By on June 14, 2017

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo - Image: BMWIt was rare enough that you may have only seen the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo in pictures. You’re all the better off if you weren’t forced to feast your eyes on the crime against automotive design that was the sixth-generation 5 Series’ hatchback.

With the new seventh-generation 5 Series, there is no Gran Turismo, at least not yet. But after suspending the coupe from the more expensive 6 Series range, BMW is once again expanding the 6 Series lineup with, that’s right, a Gran Turismo. Oddly, the 6 Series that’s least deserving of a GT tag now wears the badge, but fortunately this new BMW GT isn’t as offensive as the last.

Where is the 6 Series Gran Turismo positioned in the BMW hierarchy? Imagine, if you will, a buyer who wants more space than a regular BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (which is actually a sedan) but wants greater cargo flexibility than the BMW 7 Series affords; a buyer who doesn’t want a full-blown family friendly X5 “SAV” but requires a liftgate of some sort; a buyer who finds the X6 too tall. BMW now has a car for that buyer.

In America in the fall of 2017, that car will be the $68,895 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo, propelled by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six.

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo - Image: BMWAlthough the 6 Series is, at its core, a 5 Series, BMW doesn’t consider the 6 Series Gran Turismo the direct follow-up to the 5 Series that ended production earlier this year. “We are staying away from calling it a successor because the car has gotten substantially larger in size and the positioning has changed,” BMW spokesperson Alex Schmuck tells Automotive News.

Riding on a lengthy 120.9-inch wheelbase, the 6 Series Gran Turismo stretches 3.4 inches longer between bumpers than the old 5 Series Gran Turismo. Yet the 6 Series GT tips the scales with around 300 fewer pounds than the extinct 5 Series GT — a boon to fuel economy, acceleration, and handling.

BMW says the 6 Series Gran Turismo’s design is “coupe-inspired” and “combines the long-distance comfort of a luxury sedan with the aesthetic appeal of a coupe.” The roofline, BMW says, flows “like a coupe’s into the rear.”2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo - Image: BMWIn reality, the 6 Series GT is a big four-door hatchback, a car that more closely resembles the latest 5 Series than the 6 Series Gran Coupe. BMW’s discontinued 6 Series coupe, meanwhile, will effectively be replaced in the United States by the 8 Series. And with the 5 Series wagon not making its way to the U.S. and the 5 Series GT now becoming the 6 Series GT, the 5 Series is now a sedan-only car in America.

Maybe it’s not easy to keep it all straight. Perhaps it seems odd to think that BMW needs to fill the narrowest of niches with cars that lack a high degree of conventional beauty. But at the very least, can’t we be glad there are choices? In the United States, BMW offers two 2 Series bodystyles, three 3 Series bodystyles, three 4 Series bodystyles, a 5 Series sedan, now three 6 Series options, a 7 Series sedan, plus five X models, the i3, i8, and Z4.

Still you gotta wonder how they’re going to squeeze a three-door shooting brake between the 6 Series and 7 Series. The BMW 6.5 Series just doesn’t have a pleasant ring to it.

[Images: BMW]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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31 Comments on “The 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Is Less Unattractive Than the 5 Series Gran Turismo It’s Kind of Replacing...”

  • avatar

    “The 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Is Less Unattractive Than the 5 Series Gran Turismo It’s Kind of Replacing”…I’m gonna have to disagree on that. It is equally if not more unattractive to my eye. The top picture looks like a 2012 Buick with a jacked rear end.

    • 0 avatar

      It certainly isn’t meaningfully less unattractive. I don’t really want to put the time into figuring out which is worse, but it is right up there with picking between getting hit in the face by seagull droppings or duck dung.

  • avatar

    I was one of approximately 7 people in the US who had a Merkur Scorpio. It had two virtues: first, great backseat legroom and second, an immense hatch that dwarfed the Saab 99/900 hatches. It was a not quite station wagon. Its major vice was it was sold and maintained by Lincoln Mercury and they did as bad a job as Buick did with Opels in the 70s.
    So I can see a place for this beast, which is at least as homely as the Scorpio. Bet they sell more than 7 of them.

    • 0 avatar

      @chuckrs-I’m sure they’ll sell at least 8 or 9 of these.

      Honestly, it’s not terrible. It’s going to drive like a 5 series and have more room. Owners will be looking at the inside more than the outside anyway.

  • avatar

    “BMW now has a car for that buyer.”


  • avatar

    It’s nowhere near as attractive as the old 6-series Gran Coupe though. Presumably it’s also killing off that model?

    • 0 avatar

      Being replaced by the 8/9 Series.

      The GTs are some of the ugliest cars BMW has made.

