It was expected that BMW after the success of the X6 would start with hermaphrodites. In Lisbon, the new 5-GT was presented. This will set new standards in the luxury middle class. One has been done in any case already. The GT stands for Gran Turismo, and despite of the very polarizing designs this BMW has the right stuff to become a giant.
When I arrived at the airport in Lisbon, my eye caught quickly the new field at the BMW league. An avid BMW employee literally snatches the baggage out of the hands and stowed it in the maw of the generous trunk space. The silhouette of this Bavarian at the first glance does not look like a Womanizer on four wheels, rather like the pimply little brother of the X6…
The first look: Interesting….
The outer shell of the BMW 5 Series BMW Gran Turismo combines typical proportions – a streamlined silhouette, a coupe-like roof line, and four doors with frameless windows – an interesting unit. With a length of five meters and a width of 1.90 meters the Gran Turismo is anything but dainty. It has a considerable body height of 1.56 meters. With these very impressive dimensions and the long wheelbase BMW placed the GT directly between 5 Series and 7 Series.
„Believe me, you have to let this car work on you“ am I told. My answer is hardly more than a sceptical eye glance, and the rear door is already open. A new way of getting to know a car namely with a chauffeur.
His real strength: The interior
It turns out that the guys at BMW have been very creative. For here we read: „To meet the car from the inside to the outside“. A rogue who thinks evil. But everything about the outer shell is forgotten as soon as we can propagate in the ground, and that is quite literally.
The sense of space is fantastic, despite the sloping rear roof line, not least thanks to the bright leather trim and huge panoramic roof. Exclusive materials dominate the whole interior; everything sits perfectly in its place. All the comfortable seats can be configured individually.
And it goes on in the ground. The legroom is that of a luxury sedan. The optional monitor shining through a high resolution and excellent colour reproduction. Using a remote control, the monitors can be controlled separately. Thus, one can watch the latest movies while the other is happily on the Internet.
Even the ride, including the pleasant shock damping leaves little to be desired. In no other BMW sedan with the exception of the BMW 760 in the long version you will feel more comfortable as a passenger.
The second look: the sympathy grows …
Arriving at the hotel, I am almost tempted to say with a snobbish undertone: „James, please open the door“, so sublime, I feel after this ride. I can resist, luckily just so. Barely got out, take a more detailed look at the sheet metal dress.
The front view provides dynamic, not least by the presence of the upright BMW kidney grille, the large air intakes and slanted double circular. The daytime running light is first presented by corona rings with LED technology. The stern wins more horizontal lines in breadth, which is fed by the L-shaped taillights with homogeneously bright LED’s.
As much as the X6 flashed me at first glance, so little can the 5 GT at the second. However, he do not looks so spotty anymore after the outward journey in the rear, but entirely fine-tuned on the driver and passenger.
Never in my life, would I have thought that there would be that much headroom despite the sloping roofline. The recently tested X6 showed exactly here, where his contras were. But the 5-GT they’ve really thought from the inside out. And slowly wide sympathy for the little ones came up.
Finally driving myself
After a quick check-in at the hotel I can now finally test him. The elevated seating position allows a more comfortable entry and provides a greater clarity on the roads. The cockpit itself is perfectly processed. The driver will be pampered in the centre console with a large widescreen LED display. The I-drive, the latest generation, provides a fixed implementation of the commands.
For me, as I-phone freak of the first generation, may not be missing the USB integration. This works perfectly. However, for the perfectly integrated music taste, as with other manufacturers, a special cable has to be optional ordered to do so.
Rear visibility is equated with that of the X6, relentlessly bad and a tribute to the design. Which was well aware of BMW and therefore the Park Distance Control system is standard. Of course, just for the heck, for all round „beep beep“ is extra. However, a rear-view camera is a useful additional investment.
