The new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo -
style, space, luxury and sportiness.
The 5 Series Gran Turismo is a unique combination of elegant sedan, contemporary SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) and classic Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo and 21st-century performance
The traditional European term Gran Turismo (Grand Touring) was first applied by Italian carmakers in the 1950s when they combined the performance, handling, and style of a 2-seater sports car with luxurious amenities and more luggage room. BMW’s new Gran Turismo continues this tradition in a contemporary way, providing space, style, luxury, and comfort for four passengers, plus the performance and driving pleasure of a BMW.
BMW’s EfficientDynamics initiative gives this new automobile an outstanding balance between performance and efficiency. With its innovative twin turbo V-8 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, the 550i Gran Turismo can accelerate from rest to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, yet it delivers remarkable fuel efficiency in everyday driving.
Sportiness, elegance, luxury and versatility
Inside, the 5 Series Gran Turismo offers generous dimensions, contemporary design, and luxury. It's the first 4-door BMW to have frameless door windows – a feature BMW usually reserves for coupes and convertibles. These give an “open” look to side and angled views of the vehicle.
Over the years, another window detail has become a tradition: BMW’s so-called “Hofmeister Kink,” named after Wilhelm Hofmeister, who headed BMW design when this shape first appeared. On the Gran Turismo, it appears in “6-window” (3 windows per side) form in the rear quarter windows aft of the rear doors, framed in matte black plus chrome or optional high-gloss Shadowline black trim.
In standard form, the rear seating accommodates three passengers, with a 40-20-40 split of the backrest allowing for selective fold-down. Optional as part of the Luxury Rear Seating Package are individual, multi-adjustable power seats, separated by a center console with cupholders and a storage compartment. In addition to the power adjustments, a further attraction of this configuration is that it transforms the cabin into a sportier, strictly 4-seater configuration that some customers will prefer for its aesthetics, intimacy and greater luxury.
Variable cargo capacity
Cargo space ranges from 15.5 cu ft. in the sedan-style enclosed trunk to 60.0 cu ft. (DIN rating) with folded rear seats and SAV-style long cargo floor. A variable partition between the trunk and passenger compartments provides occupants with sedan-type climate and noise insulation even when the trunk is being loaded, yet moves with the seats when they are adjusted and folds flat when the greatest capacity is needed.
4th-generation iDrive: more user-friendly, more intuitive, faster
BMW’s all-new, 4th generation iDrive system appears in two versions: with 7.0-in. dimensions and 800 x 480-pixel resolution in standard form, or with the optional Navigation system, in a 10.2-in., 1280 x 480-pixel version with a wider range of features and functions as in the new BMW 7 Series. Displays are transreflective so that light from the sun actually enhances the images on the screen.
• Twin turbo V-8 engine delivers 400 hp and 5.4 second 0-60-mph
• New 8-speed automatic transmission contributes to performance and fuel efficiency
550i: 4.4-liter, 400-hp twin turbocharged V-8
The Gran Turismo debut model is the 550i, powered by BMW’s 4.4-liter, 400-hp twin turbocharged V-8 engine. Compared to BMW’s normally aspirated V-8, displacement is reduced from 4.8 to 4.4 liters, and incorporates twin turbochargers and High Precision direct injection. In quantitative terms, the new engine delivers 400 hp and does so over a range from 5500 to 6400 rpm. Maximum torque is 450 lb-ft., available over the extremely broad range of 1800 to 4500 rpm. The result is greater power and torque delivered over a wide range of operating conditions with greater fuel efficiency. Aside from the dramatic thrust that drivers will notice subjectively, the objective data are dramatic: 0-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and a top speed when equipped with the Sport Package of 150 mph. For models equipped with all-season tires the maximum speed is limited to 130 mph.
Thanks to its unique reverse-flow layout, the 550i’s V-8 engine is able to achieve higher performance without correspondingly higher fuel consumption. In technical terms, the approach involves some very new design details. Twin turbochargers and the exhaust-cleansing catalytic converters are placed between the V-8’s two cylinder banks. In turn, this required the exhaust camshafts and valves to be inboard so that the path from cylinders to turbochargers (which are driven by exhaust gas) would be efficiently short. A key benefit of this layout is a more compact engine package. This is the reverse of a traditional V-8 layout, and opens a new era of V-8 engine development potential.
