The 2010 BMW 5-Series GT marks the newest addition to BMW’s lineup. While the addition of a premium sedan with hatchback capability and a larger engine may not prove to be the most profitable model in the company’s stable, at the very least, the 5-Series GT gives us a look at the technologies that BMW has in the pipeline for eventual integration into their other models. From a low-emission V8 to a new regenerative braking system, there is a lot to get excited about on the 5-Series GT.
First off, let’s start with the engine. The debut model will be the 550i, which will have a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. These numbers are certainly more than adequate for a premium touring sedan, but what makes the power even more impressive is that the emissions put it in the U.S.’s Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle category. Yes, a V8-powered luxury tourer that has ultra-low emissions. Not bad at all.
Okay, so the engine is powerful and clean, but the true measure of a GT (which stands for Gran Turismo) is the comfort. The designation is all about luxury on long trips, and the 5-Series GT delivers that. The hatchback and higher roof allows the GT to have ample cargo space vertically instead of front to back. This means that the BMW designers could place the rear seats further back in the car, drastically increasing legroom over other cars in the same segment and size class. If you’re looking for a premium sedan that will be used on long trips with four adults in the car, there is absolutely no substitute for the 5-Series GT (unless, of course, you want to spend $140,000 on a BMW 7-Series). The rear seat can also be had in either a three-seater bench or a two-seater with comfortable chairs separated by a center console.
The moon roof on the 5-Series GT takes up 55% of the roof’s area, and makes the car feel incredibly spacious. The front seat continues the spacious trend. The cockpit provides all the necessary gadgets and creature comforts, but is also impeccably suited to sporty handling. In fact, that description of the cockpit is the perfect description of the car as a whole. There is plenty of performance in the 5-Series GT, and an optional Sport package makes it even more impressive, bumping the top speed up to 150 mph from the base model’s 130 mph. The cornering will satisfy all but the most picky handling junkies. The cabin is marvelously appointed and really does feel welcoming.
One final feature to look at is the Regenerative Braking System, which helps increase the 5-Series GT’s efficiency. When you are accelerating or cruising in a normal car, the alternator is running off of a belt attached to the engine. This extra resistance means that your car’s engine must work harder in order to maintain proper speed, thereby decreasing fuel efficiency. BMW’s new regenerative brakes take a page out of the book of hybrid vehicles. Hybrids sometimes use regenerative brakes to generate electricity while braking in order to help power the electric motors.. The BMW system uses the regenerative brakes to recharge the car’s battery. Also, when the brakes are applied, a clutch on the alternator engages so that the engine is slowed bythe alternator’s resistance and the battery is further recharged.
The 2010 BMW 5-Series GT is scheduled to hit showrooms in late-2009. There has been no indication from BMW at the time of this writing as to the exact price that the 5-Series GT will sell for, but it will likely be about $70,000, give or take a few thousand. Time will tell whether or not the 5-Series GT can prove profitable to BMW or whether it will be relegated to the company’s history within a few years.