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BMW 5 Series

F07 5 Series Gran Turismo

1 Apr 2010

RELEASED in the first quarter of 2010, the F07 5 Series Gran Turismo is a raised and elongated version of the F10 5 Series range, boasting fastback styling, frameless door windows for a coupe-like silhouette, and a hatchback with a door that can be used as either a liftback or a boot lid like on a regular sedan.

Three models are available from launch – the 530d GT, 535i GT and 550i GT flagship.

All are rear-wheel drive and include turbocharged and direct-injection EU5 emissions-rated engines mated to a new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as BMW’s EfficientDynamics fuel-saving and eco-focussed engineering.

The ‘basic’ 5 GT comes complete with a three-person rear seat, but buyers can specify a two-seater ‘First Class’ arrangement with greater adjustability than the regular 2:1 bench, which still slides (up to 100mm) and reclines (to a 33 degree angle) anyway.

The F01 7 Series, 5-GT and 5 Series all share the same basic ‘backbone’ (or platform components in BMW-speak). They’re also all made in Dingolfing, Germany.

In fact, the first two vehicles share the same 3070mm wheelbase as well as similar width measurements, providing ample rear seat space for those airline-style chair options.

The newcomer has the same road clearance as many regular passenger sedans but a loftier seating hip point – with a roofline being some 80mm higher than a 7 Series’ but 210mm shy of an X5’s. The point, BMW says, is to offer the ease of access, visibility and feeling of security that an SUV provides, in a vehicle with the limousine levels of luxury and features.

On the boot front, it extends from 440 litres to 590L by sliding the rear seats forward, while folding them all down and unclipping the parcel shelf in hatch mode expands the cargo capacity up to 1700L. That’s just 50L shy of an X5’s.

Despite big differences in design and presentation details, it will take a keen eye to pick the 5-GT’s cabin architecture from its closely related brethren. Similarities include the look and layout of the dash, the gearstick, latest-generation iDrive interface, large centrally mounted screen display, and steering wheel.

From launch, buyers have the choice of three engines.

Opening the range is the 1960kg 530d GT, brandishing a 2993cc 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo diesel with common-rail direct injection and variable turbine geometry technology delivering 180kW of power at 4000rpm and 540Nm of torque from 1750 to 3000rpm.

While the 100km/h mark from standstill takes 6.9 seconds and the top speed is 240km/h, its fuel consumption average and carbon dioxide emissions ratings are 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres and 173 grams per kilometre respectively.

Next up, and making its debut in an Australian BMW, is the 1940kg 535i GT’s 2979cc 3.0-litre direct-injection TwinPower twin-scroll single-turbo in-line six-cylinder petrol unit.

Replacing the ‘old’ (if 2006 is considered a long time ago) twin-turbo engine, and employing Valvetronic fully variable valve timing, it produces (on 98 RON premium unleaded) 225kW at 5800rpm and 400Nm from 1200 to 5000rpm, for a 0-100km/h time of 6.3s and a 250km/h contained V-max. Drive carefully and you might manage 8.9L/100km and 209g/km.

11.2L/100km and 236g/km are the best the 2060kg 550i GT’s 4395cc 4.4-litre direct-injection TwinPower turbo V8 petrol can manage, but the other figures are likely to impress: 300kW at 5500-6400rpm, 600Nm from 1750-4500rpm, 5.5s to 100km/h and a restricted 250km/h (all on 98 RON).

Suspension is aluminium based, via a double wishbone front axle and a multilink rear BMW calls Integral-V. Steering is via a hydraulic speed dependent servo (Servotronic) rack and pinion set-up offering 3.1 turns lock-to-lock, while the single-piston swing- calliper disc brakes are 348x36mm vented in diameter up front on the six-pot cars (V8: 374x36mm vented) and 345x24 vented out back (V8: 370x24mm vented).

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