BMW has shuffled their line-up once again. With it being more and more certain each day that the 6 Series Coupe will be superseded by the upcoming (and more upmarket) 8 Series, they have now revealed that there will not be a direct successor to the F10-based 5 Series GT, at least not in the way you might have been expecting.
Instead, say hello to the 6 Series Gran Turismo. Clearly cut from the same cloth as the newest G30 5 Series, the new 6 Series GT - given it’s hatchback body and larger, if somewhat skewed proportions - can be thought of as a non-SUV version of the X6.
According to BMW themselves, who do consider the 6 Series GT a successor to the 5 Series GT in everything but name, it is described as “an extensively updated successor to one of the most creative vehicle concepts of recent years.” Though we don’t agree with most that statement, we do appreciate how much better looking this car is to its ‘predecessor’.
It seems like a much more complete exterior design now, still retaining that familiar formula of an airier cabin (courtesy of a higher roof), longer wheelbase, and hatchback rear end, but BMW has done a much better job this time around to mask the extra size and overall ungainliness that plagued the older car. Also, since it’s based on the new CLAR architecture which uses carbon fibre reinforced polymers, it’s at least 150kg lighter than the outgoing car.
In spite of BMW letting the world see it now, the car won’t be hitting showrooms until its proper launch at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show has passed, at which point there should be a more fleshed out range to complement the 640i xDrive M Sport and 630d xDrive Luxury Line variants we see here.
From what we can see via photos of the new 6 Series Gran Turismo’s interior, though, we struggle to find any significant differences that set it apart from that of the new 5 Series sedan. In fact, they look identical. But because of the general excellence of that interior, we won’t really be justified in knocking it for that.
The boot capacity, of course, does grow substantially thanks to the change from sedan to fastback hatch, measured to be able to swallow 610-litres with the rear seats up. That’s 110-litres more commodious than the older 5 Series GT. Impressive. With the seats down, however, a cavernous 1,800-litres becomes available. Most impressive. Anyone still need an SUV?
The G30 5 Series is already a paragon of a modern, luxurious, and functional that’s jam-packed with technology. Presumably, in that case, the same impressive list of semi-autonomous features will be inherited. BMW also says that self-levelling air suspension (rear axle) will come standard while dual-axle air suspension will be optional, letting the car’s ride firmness and height to be fully adjustable.
Under the bonnet of the two variants shown today are the 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol and the 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel, both carried over from the new 5 Series. The former produces 250kW and 450Nm while the latter generates 195kW and 620Nm, driving all four wheels (via the xDrive system) via an 8-speed ZF-8HP torque converter automatic.
With all that said, it still isn’t clear how long the 6 Series Gran Coupe will last, or whether that will turn out be a proper four-door coupe version of the 5 Series or rather somehow be based on the future 8 Series. As of this point, arguments for either side are too close to call.
Lastly, does this mean that the next 3 Series Gran Turismo will instead fly under the 4 Series range?