New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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BMW CS Concept set for production

2007-12-20 10:18
BMW's stunning Concept CS is officially no more. It will now become a production model called the Gran Turismo.

Probably the first Chirs Bangle design creation gushed over instead of being castigated the CS Concept wowed show goers at the Shanghai Motor Show this year.

In Gran Turismo road going form it will eventually compete in the rarefied Mercedes-Benz's CLS market space, with fellow pending four-door Coupes the Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera and Audi A7.

In this niche four-door Coupe market styling is everything, and finding the perfect blend between exterior aesthetic balance - not an easy assignment accommodating four doors - and interior space is paramount.

According to BMW, the four-door Coupe is a hybrid mix of grand tourer and high-performance sports car and dictates a new direction in design for the Munich-based manufacturer.

This should hearten many BMW fans who have become increasingly disenchanted with design direction from the sophisticated Bavarian manufacturer lately.

M-man at the helm

Gerhard Richter, former head of BMW's M-division, has been appointed from the BMW executive board to head the project aimed at transforming the CS Concept into the Gran Turismo road going version.

Richter has been at the BMW M-division since 1979. Having spent more than a quarter century tinkering with some of the most charismatic cars in the BMW history leaves Richter well qualified to develop a road going version of one of BMW's most exciting concepts in recent years.

Richter will have to manage the commercialisation of many of the design feature of the CS, including the double BMW headlamp arrangement featuring innovative LED reverse projection technology to provide the illumination.

Rearward facing lights project a beam onto a smooth reflective surface, which in turn conveys a precise beam on the road ahead. Such technology provides a wide expanse of illumination without dazzling oncoming motorists, BMW claims.

It should be interesting to see how many of these features are actually carried over in the road going Gran Turismo.

The overall low-slung sedan Coupe feel of the CS should remain will be carried over into the Gran Turismo proportions. Grand Turismo should be just over five metres long and details Chris Bangles signature 'flame surfacing' on its exterior.

At the front, the kidney grille dominates and the curving bonnet line leads to a low sloping roofline and a pert rear end. It should also feature the distinctive, traditional Hofmeister kink on the C-pillar.

Drivetrain is still a closely guarded secret, although it is conjectured an enlarged 6-litre version of the current 5-litre V10 found in the M5 and M6 will power the Gran Turismo.


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