The entry level BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo model for the American market, 535i GT, was one of the few stars for BMW at the Chicago Auto Show. As we mentioned several times before, the 5 Series GT is one of these cars that need to be seen in person before a final conclusion can be drawn.

The 535i GT comes to complete the Gran Turismo family offered to the U.S. consumers. Design wise, The 5 Series GT was built on the same principle that made the original Gran Turismo vehicles so popular: a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. Since it was built on the 7 Series long wheelbase platform, BMW designers had plenty of “room” to play with the exterior design of the car.

Therefore, a coupe-like roofline was expected to be seen in the GT model without sacrificing any headroom space for its rear-sitting passengers. The now classic and historical Hoffmeister Kink is still there, even though slightly different from the previous BMW models.

BMW 535i GT also introduced the new N55 twin-scroll engine into the North American market. The new BMW Power Turbo uses a single twin scroll turbo instead of twin turbochargers as the N54 engine. The 2,979cc six-cylinder powerplant features for the first time High Precision Injection and variable VALVETRONIC valve management combined with the single twin-scroll turbocharger.

Quoting people that have driven the 535i GT, with 304 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque available from just 1,200 rpm, it’s no slouch, even though obvious slower than the 550i model. Sixty mph arrives in an estimated 6.3 seconds and speed wise it tops at 155 mph.

Just any model in the Gran Turismo line-up, the 535i GT is all about personal feeling and comfort, so connecting the passengers to the car while maintaining the highest levels of luxury, is something that BMW could have not overlooked. The cockpit provides all the necessary gadgetry and comfort, but it maintains a level of sportiness.

In the U.S., the base price of the 535i GT starts at $56,000.

[Photo Credit: Shawn Molnar]