BMW X6, eat your heart out. In advance of the 2009 Geneva Auto Show next month, Adrian van Hooydonk, Chris Bangle and their BMW cohorts have released a sneak peek of the BMW 5 Series GT Liftback concept. Don’t take the “concept” part too seriously though, because the exterior is production-ready; it is just the interior that needs to come down to earth a bit.
The rest of the details and a sizeable gallery are after the jump.
For starters, there is no part of this car that deserves the “GT” moniker. A DB9 is a “GT” car. When you see “GT” on a Mustang, you know it has a V8. “GT” does not refer to a 4/5 seater, lifted wagon/lowered SUV, coupe/hatch with a dual-function liftgate. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t. About the only GT-ish feature is the pillarless windows. BMW has got to get off the wacky tabacky when it names its vehicles. When this thing hits the streets, its name will likely be the BMW 5 series Gran Turismo Liftback xDrive. Kill me. Oh, and it rides on the new F01 7-series platform, not the 5 series platform the name leads you to believe.
The category the GT fits into? PAS. As in Progressive Activity Vehicle. That doesn’t even mean anything. I even checked Babel Fish to see if PAS means anything in van Hooydonk’s native Dutch tongue. Nope. Complete gibberish.
But the naming confusion is forgiven after you see the design confusion. It’s hard to blame the marketers who named the thing when it’s the marketers who designed the thing who are responsible.
You saw the video attempting to justify this 5 series GT’s existence, right? If you didn’t check it out. It’s worth a good head shake. I’ll boil it down for you in case you feel lazy. The 5 series GT is a vehicle for those who think that the X6 is too sporty and sits too high. That’s it. Hardly a big niche when you think about it.
As for powertrains, we know that an 8-speed auto will be standard, that 6 and 8 cylinders will be available under the hood, and that RWD and AWD will be options.
The hatch, as you can see, opens two ways. This has the advantage of adding much avoirdupois to an already porcine vehicle. Or as BMW claims in its video, the smaller opening can be used in the winter so that excessive heat doesn’t escape the vehicle, which must be a bigger concern than I realized. Either way, the dual-function liftgate is a joke.
Let’s get down to the overall aesthetics of the 5er GT now. From the front, all is well and good. The CS Concept from the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show clearly had a postive impact here. Moving to the side profile things fall apart quickly. The length of the platform and the relative shortness of the wheelbase cannot be disguised by all the flame surfacing in the world. Therefore, the rear overhang is on the long side. At the rear 3/4, you get a glimpse of one of the GT’s odder lines. Almost in a Lincoln MKT-esque move, the (supposedly) vertical hatch line actually moves away from the vehicle towards the bottom near the tailpipes and moves closer to the body near the roofline. Very strange. Square-on, the rear doesn’t look half-bad, mainly because you can’t tell the depth of the hatch. The rear haunches are prominent and aggressive from the rear although the strip of horizontal chrome is too gaudy for me.
That about covers what we have available right now. We’ll bring you more details on this circus freak as they become available.