Often criticized for its rather awkward proportions, the 5 Series Gran Turismo hasn’t been as popular as BMW initially hoped it would be. Rather than axe the model, the Munich-based automaker has decided to make a few key modifications and give it a new lease on life.
German magazine Auto Bild reports the second-generation 5 Series GT will share its modular CLAR platform with the new 7 Series and the replacements for the current 3 and 5 Series. The CLAR platform is built using lightweight materials such as aluminum, high-strength steel, and carbon fiber, so the 5 GT is expected to shed no less than 220 pounds without sacrificing space or comfort.
BMW has asked its designers to make the next 5 GT more elegant than the current model (pictured above). The hatchback body style will carry over, but the new model will boast a rakish, almost fastback-like roof line and a lower trunk lid. The cabin will be carried over from the 5 sedan with only minor modifications, meaning the GT will be offered with the gesture-controlled infotainment system that was inaugurated by the 7 Series.
Mechanically, the 5 Series GT will use the same four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines as the sedan and station wagon versions of the standard 5 Series. It goes without saying that a M-tuned GT will not be added to the lineup, but BMW will cater to customers looking to curb their carbon emissions by offering a plug-in hybrid drivetrain made up of a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and at least one electric motor. The plug-in model will be capable of driving on electricity alone for over 30 miles.
The next 5 Series is tentatively scheduled to make its official debut next fall at the Paris Motor Show. Only time will tell if the GT will be shown alongside its sedan and station wagon counterparts in the French capital or if BMW will hold off on presenting it for a few months.