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2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Preview

2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009
2010 BMW 5 Series Gran TurismoCritical Knowledge:
  • The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo (GT) is an all-new model for 2010
  • Replaces the 5 Series Touring (wagon)
  • Unique styling foreshadows future 5 Series design
  • Five-door hatchback body style with unique dual-action tailgate
  • Nearly 60 cubic feet of available cargo space
  • Choice of 6- or 8-cylinder turbocharged powerplants
  • Standard 8-speed automatic transmission
Introduction
BMW's 5 Series is a midsize luxury performance car that has been in production since 1972. Slotted in between the compact BMW 3 Series and full-size BMW 7 Series in size, the 5 Series was significantly updated, including a mid-cycle facelift, in 2008. In 2009, it is offered as a sedan with a choice of efficient 6-cylinder engines or a powerful 8-cylinder powerplant, or a 6-cylinder station wagon known as the Touring.

For the 2010 model year, expected to be the last for the current-generation "E60" version of the sedan, BMW has replaced the Touring model with the all-new 5 Series Gran Turismo. The Gran Turismo differs from BMW's traditional Touring model by employing a hatchback body style and a rear dual-action liftgate. The liftgate's two opening sections offer the choice between opening a small trunk beneath the rear window, or opening the large tailgate (including the small trunk) as with BMW's SUV models. Although it is built on an all-new "F07" platform, the styling of the 5 Series Gran Turismo also offers insight into how the next-generation 5 Series sedan will look, inside and out, and how it will be powered when it arrives next year.

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2010 BMW 5 Series Gran TurismoModel Lineup
Although complete options and specifications for the U.S. models have not yet been released, two new Gran Turismo (GT) models will likely join the five other BMW 5 Series models for 2010. The complete lineup will include: 528i sedan, 528i xDrive sedan, 535i sedan, 535i xDrive sedan, 535i GT, 550i sedan, and 550i GT. The standard Gran Turismo model is the 535i GT, with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine. The range-topping 550i GT is fitted with a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 engine (the 550i sedan, sharing the same model number designation, is still fitted with a normally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8).

Differentiating itself from the standard 5 Series sedan, and outgoing Touring wagon, the 5 Series GT features what BMW calls an "extra-large interior," which is ideally suited for long distance comfort, according to the maker. The innovative rear hatch design allows the rear seats to move fore and aft nearly 4 inches-with the seatbacks all the way rearward, the leg room is the same as the 7 Series and the headroom matches that of the X5 SUV, BMW claims. The standard trunk capacity under the rear partition is 15.4 cubic feet. However, like a station wagon, each of the rear seats may be folded flat for additional cargo utility increasing usable space to nearly 60 cubic feet.

Hardware
BMW offers a choice of two different engines on the 2010 5 Series GT. The standard engine is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6-cylinder rated at 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. The 550i GT sedan is fitted with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter 8-cylinder that is rated at 400 hp and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. All models are offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, a first for the 5 Series and shared with BMW's flagship 760i.

The 2010 BMW 5 Series GT features standard rear-wheel drive. Depending on model, standard wheels are either 18-inch or 19-inch aluminum alloy. Run-flat tires and a tire-pressure-monitoring system are standard fitment on all 5 Series GT vehicles, and all variants feature an innovative independent double track front control arm suspension (in lieu of the standard 5 Series sedan's MacPherson struts) and an integral-V rear axle (as shared with the 7 Series). Capitalizing on its utility-oriented theme, the BMW 5 Series GT is rated to tow a trailer up to 4,600 pounds.

2010 BMW 5 Series Gran TurismoSafety
Both 2010 BMW 5 Series GT models include dual front-impact intelligent air bags (occupant sensing, and dual threshold) protecting the driver and front passenger. Side-impact air bags and a front- and rear-seat side curtain air bag head protection system offer additional protection to occupants. The extensive list of standard electronic safety aids on the 5 Series GT includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The DSC includes BMW's versions of electronic brake proportioning, cornering brake stability enhancement, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation (automatically applies more brake force as heat decreases the system's effectiveness), Brake Standby (to reduce emergency stopping distances), Dynamic Traction Control, and Start-off Assistant (to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards on a hill).

Technology
Every 2010 BMW 5 Series GT is fitted with standard Dynamic Drive Control. At the touch of a cockpit-mounted button, the driver is able to select "Normal," "Sport" or "Sport+" modes to control the response of several key vehicle controls. These include the suspension damping, steering boost or assistance, throttle response, and transmission shifting speed and harshness. The Series GT is also available with BMW's Adaptive Drive suspension technology. The system includes electronically controlled dampers and active anti-roll stabilization (roll bars) designed to adjust to both road conditions and the operator's driving style to deliver an optimal ride, the manufacturer says. According to BMW, the automaker is the first to offer an adaptive suspension which adjusts both the inbound and outbound stroke of the damper in a continuous, yet independent, process.

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