A key feature of the engine is BMW’s High Precision direct injection. Positioned centrally in the combustion chambers for optimum combustion, the injectors deliver fuel at very high pressures. To meet BMW’s ambitious performance/efficiency/emissions goals with the necessary long-term durability, a “stack” of piezo crystals reacts lightning-fast to impulses from the Digital Motor Electronics, governing the injector needle’s opening stroke and duration for ultra-precise control. This contributes 2-3% fuel savings and reduces emissions by 20%. The engine (also as featured in the new 7 Series and BMW X6) meets U.S. ULEV II (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) limits. And High Precision direct injection contributes to the acoustic presence of the engine.
8-speed automatic transmission
The 5 Series GT features a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The 8-speed’s “taller” cruising gears make a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions as well as quietness. And its wider spread of ratios from lowest to highest gear enhances acceleration and response across the range of driving speeds.Compared to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the two additional gears mean threefold progress: quicker shifts, greater smoothness, enhanced efficiency. The wider spread of ratios allows the engine to run at lower speeds, mainly in the “tallest” gear, 8th. Yet even with this wider spread, the steps between adjacent gears are reduced; in turn this means a stronger, smoother flow of power during acceleration.
Brake Energy Regeneration: an energy-saving innovation
For the first time in a U.S. BMW model, the new 5 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system. To save energy and reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption, this system controls the times at which the alternator charges the battery. Conventionally, a car’s alternator runs continuously and thus charging is always available to the battery; in the Gran Turismo, it charges only when the vehicle is decelerating or braking; otherwise, it freewheels, drawing virtually no power from the engine. An electronically controlled clutch, somewhat similar to that used with the air-conditioning compressor, is added to engage and disengage the alternator.
New suspension technology
All-around new suspension technology gives the Gran Turismo extremely agile handling for a luxury automobile, yet also an exceptional level of riding comfort. Until recently, all BMW front suspension systems were of the strut type, in which a long, essentially vertical strut carries the shock absorber and participates in the suspension geometry. But when the 2nd-generation X5 made its debut in 2007, BMW introduced a type of front suspension that achieves even better results, particularly in a large, relatively heavy and very powerful vehicle. In place of the strut, this new system has an upper lateral A-arm. The double-pivot lower arms are retained, so that on each side there are three links or arms. While the two lower arms preserve the double-pivot strut system’s advantages, the new upper arm facilitates the system’s handling and riding comfort by relieving the strut of its geometric duties. The 5 Series GT comes standard with self-leveling rear suspension. Self-leveling is achieved by an electrically powered air compressor and ride-height sensors that recognize changes in vehicle loading. Whenever the sensors detect a longer-term change in ride height at the rear (as when a full passenger load is aboard or heavy loads are carried in the trunk), the air pressure is increased to bring the vehicle back to its normal attitude. Additionally, when one of the rear tires suffers pressure loss, the air springs act to equalize the ride height on the two sides.
Newly evolved: Dynamic Damping Control
Dynamic Damping Control adjusts the shock absorbers to any level of firmness between their softest and firmest settings, quickly adapting to road conditions and the driver’s demands at any given moment. Suspension control is always at the optimum level for current road conditions, vehicle speed and the load the vehicle is carrying (again, passengers and luggage). The shocks default to the softest appropriate setting for the vehicle’s speed, and when the vehicle encounters an irregular road surface, they adjust instantaneously to the optimum firmness level to control ride motions, preserve riding comfort and maintain adhesion to the road. At highway speeds, the system can encounter a pothole at a front wheel and adjust the rear-wheel damping before it reaches the same pothole.
Active Roll Stabilization (ARS)
This high-tech system reduces body roll, popularly known as “lean,” in cornering. It improves handling by virtue of better suspension geometry (wheel angles relative to vertical), but there is a psychological component as well: Drivers and passengers alike marvel at the “flat cornering” that results from ARS.
