concept last year, when BMW first announced its plans for a ‘Progressive Activity Vehicle’, based on the 5-Series platform (like the X6, 6-Series and X5). This is that car. Weird, isnt’ it?
It’s a huge 7-Series-sized thing (the car in the pics is on 21-inch alloys to give you an idea of scale) designed for buyers who want something big but don’t want the neighbours bitching about them having an unfashionable SUV.
The tailgate is split so you can use it like a hatch or a sedan. Inside, you can slide the rear seats in favour of leg room or boot space, and BMW claim that if you slide the rear seats right back you get roughly the same leg room of a 7-Series.
A swooping roofline accompanied by frameless doors and a panoramic glass roof adds to that sense of space – in fact, head room is similar to that of an X5.
It’s easy to take a swipe at BMW for carving out yet another niche. But you can’t blame them for getting the most out of a platform, even if the market may receive it with some surprise. Then again, some people thought the X6 was an answer to a question nobody asked, yet it’s sold well.
This could go the same way (or it could follow the Mercedes R-Class to an embarrassing flop). We’re not expecting the ‘Gran Turismo’ moniker to make it onto the production models and that tartan upholstery and chocolate-ripple interior colour scheme isn't real either. Which is probably a good thing, unless you like brown.
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Looks like a flattened X6!!