      The 4 Series GC is a good bit better than the GT version, but still not as aesthetically pleasing as what Audi has done with the A5 Sportback (much less the A7).

  • avatar

    Audi still owns this niche. This BMW (and I’m generally a big BMW fan) really isn’t their forte. It’s still proportioned too much like a lowered Honda Crosstour to my eyes.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Agreed. I never actually thought the 5GT was that bad. This, however, is gross.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on the 5 GT. We seem to be part of a very small minority who appreciated it’s lines. But, I have to disagree with you on this new 6 GT. I think it looks great as well.

      It’s funny that so many are critical of the 5/6 GT. This is a sporty four door hatch which probably fits with the way a lot of people use their vehicles. Absurd is the X5 or upcoming X7 which is a gargantuan display of power and wealth that doesn’t look particularly fun to drive and owners are kidding themselves about any off road capabilities.

  • avatar

    What ever happened to the logic of the BMW numbering system? 4 and 6 series are supposed to be coupe versions of the 3 and 5 series, but are mostly also 4/5 doors with slightly sleeker styling. The last 2 numbers were supposed to be the engine displacement but now everything from 16 to 30 is a 2 liter 4, and everything from 35 to 40 is a 3 liter 6. This is even worse because it looks like a 5 series GT and not anything like the 6 series that it is supposed to be. I’m a BMW fan, but even I’m confused – so how is the typical non-enthusiast BMW leaser going to figure it out?

    • 0 avatar

      The numeric model designations are consistent. The higher the first numeral, the more expensive the model costs. The higher the next two numerals, the more horsepower the engine has. It is a break with the past but what choice did they have? Engine size and architecture is driven by government regulations and those regulations are driving engine displacement and cylinder count down across the board. Imagine how confused consumers would be if BMW had to downsize displacement across the lineup and the smaller engine displacement became the upgrade/larger engine displacement the next year. The Marketing folks would probably consider self immolation.

      • 0 avatar

        Then it would make much more sense to replace displacement numbers with rounded HP numbers. A 523 would be a 5 series with 230 hp, and a 535 would be a 5 with 350 hp.

        • 0 avatar

          But, there is also torque and diesels and hybrid electric. All things considered it probably makes the most sense to abstract the consumer from such engineering details. The consumer just needs to know that a higher number means stepping up to more auto in a generic sense. Look, I don’t love this but it is what it is. Businesses have to sell cars and they sell them mostly to people who don’t give a damn about cars. Marketing operates as such.

  • avatar

    The original 5GT was absolutely hideous. This one is a little better.

    Part of me thinks the future of the automobile involves aerodynamically-optimal shapes that are difficult to make look pretty. Perhaps BMW is doing cars like the GTs now in order to fine tune the designs.

    The back and side profile of the 6 GT resembles the ugly egg-like Tesla Model X, a car that relies heavily on aerodynamics to maximize highway range.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the use case is for wealthy 60 year olds to drive around the countryside buying cases of overpriced wine and antique furniture. I don’t know. That’s a wild ass guess (WAG).

  • avatar

    They’re sending us this because they think we hate wagons. We’re getting this because they’re afraid to send the 5 series wagon our way.

  • avatar

    Sixty nine thousand reasons (dollars) not to own one.
    The first being, you have to explain what it is.

  • avatar

    I like big hatchbacks, I really do. So it’s good to see a new one every time …

    … even if it’s as ugly as a BMW these days usually is.

  • avatar

    The new Audi S5 sportback is a much more cohesive, attractive design, is half a second faster to 60, and stickers for much less. I award BMW no points for this latest monstrosity.

  • avatar

    “Although the 6 Series is, at its core, a 5 Series”

    Thats half the trouble, its described incorrectly. It was not a 5 series at all, it used the 7 series wheelbase and floorpan, along with interior. But you got a slightly higher riding body if thats your thing and all the liftback stuff thrown in. A far more practical proposition instead of the X5 if you never go near any off road stuff and require a saloon like ride

  • avatar

    Sure, it’s not as unatractive. That’s like being happy to step in dog poo because at least it’s not human poo.

  • avatar

    Just checked out the dimensions :
    6GT wheelbase 3070mm ( sames as 5GT) but current 5 series is 2975mm.
    Width is 1902mm while 5series is 1868mm
    7 series ( short wheelbase) is W/B is 3070mm ( long WB 3270)while width is 1902mm

    I can see the sense of all that, puts more volume through the 7 series under pinings. When you actually see them in a BMW yard with other models you notice the higher ride than the sedans but less than X models.

  • avatar

    2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo – interior Exterior and Drive

  • avatar

    I think it looks miles better than the bulbous previous generation 5GT, much sleeker looking (primarily because it’s longer and lower). In M Sport trim, especially (like in these photos), it looks like an A7.

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