BMW 6 SERIES GRAN TURISMO
BMW’S NEW GRAN TURISMO REVEALED
A Gran Turismo for the ages
Since its conception in 2009, the Gran Turismo model in the previous F10 5 Series was an oddity in the line-up. As the first-ever 5 available in a fastback body style, the GT was a peculiar fit and not that well accepted within the range.
IN CONTRAST, THE SPECTACULAR SALES PERFORMANCE OF THE GRAN COUPÉ IN THE CURRENT 6 SERIES – SELLING MORE THAN THE COUPÉ AND CONVERTIBLE DERIVATES COMBINED – CONVINCED MUNICH TO MOVE THE GT UPMARKET – TO AN EVEN NUMBER RANGE.
Interestingly, the GT was the first model in the sixth generation 5 Series to be introduced, and similarly the new Gran Turismo is the first of the fourth incarnation of the 6 Series.
It’s also the fourth body style in the range, but highly likely also the last – as it is rumoured that the new GT will be sold alongside the current coupé, convertible, and Gran Coupé until it is ultimately replaced by a new 8 Series range.
So, while still underpinned by the platform of the latest 5 Series, the technical basis for the new 6 Series Gran Turismo is the extended wheelbase version sold exclusively in China.
With a wheelbase of 3,070 mm it is also 87mm longer than its 5 Series predecessor and 21mm lower – giving BMW’s rival for the newly released Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS a more balanced look and better dynamic proportions.
The grille treatment of the new GT is prominent, and the standard LED headlight lenses extend all the way to the large grille. Its design, with a long bonnet, setback position of the cabin, elongated window outline and downward sweeping roofline is familiar, yet more resolved.
LIGHTER AND SPORTIER
Its low-slung silhouette, an active air flap control, air curtains, air breathers, and an automatically-extending rear spoiler ensures a drag coefficient as low as 0.25 CD, and luggage capacity is now 610 litres – 110 litres more than that of its predecessor.
On average it is 150 kg lighter than the outgoing model, and the GT’s improved aerodynamics and more efficient engines gives it sportier performance and better fuel efficiency. It is up to 0.7 seconds quicker in the 0-100km/h sprint than its equivalent predecessor, and consumption and emissions figures are as much as 15 percent lower.
Three TwinPower Turbo engines, mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, are available; starting with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit in the entry-level 630i GT (190 kW and 400 Nm) is not mooted for South Africa.
However, the 640i xDrive GT– available for test runs on a route around Lisbon – is set for local release this month. Its 3.0-litre, six-cylinder inline petrol engine (250 kW and 450 Nm) gives the all-wheel drive model a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 5.3 seconds, and consumption of 7.7litres/100km.
The 630d GT, powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine producing 195 kW and 620 Nm will be made available here, but only in two-wheel drive guise. Performance figures are stated as 6.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h with consumption and emission figures of 5.3 litres/100 km and 139 g/km.
With self-levelling air suspension at the rear and optional adaptive suspension, the newcomer literally glided over the smooth Portuguese highways.
The Executive Drive option, offered in combination with the Integral Active Steering system and including active roll stabilisation, gave it a sportier edge, automatically lowering the ride height in Sport mode and with xDrive all-wheel drive its handling was surefooted in even the trickiest conditions.
ROOMY AND WELL-CONNECTED
The interior is typically BMW – with a driver-focused cockpit and an extremely spacious passenger compartment. The slightly raised seating position optimises all-round view and even with the flatter roofline there is ample headroom in the rear. Improved soundproofing makes the GT a very comfortable Tourer in every sense of the word.
The iDrive system display is now on a freestanding touchscreen (BMW claims it is the biggest in class at 26 cm) and enhanced voice control and gesture control is standard, while a Heads-Up Display is optional.
The GT is endowed with a host of advanced driver assistance systems, and the Steering and Lane control assistant represents another step along the road to automated driving.
While the styling may not be to everyone’s taste, the sleeker coupé design offers great functionality blended with the long-distance comfort of a luxury sedan, and the new GT also heralds the 3 Series GT’s migration to the 4 Series.
With prices starting from R1,081,300 for the standard 630d and R1,114,800 for the 640i xDrive, and the M Sport models going for R1,143,400 and R1,176,900 respectively, the question remains: Does the new 6 Series GT offer enough to entice buyers out of a Gran Coupé?