6 Se­ries gets Gran Turismo treat­ment

Longer and swoop­ier than the BMW 5 Se­ries GT it re­places

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - DENIS DROPPA

BMW has taken the wraps off its new pre­mium hatch­back, although it prefers the term Gran Turismo (GT).

Due to ar­rive in South Africa in Novem­ber af­ter a world de­but at Septem­ber’s Frank­furt mo­tor show, the new 6 Se­ries GT re­places the niche-sell­ing 5 Se­ries GT which in 2009 in­tro­duced this five-door fast­back body style to BMW’s line up.

The quirky shape is still likely to po­larise opin­ion but the new­comer has a swoop­ier, more aero­dy­namic pres­ence than its pre­de­ces­sor. At 5091mm the 6 Se­ries GT has grown in length and has a lower roof to give it a more stretched pro­file, along with a long bon­net with set-back cabin. The roofline sweeps down at the rear, coupe-style.

It’s also a lot lighter, and the use of more alu­minium and high-strength steel has shaved about 150kg off the weight of the old car. The more low-slung sil­hou­ette, to­gether with air cur­tains, air breathers and an au­to­mat­i­cally ex­tend­ing rear spoiler re­duce the drag co­ef­fi­cient which makes the big GT slip through the airstream more ef­fi­ciently - im­prov­ing re­fine­ment whilst re­duc­ing fuel con­sump­tion at the same time.

Self-lev­el­ling air sus­pen­sion comes as stan­dard at the rear axle, while ride com­fort can be fur­ther en­hanced by opt­ing for Adap­tive air sus­pen­sion front and rear. There’s also an Ex­ec­u­tive Drive op­tion which adds rear wheel steer­ing and ac­tive roll sta­bil­i­sa­tion to give the car a sportier edge.

The en­larged cabin of­fers three full-size rear seats which are op­tion­ally avail­able with elec­tri­cally ad­justable back­rests. The tail­gate opens and closes elec­tri­cally over a cargo hold which has grown from 500 to 610 litres, and the split back­rest can folded flat elec­tri­cally to ex­pand this to 1 800 litres.

In­fo­tain­ment is han­dled by an iDrive sys­tem and large 26cm touch­screen, and gad­gets can also be ac­ti­vated by voice and ges­ture con­trol.

The new 6 Se­ries GT in­her­its semi-au­to­mated driv­ing fea­tures from the 5 and 7 Se­ries in­clud­ing au­to­matic brak­ing, ac­tive cruise con­trol and steer­ing as­sist.

Over­seas the car will be avail­able in three en­gine vari­ants, but only the 640i xDrive and 630d de­riv­a­tives will be of­fered in South Africa when the car goes on sale here in Novem­ber, both of them eight-speed Step­tronic au­to­mat­ics.

The 640i flag­ship has all-wheel drive and a 3-litre petrol turbo en­gine with out­puts of 250kW and 450Nm, for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in just 5.3 sec­onds.

The rear-wheel drive 630d is moved along by a 3-litre tur­bod­iesel mus­ter­ing 195kW and 620Nm, good for 0-100 in 6 sec­onds.

Prices will be an­nounced at launch time.

Pre­mium five-door Beemer will be avail­able with a 250kW petrol or a 195kW diesel en­gine.

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