BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo concept car
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BMW has taken the wraps off its 5 Series Gran Turismo concept car in Geneva and widespread opinion is that it looks far better in the metal as seen here than in the initial studio photos.
The car defies convention, combining something of an SUV's raised driving position, a coupe's frameless side windows, the space and flexibility of a large hatchback or estate, while simultaneously possessing all the dimensions and creature comforts of a luxury car.
However, this is no barmy concept car the 5 GT will go on sale in October with prices from around 40,000.
The 5 GT is based on a platform that will also be used for next year's new 5 Series saloon and Touring which, in turn, is derived from the underpinnings of the latest 7 Series limo.
That gives some clue to the engines likely to be available. Although BMW isn't saying at this stage, we'd expect it to have the 7's 3.0-litre turbodiesel, and 3.0-litre six-cylinder and 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol engines.
With the company's Efficient Dynamics package of fuel-saving measures strapped on, it will have class-best economy and CO2 emissions, according to BMW. Don't rule out a hybrid later on either.
The chassis will also almost certainly come from the 7, so four-wheel 'active' steering, air-sprung rear suspension, cornering roll stabilisation and variable shock absorbers will probably feature. There will also be four-wheel-drive versions, but not in the UK.
At just under five metres long, the 5 GT is slightly shorter than a 7, but only the X5 and X6 BMW's large SUVs are taller.
It will be offered as either a four-seater with a full-length transmission tunnel like the concept car, or as a five-seater with a split rear bench.
The rear end is like the Skoda Superb's: opening as either a saloon-style boot or an estate's full-height tailgate.
The rear seats slide, recline and fold, while the split rear bulkhead can also be lowered in stages, allowing an average-sized 430-litre boot to be expanded to a vast 1650 litres. The back seats don't go fully flat, though.
BMW says the 5 GT is 'a modern and timely interpretation of the saloon' with the space and comfort that sets the difference between travelling economy and first-class.
If that all sounds a bit too much like la-de-dah marketing-speak, we'd advise a trip to the showroom to decide for yourself.
BMW 5 Series GT video
• It's a bit of everything, so see the whole BMW 5 Series GT here