BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo
Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo aims to deliver maximum interior flexibility packaged within an unimposing car. To achieve this, BMW has challenged the traditional sedan architecture by deliberately marrying seemingly disparate body styles -- a raised four-door coupe style silhouette and a twin-door hatchback.
See more images of the BMW Concept 5
Chris Bangle, the recently departed BMW design director who was very much involved with the concept, explains that the car has been designed from the inside out. The airy interior was heavily influenced by colour and material trends in Barcelona where the team spent some time during the design process.
One striking feature is the matt wood on the dash that spans right across and along the door panels to the rear. Above sits a wide expanse of soft leather. The horizontal lines add to the visual spaciousness of the cabin.
The sliding rear seats sit high and can be shifted backwards and forwards to provide premium legroom equivalent to the 7 Series. Plus, the clever twin-hinged boot can open either as a hatch or a sedan for up to 1,650 litres of luggage space.
The outer body parallels the interior shape. The exterior team, however, learnt from their secondment in California and what lead designer Christopher Weil refers to as its: ‘relaxed formality’ and ‘not being afraid to show luxury’.
To interpret this, his team emphasised the car’s surfaces using big, bold movements split by just a couple of strong horizontal lines that wrap around the sculpture. They added delicate frameless windows on all doors, an elegant swooping panoramic glass roof and redesigned L-shaped rear lights that can be seen from all angles.
The 5 Series GT is essentially a sedan with big-car ambitions that doesn’t look as conservative as a wagon or as imposing as an SUV. It is what BMW has classified as a Progressive Activity Sedan forming part of the marques ambitions to create new niches within its product portfolio.
‘It’s a combination of space and luxury,’ concludes Bangle. To this effect, the new concept realises its aim for being functional and visually different without looking silly.
The GT hints at some of the design features to be seen on the next-generation 5 Series family with its larger kidney grills and LED-powered day-running corona rings in the headlights. The concept is also extremely close in looks to its production version, to be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in the autumn.