The New BMW 5-Series GT is Ugly

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The last time we checked-in with jameslist.com, they were pimping a no-miles-to-speak-of XJ220 that was up for auction. I didn’t play coy on the subject; I slated the XJ220 as a slap-in-the-face of Jag’s history, and one of the most difficult and dangerous automobiles to drive on a public road. Period. Several of our Best and Brightest leaped (leaped I tell you) to the big cat’s defense. It’s as sexy as Kate Beckinsale writhing on a kitchen counter-top in front of aluminum pots of steaming water ( as if). And Jeremy Clarkson says the XJ’s faster than a Pagani Zonda ( in a straight line)! So, from that “debate” to this: the BMW 5-Series GT. If you ask me—and I’m fully aware you haven’t—james has grown a set of stones. While BMW doesn’t play at the top tier, their boutique brand Rolls Royce sure does. And the company has a nasty history of vindictiveness against truth-telling journos. So well done that man, ’cause the GT is fugly. AND the rear seats don’t fold flat. Take it away James. Please.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I say they’re wrong. Beauty either is or isn’t. It’s not a question of subjective evaluation, but rather common sense. Beauty conveys a well-proportioned image to your senses which creates a sense of well being, excitement and/or pleasure. In contrast, ugliness creates, discomfort, unease and/or nausea. When it comes to cars, the more criteria you apply to a design, the less attractive it is going to be. If you, like BMW, decide you want a sporty, four-door coupé with a limousine-like backseat, then what you’re really after is something terrible, like an MPV. To disguise it as a faux GT is doing yourself a grand disservice as potential customers (everyone named Keith) will feel embarrassed, while the rest of us will point and laugh.

Chris Bangle certainly was controversial when at the helm of BMW’s designs. But at least he pushed in one direction. Seeing the once-proud BMW marque struggle with its new identity as crowd pleaser is awkward, for all of us. It’s like they’re trying to be Opel. What I don’t get is why they need the 5-series GT? A car with the size of the 7-series and the looks of an AMC Eagle is bound to be a lesser car, not least for those of us who have to look at the damn thing. Just like poseurs wearing Ed Hardy, motorist driving the new 5-series GT will have to accept the fact that we’ll be making fun of them, publicly. [ED: NOW how much would you pay?]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • TomJones TomJones on Oct 09, 2009

    That's enough play now kids... Production of the 5 series GT is in Dingolfing, Germany (BMW Werk Dingolfing) which is some distance from South Carolina. http://www.bmwarchiv.de/e-code/f07.html

  • StatisticalDolphin StatisticalDolphin on Oct 12, 2009

    There are numerous sources on the web that verify that the 5 series GT will be based on the 7 series platform. For example these quotes are from the BMW blog: "Based on the platform of the new BMW 7 Series, 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. Those of you that have considered comparing the 5 Series Wagon to the 5 GT model….we only have one thing to say: STOP! As BMW mentioned as well, despite the popularity of Wagons/Tourings models in Europe especially, these type of vehicle were never considered to be a true luxury automobile, but rather a practical and elegant transportation medium. From the design lines to the overall size, the two cars could be considered complementary and they are obviously “chasing” a different clientele. The BMW 5 Series GT distinguishes itself with has a higher seating position and more muscular look." Why did BMW call it a 5 series GT instead of 7 series GT? This is purely spectulation.... Most of the planning and development happened before the global economic meltdown, when it was originally planned to be a 7 series. The bad economic conditions forced them to reconsider, since much of the potential market in 7 territory had evaporated. So, they changed the series to 5, and it will priced at the high end of 5's, just below 7 territory, where BMW can find enough volume to make a profit. Again, purely speculation, YMMV, as they say....

  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
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