The LCD Display is brilliant. The screen is sharp and active, almost without delay. A significant step forward, for the X6, which is currently being shipped with the old system. But now the engine is first started. Over hundreds of kilometres along the coast is expecting me, the twisty mountain roads and through the beautiful Lisbon.
great engine pulls a lot of weight
The much-appreciated 35i provides good driving, and comes completely revised. For the first time turbo charging, gasoline direct injection and fully variable valve control VALVETRONIC are combined. That should make more efficient fuel consumption.
From 1,200 to 5,000 rpm are available at an output of 225 kW / 306 PS 400 Nm of maximum torque. Thus the series of six successful sprints from 0 to 100 in just 6.3 seconds and a maximum top speed of 250 km / h (electronically limited).
However, if you have 2 tons on the ribs, should not be surprised if even the best aggregate eventually makes slack. The usually for a gasoline engine very pleasant torque band almost fizzles out and only at high speeds the series of six came up again.
But sporty like this the main part of the buyers would drive rare. Here, the recommendation is clearly towards 3.0d. Full torque from the basement, with an efficient fuel consumption, which today are the magic words. Who cries for more power, get the 550i whopping 300 kW/407 hp V8 from a Twin Turbo.
Suspension: Gran Turismo Deluxe
The chassis is sublime, no doubt, just as it is just one of a BMW. Therefore, with the adaptive suspension provides roll stabilization (3,000 €). At-speed corners hounding soon is clear that BMW is very serious about giving character to comfort-trip cars. The GT can be irritating and rather reluctantly inclined to safety under steer. The rear only give word when harsh load changes are provoked.
However, the sedan masters the sporty cornering with absolute sovereignty and can not miss the joy of driving. The steering wheel can be activated depending on the smooth comfort mode (normal) or tightly (sport and sport + move). Similarly, the chassis and the motor reacting are thereby influenced. The precise nature of the Bavaria steering behaviour is still given, but feels a little soft than usual – to match the travel character.
Steptronic: here and there a little delay shifting
In city traffic, the first time outside of the 7 Series, the available 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is struggling with significant problems. Far too often the automatic response even in sport mode too slow and takes gas orders often very delayed.
Especially in a city like Lisbon with a lot of roundabout and short acceleration traces this weakness is quickly clear. On country roads or the highway there is nothing to complain; here the GT satisfied perfectly and has to be called, without any ifs and buts an excellent trip car.
Big hatchback, small hatchback it is your choice…
At the photo shoot in a small fishing village some more details on the GT came up. If at all possible, BMW can always find some way of divide the trunk. In Gran Turismo, this was interesting to solve. Normally, the trunk has a capacity to 440 litres in volume. In addition, a wall against annoying drafts was installed in the rear. If necessary, the rear seats can be folded down and the storage space increases to 1,700 litres.
Who wants only little things in the trunk, may do so by a small hatchback. Especially in garages with low ceilings, the little hatch is worth gold. Will there be something more; the entire tailgate can be opened like a lift back.
After getting out, another look fell on the body. And somehow it is now reality, I started to like him. I can not say why, but I know only in its entirety, I really appreciate this car. The Gran Turismo definitely polarizes. This is as clear as the Amen in church. Nevertheless, the Gran Turismo is an excellent choice for well-heeled skiers, families of four or even as a chauffeur car.
The neutral design of the chassis and the light steering can miss a little of the typical sporting character of BMW. The interior shines with this luxury 7 Series level. And that’s why the new 5 Series Gran Turismo has the potential to be a bestseller.
BMW 535i Gran Turismo
Hubraum: 2.979 cm³ | 225 kw (306 PS) bei 5.800 U/min | 400 Nm bei 1.200 – 5.000 U/min | Vmax: 250 km/H (abgeriegelt) | Beschleunigung 0- 100 km/h in 6,3 s | Co2 Emission g/km: 209 g (EU 5) | Durchschnittsverbrauch: 8,9 l/100 km | Gewicht nach DIN (EU) : 1.940 (2.015) kg | Preis: ab 55.700, 00 EUR inkl. MwSt.
text: Mario-Roman Lambrecht
translation: Simone Amores
photos: Mario-Roman Lambrecht