New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

GT concept shows new 5 Series

2009-02-13 13:14
BMW has shown its latest segment straddling car. It’s the 5 Series GT Concept, only due for official unveiling in three weeks time.

At a special media/industry event BMW unveiled its odd new concept to a small group of select guests, ahead of its official public unveiling at the Geneva motor show in three weeks time.

BMW calls it a Progressive Activity Vehicle (PAS) which once again cements the Bavarian manufacturer’s position as the pre-eminent source of inexplicable automotive acronyms.

Unable to decide which market niche to either invent or dominate next, BMW has simply decided to roll an MPV, SUV, SAV, hatchback and estate into one. The result is a 5 Series based GT, which appears undecided to whether it would like to be a shrunken X6 or a hatchback 5 Series.

The BMW group’s new design boss Adriaan von Hooydonk was positively swooning over the Bavarian company’s new creation at its preview.

Huge guy next to BMW's latest segment defying car - the 5 Series GT - is new design boss Adriaan von Hooydonk.

Smaller than 7, bigger than an X5

Featuring an oversized kidney grille and headlights which take some shape from the discontinued CS concept it’s a brazen design.

Proportions are more in-line with the new 7 Series (it’s 70mm shorter than a 7, 150mm longer than an X5 though) and sporting a wheelbase which measures out at a touch over 3m, 5 Series GT should have plenty of rear legroom.

In profile the X6 influences are clear with the coupe like roofline merging quite neatly with the rear hatch section. The design appears to have been penned for optimal utility.

Subsequently the rear cargo area is accessible through either a full-sized fifth-door or smaller, secondary tailgate accommodating smaller items. It’s very capacious too, with a 430l cargo capacity, expandable to 570l with the rear seats folded flat.

Trim is a blend of oxblood mats, contrasting black and white leather seats and a huge wood fascia top. Seating formation apes the X6, with individual rear seats, cutting total seating capacity down from five to four, yet allowing 100mm of fore and aft adjustability for rear seat passengers.

It’s probably been BMW’s worst kept secret to date, but the 5 Series GT does serve as a design landmark – ushering in the von Hooydonk era and signalling the end of Bangle.

The 5 Series GT will display in concept form at Geneva, and resemble something closer to production at the Frankfurt motor show towards the end of the year.

Never thought you'd see the day BMW would expand huge effort into designing a clever hatchback mechanism - did you?

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