Autoblog publishes a review of the 2010 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, the high-end model sitting at the top of the new 5 GT family. With the risk of repeating ourselves, the 5 Series GT could be considered one of the most controversial vehicles coming out of BMW’s production line in the past 5 years.
Built as a Gran Tourer, a vehicle made for long journeys in extreme comfort without sacrificing performance, the 5 Series GT has received mixed reviews ever since the first photos hit the web. It is certainly a car that doesn’t photograph well and its proportions are far more fluent when looked from close proximity.
It is a car that was built for a niche market, one that is already starting to become attractive to other automakers as well.
Those mixed reviews we were mentioning earlier could also be sense in Autoblog’s latest article that gives us a closer look at the ultra-luxurious, but somewhat odd looking 550i GT.
We suppose it’s downright impossible to discuss the 550i GT without first mentioning its shape. In a word, awkward. To add one more word, really awkward. The front end happily employs BMW’s latest design direction, with mega-nostrils dwarfing the Roundel and the newest version of their patented angel eyes. The only thing is, the angel eyes are mounted within clear covers that stretch across three different surfaces (nose, fender and hood). The car looks like it’s wearing goggles and the usual aggressive effect is greatly lessened as a result. The real story, of course, is what’s going on out back with that clever functioning hatch. Long story short, that added functionality has resulted in something of an aesthetic mess. Our other man, photographer Drew Phillips, tried his very best to photograph the 550i GT in the best light possible, but that rear end simply lacks beauty. And grace. And elegance. And it looks weird, too. Moving on…
And here is the balance point….
Thankfully, the inside is a completely different story. Unlike the divisive exterior, BMW has done a first rate job designing and appointing the 550i GT’s interior. We enjoyed what we saw and sat on immensely. The Gran Turismo’s haptic habitat might be the final nail in the coffin of BMW interiors of yore – you know, dark pits that resembled Lord Vader’s meditation chamber. We’re overjoyed by the non-varnished wood paneling and are still smiling because of the excellent orange leather. We even dug the glowing orange mood lighting that shows up at night – perhaps BMW’s not totally ready to let go of Darth just yet.
Heavy? Without a doubt. Built for performance only? Most likely not….
Obviously, the hopped up twin-turbo, direct-injection, double VANOS 4.4-liter V8 with its 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of all-day torque is a peach. Leading you to think such an engine coupled to BMW’s new eight-speed automatic transmission would make for a very quick car. Under certain conditions, it is exactly that. Lots of buff books have clocked it at taking just 5.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. But for the most part, the 550i GT tends to feel heavy, ponderous and out of tune.
The Autoblog’s review is the most comprehensive one we have ever seen and it makes for a great read.