BMW is the ultimate driving machine. And I know this because it’s firmly stated on their press release. Still, it’s a darn fine ride. At the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, (my second favorite thing about Geneva; don’t ask me about my first) once again it was BMW Debutante Season, as the company unveiled to society its latest vehicle cultivated for the upper crust. In this case, their little-baby-daughter-ready-for-womanhood is the Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo.
The plot thickens. Here’s a twist in this sorted BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo tale: is the vehicle a sporty BMW Sedan or a modern SUV? To answer your question,……………IT’S BOTH!!!!! (Note all the exclamation points.)
Photographs and more details after the jump.
The Concept 5 Series is a strange morphing of the two; an SUV and a sedan—but that’s strictly on paper. First, it doesn’t look at all like an SUV. Maybe they kept this title as consumer comfort for those who are SUV fans. The Concept 5 is a great sedan, suited for long, roomy, comfortable drives. But why call an apple an orange? BMW must think car buyers are still captivated by SUVs. Or maybe it’s a class thing to rattle off at cocktail parties that you are driving an SUV rather than a sedan? Where the rest of the world, especially Europe, is proud of vehicles like smart cars, maybe the marketing team thinks Americans still love the idea/status of having the largest car on the road. The Concept 5 Series is a PR Guru’s mad vision of having your cake and driving it to. But calling it such makes about as much sense as renaming a MINI Cooper, “The MINI Cooper SUV,” just for title sake. I think the proper terminology for the Concept 5 would fit more along the lines of Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS).
In evolutionary terms, The Concept 5 Series appears more closely related in linage to a large station wagon. (That doesn’t sound as cool as an SUV.) A standout feature of the Concept 5 is the new two-tiered tailgate, which allows owners to only partially open the tailgate for small packages or stretch it all the way for bigger luggage. There’s heaps of space. Luggage capacity clocks in at 15.1 cubic feet. With the rear seats moved forward and the rear bulkhead partition opened, luggage capacity increases to almost 20 cubic feet. THAT’S A DARN GOOD AMOUNT OF LUGGAGE SPACE! To be exact, maximum luggage capacity is nearly 58 cubic feet. And if you want to talk futuristic, the rear seats fold by pushing a button on the side panel of the luggage compartment. This is a luxury station wagon, NOT AN SUV!
Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo, which hits the streets in November, is expected to initially come out with as a new eight-speed automatic and six-cylinder engine. Then the range will expand to include an xDrive AWD option and V8 powertrains. The engine should range with BMW’s evergreen straight 6 and ending up with an 8 for the top of the line. No doubt there’s also a diesel and hybrid in the mix. Everyone is doing the diesel and/or hybrid deal with their SUVs these days. (If you can call the Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo an SUV.)