Intelligent driving dynamics: Integrated Chassis Management and FlexRay
All such driving-dynamics functions are coordinated and overseen by BMW’s Integrated Chassis Management. Via sensing and analysis of a multitude of inputs, this powerful electronic control scheme applies and governs the interaction of these functions to ensure maximum stability. Under rapidly changing conditions, such as changing road surface, spontaneous steering input, abrupt acceleration or sudden braking, ICM reacts with ultra-quick and ultra-precise interventions via the DSC actuators plus – where present – Dynamic Damping Control, Active Roll Stabilization and Integral Active Steering.
For this extremely sensitive and powerful networking of functions, the 5 Series Gran Turismo employs FlexRay data-transmission technology. Developed by a consortium of which BMW is a leading member, FlexRay achieves heretofore unheard-of communication speed, some 20 times that previously possible. In the 5 Series Gran Turismo, up to 16 electronic control units can be networked; in no other competitive automobile can longitudinal, lateral and vertical vehicle motions be so precisely monitored and influenced. BMW was the first motor-vehicle manufacturer to offer FlexRay technology in production vehicles; it made its debut in the current X5, is also employed in the X6 and now comes to BMW automobiles in the new 7 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo.
The Gran Turismo’s brake system is supported by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). This includes antilock braking (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Brake Control; each of these functions contributes to vehicle stability.
Aluminum reduces weight compared to steel
In addition to the Gran Turismo body’s hood and front spring towers, its four doors are of aluminum, saving a significant 61.7 lb. compared to steel.
The U.S. model of the 550i Gran Turismo comes standard with a new version of BMW’s dual-panel Panoramic moonroof. Encompassing about 55% of the roof’s surface area, the entire assembly is 45.7 in. long and 37.1 in. wide; its forward glass panel slides open 17.3 in. or tilts upward. The rear glass panel is fixed, bound to the roof so as to serve as a highly rigid part of the overall body structure.
Robust structue, generous and precisely defined deformation zones, and sophisticated electronically controlled restraint systems constitute the 5 Series Gran Turismo’s state-of-the-art concept of occupant protection. In a frontal crash, impact forces are channeled over multiple paths into the floor structure, side members, front bulkhead and roof; absorbed in deformation zones; and just generally kept away from the passenger compartment. For the force paths, multi-phase and heat-treated steels are employed extensively.
In the interior, 2-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and curtain-type, front-to-rear head protection are all standard equipment, controlled according to crash type and severity for optimum effect. Airbags that are not needed for the impact at hand are not deployed, yet remain ready to deploy in case of a secondary impact. The power tilt/telescopic steering column includes a robustly dimensioned deformation section, improving its ability to protect the driver from structural intrusion into the cabin.
All seating positions are equipped with 3-point safety belts with force limiters, the front ones also adding automatic tensioners plus pre-tensioning during emergency braking. For protection against head and neck injuries in a rear-end impact, the front seats include active head restraints, which deploy up to 2.36 in. forward and 1.57 in. upward as required – all between the time the rear impact begins and when the occupants’ heads would be thrown rearward.
The rear outboard seating positions are equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) for securing a child restraint seat.
BMW Assist, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification
Every new 5 Series Gran Turismo comes with BMW Assist, a system of telematics and user services. Among the services in the BMW Assist Safety Plan – whose subscription is paid by BMW for the first 4 years after purchase of a new vehicle – include emergency services, a wide range of roadside-assistance benefits, stolen-vehicle recovery, and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification. In the event of a severe accident, the BMW Assist system automatically transmits the vehicle’s location and crash information to a response specialist, who will speak to the vehicle occupants to determine if they are all right, while a second specialist requests dispatch of emergency services as needed.
Features that can help prevent accidents: also standard
• Xenon Adaptive headlights with auto-leveling.
• Cornering lights – provide targeted illumination to the side for turning corners or sharp curves at relatively low speeds.
• Automatic headlight control – turns on the headlights in conditions of marginal ambient light, when the driver might not yet think of doing so.
• Halogen foglights
• Adaptive brakelights – indicate to following drivers when the BMW driver brakes hard, potentially lessening the probability of a rear-end collision.
• Responsive, predictable handling made possible by advanced and sophisticated suspension design, generously dimensioned wheels and tires, accurate steering, and optional features like Adaptive Drive and Integral Active Steering.
• Powerful 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with antilock braking (ABS) – enhanced by the Dynamic Stability Control system’s braking features.
• Run-flat tires – eliminate necessity of potentially dangerous roadside tire changes.