BMW pulls out stops for flagship Gran Turismo
THE Gran Turismo – or GT as it is more popularly known – is not expected to be a best seller when it arrives in BMW showrooms in June.
Touted as an alternative to an SUV for car drivers who are put off by the bulk of 4x4 styling but are looking for lots of space, it is taller and longer than the saloon and tourer models in the 3 Series and delivers limousine style legroom in the rear. It has a range of both diesel and petrol engines and a starting price of £28,835. The BMW estimate of 23,000 UK sales over its life cycle seems a little conservative given that it is an ultra-smooth operator, especially in Luxury trim.
The 3 Series as a whole is a big seller for the company: one in every three BMW owners drives one.
The GT comes straight in at the top and, as befits a new flagship model, BMW has pulled out all the stops and added a few eye-catching features including new headlight clusters, wider air vents, and an active rear spoiler which pops up at 70mph. Chrome kicks in behind the front wheel but BMW says it is not merely a styling touch, as we are told it increases the airflow.
At entry level drivers still have to do that annoying little leap to raise or lower the seat – opt for the more luxurious spec and the wonderful electronic system takes over.
COME AND GT IT: The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will debut in June.