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Neither crossover nor wagon, the BMW 6 Series GT fills the market’s gray space

The BMW 6 Series has morphed into a tall, family-friendly hatchback to replace the 5 Series Gran Turismo. And now, the Munich-based automaker has introduced the first-ever 6 Series Gran Turismo a few months ahead of its market launch.

While the 6 GT retains its predecessor’s basic proportions, its design has been fine-tuned and made a little bit more graceful. It now boasts a fastback-like roof line that stretches into a spoiler that automatically extends at high speeds to provide more downforce. The front and rear ends borrow styling cues from recent additions to the BMW family, including the newest 5 and 7 Series models.

The function-over-form design certainly won’t please brand purists who will forever see the 6 as a big coupe, but it pays dividends in the cabin. The 6 Series GT offers a spacious cabin with a big trunk and a generous amount of head and leg room for the passengers sitting in the back. It can also swallow up to 65 cubic feet of trunk space with the rear seats folded flat, a figure that puts the GT on par with many crossovers.

The driver-oriented dashboard is home to a large, high-resolution touchscreen that runs the GT’s infotainment system. Gesture-controlled technology is offered at an extra cost, as is a head-up display.

More importantly, the 6 GT is the first BMW offered with Active Driving Assistance, which is the name of the company’s suite of electronic driving aids. Features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and side collision avoidance are offered at an extra cost. The 6 GT isn’t fully autonomous, but if you’ve got a fat enough wallet, it’ll let you take your hands off the wheel for up to 50 seconds at a time before it begins emitting audible and visual warning messages.

We have good news if you’re indecisive when it comes to buying a car. In the United States, the Gran Turismo is only offered with a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine. It makes 335 horsepower from 5,500 to 6,500 rpm, and 332 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,380 to 5,200 rpm. That’s enough for a zero-to-60 time of just 5.1 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph.

The turbo six spins all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be left in drive, or controlled manually via shift paddles. The space-oriented design doesn’t mean the GT has gone soft –not at all. It boasts a near-50/50 weight distribution, and it comes standard with sport seats so the driver can test its handling prowess. However, our crystal ball tells us the 6 Series GT won’t spawn a full-blown M-tuned model.

The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo will arrive in showrooms across the nation in the fall. Pricing starts at $69,700 before a mandatory $995 destination charge is factored in, a figure that makes it more than $10,000 more expensive than a comparable 540i sedan.

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