In late 2007 BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer revealed plans for several all-new models including a design study called the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS). Then, at March's Geneva Motor Show, BMW gave us the first tangible evidence of the new PAS in the form of the 5-series Gran Turismo (GT) concept vehicle.
Camouflaged prototypes have been making the rounds along the streets of Munich for several months now and today we have leaked official shots of the production that's due to go sale in Europe this November and in the U.S. early next year.
The body of the 5-series GT features a mix of elements from crossover, hatchback and wagon bodystyles, melding them together to create something that's relatively unique in the automotive world. While the styling may not be to everyone’s taste, BMW insists there's a market for a premium wagon with a coupe-like profile and plenty of innovative storage solutions. A take on the famous Hofmeister kink can be found at the rear of the window line, turning a very non-classical BMW profile into something more recognizable.
Clear differences between the production version and the concept are the smaller wheels, regular beige leather interior, rounded exhaust tips and new side mirrors.
BMW is yet to reveal what powertrain options will be available for the 5-series GT but expect to see most of the engines from the new 2010 5-series carry over. BMW is expected to launch the car initially with a new eight-speed automatic and six-cylinder engines and then expand the range to include an xDrive AWD option and V8 powertrains.
At 4.99m in length, only the flagship 7-series is longer than it. This provides plenty of room inside for passengers but oddly BMW has added seating for only four. One of the vehicle’s standout features will be its new two-tiered tailgate. The design enables owners to partially open the tailgate for small packages or stretch it all the way for bigger luggage.