Well, where can we start? On one hand, we have a brilliant offering from BMW and on another we are confused with a bunch of questions clouding our minds. One can’t be blamed for wondering the exact raison d’être of the GT320d. It’s quite easy to think of it as the “Gran Turismo” version of the 3 series sedan or a scaled down version of the 5 series GT, either ways you are not wrong. However, after studying the dimensions it’s a revelation that the GT320d is actually a niche product that slots perfectly between the 3 series and the 5 series sedans- be it the cost or the dimensions!
Images: Hanoz Patel and Amit Chhangani
The 5 series GT received much unnecessary flak for its proportions as well as its pricing and placement in the market and we did not see many of these on the Indian roads either. The car you see in pictures is the revised and re-positioned iteration of the GT. So how good is this version, will it stop the pundits from criticizing this it time around? We, for sure aren’t the ones to complain at all. Why? Read on..
Hats off to the designers at BMW for penning the lines of the GT; it’s the sheer brilliance of them for having created a new body type while infusing the core character of the brand. Head on, it’s unmistakably a BMW of recent times with the trademark kidney grille with chrome surrounds, the flattened corona rings, the peeled back effect headlight et al. Let the elegant lines not fool you though by its beauty only, what also matters is the seamless and intelligent integration of BMW Efficient Dynamics in the design. The cohesion between the headlamps with the snout-ey kidney grille is just one similarity it shares with its 3 series cousin.
Take for instance the intricately sculpted front bumper. BMW`s design engineers have managed to not only make the car look great but also optimize the front apron and the under body in a bid to reduce drag and fuel consumption. The twin air curtains on either side of the front bumper are designed to channel the air flow in a manner that aids the aerodynamics of the GT. When viewed from side, the long sloping roofline lends the car a sense of unique elegance that was missing in the 5 series GT.
What`s hard to miss are also the boomerang shaped vents, the Air Breathers on the front fender panels behind the wheel arches. The multiple creases along the door sill lines also helps in losing the visual bulk associated with long wheel base-d sedans/estates. The rim-less doors lend this “fastback” of a GT a brilliant character once swung open and windows rolled down.
The rear remains a simple affair with a clever piece of kit – the active spoiler integrated within the hatch door. In the retracted position, it hardly raises any eyebrows. The tail lamps wrap around into the side profile giving them a visual highlight when viewed from rear three quarters. The overall intent seems to give the space and size of a 5 series in an estate package, with handling of a 3 series – brilliant.
The active spoiler is one innovative piece of equipment which is not found on any other BMW car but incorporated in the GT for improving its road holding and dynamics.In Auto mode, it is programmed to protract at speeds above 110 kmph and retract once the speeds drop below 70kmph, it can be manually set to keep it extended.
So how big is the GT over the 3 series, is it any smaller than the 5 series?
Spec to spec, at 4824mm, the GT is 200mm longer than the 3 series falling marginally short of the 5 series by 83mm. The GT has a 17mm wider track than a 3 series while the 5 series spans at 1860mm (Front only). The dimensions merely suggest the expanse of space available on the inside of the GT. A bit more digging and it was a true revelation that the GT has 12mm more headroom at the front and a fraction mm more than the 5 series at the rear!
As they say, the numbers speak for themselves, in the GT`s case – they scream, of space. The roomy interiors are further accentuated by the panoramic glass roof, with the only chink in the armor being the tall transmission tunnel with integrated AC vent console. Further to assert its case, BMW officially announces class leading leg room, `nuff said. All these dimensional measurements apart, the GT`s rear seat remains one of the most sought after places to be cosseted in if a long drive is the order of the day.