Just a week after unveiling the new F10 5 Series sedan for our market, BMW Group Malaysia has quickly moved to unleash the controversial 5 Series Gran Turismo on our shores as well. Internationally available in three variants, our Malaysian market sees the introduction of only one, the 535i GT.
“The introduction of the BMW 535i Gran Turismo complements our line-up of the new BMW 5 Series range in Malaysia, a car that has already been tremendously well received by the market, as well as our successful BMW 7 Series luxurious limousine offering. It is a BMW that combines the supreme driving dynamics of the BMW 5 Series with the interior space, characteristics and luxury of the BMW 7 Series. The perfect automobile for every occasion. The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is so exclusive that we at BMW Group Malaysia are only introducing the car in limited numbers.” said Mr. Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.
Although BMW Malaysia has launched the 5 GT, chassis code F07, after the sedan, the GT had actually debuted before the sedan internationally. Despite its name plate, 5 GT actually bears only a fleeting similarity with the 5 Series sedan. Externally, it features coupe-like frameless door windows and a twin-opening tailgate.
“The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is yet another fruition from the vision that the BMW Design Team in Munich has had in turning concepts for the future, into desirable automobiles for today. A benchmark of success which few if any of our rivals have been able to replicate” added Briscoe.
Under the hood, the 535i GT features the same running gear as the 535i sedan, which means the same 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbo motor once again partners the all-new 8-speed automatic transmission. It is worth noting, however, that this was the model in which the N55B30 powerplant actually made its world debut in. This engine should not be confused with the twin turbo N54B30, which displaces the same 2,979cc capacity and currently powers the 335i, 740Li, and Z4-35i.
Featuring Valvetronic and High Precision Injection (BMW-speak for direct injection), the 535i GT is quoted with the same output figures as the 535i sedan – 306hp @ 5,800rpm and 400Nm @ 1,200 – 5,000rpm. BMW claims a slower century sprint (6.3s vs 6.1s) and higher consumption figures (8.9 l/100km vs 8.4 l/100km) for the 535i GT compared to the 535i sedan, thanks to a massive weight difference between the two. While the 535i sedan tips the scales at a modest 1,700kg kerb weight, the 535i GT carries considerably more mass – 1,940kg.
Like the 5 Series sedan, the 5 GT also comes standard with Brake Energy Regeneration and electric power steering, both features part of the company’s EfficientDynamics programme. Other features bundled into the 5 GT include Dynamic Driving Control, Integral Active Steering, Dynamic Stability Control and Cruise Control.
The Integral Active Steering system combines the existing Active Steering system featured in the six-cylinder and above models of the E60 5 Series, and a motor-driven rear-wheel steering system. At high speeds, the rear wheels turn 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels for what BMW claims to be ‘optimum steering precision’. Conversely, at parking speeds, the rear wheels turn the same angle in the opposite direction, which is said to reduce the car’s turning circle by a useful 0.5m.
At the rear end of the 5 GT is a very elaborately designed twin trunk lid, which allows either the entire tailgate to be lifted up, or just open a smaller trunk lid just below the rear windows. This sounds like an expensive mechanism, and if you ever hit the rear end of one of these, we won’t advise you to expect a cheap repair bill.
Inside, the rear seats of the 5 GT have adjusting features, with the option of reclining the seat back or sliding forward and back available to rear-seating passengers. As a result, luggage capacity of the 5 GT may vary from anywhere between 440 and 590 litres, with up 1,700 litres accessible when the rear seats are folded down.
Together with the 5 Series sedan, the 535i GT will be available at BMW dealerships nationwide starting form 15 May 2010 onwards. In terms of pricing, the 535i GT sits a full RM40k above the 535i sedan, costing RM638,800 on the road. A year’s worth of insurance, based on estimates from our Autoworld Insurance Calculator, should be in the region of RM16,800.
Pictures: Official BMW release.