YOU'VE heard of stretched limos - now get ready to welcome the stretched Grand Tourismo.
In fact, the latest GT from BMW has only been stretched by 87mm compared with its predecessor - even so, the German maker feels that it's latest saloon-cum-coupe-cum-estate cross-over reflects such a major step forward it has given it a new name.
So, say good-bye to the 5 Series Gran Turismo and get ready to welcome the 6 SeriesGranTurismo which will be given its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September and go into production soon after.
The re-branding may be little more than a marketing ploy, but according to BMW it is because the new model takes the characteristics of the 5 Series GT to another level and enhances the driving dynamics further.
Whether owners of the outgoing model will agree with the decision is another matter, however, given that their cherished motors have become instantly obsolete.
The new 6 Series Gran Turismo clearly takes its cues from its predecessor, but its design offers a more athletic, sportier stance.
Although it is 87mm long and the same width, the car's height has been reduced by 21mm, while the rear end has been lowered by 64mm.
The changes have contributed to a more low-slung silhouette without compromising on interior space or practicality, says BMW, with more headroom and what it calls "ample" legroom.
Thanks to the increased length the new model offers 110 litres more boot space with a total of 610 litres with the rear seats in place and 1,800 litres when the backrests are folded down - up 100 litres. The electrically operated tailgate sits above a sill which has been lowered by more than fivecentimetres and is now flush with the floor for improved loading capability.
Initially the new Gran Turismo will be offered with a choice of three engines - two and three litre petrol and a three litre, six-cylinder diesel - while the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available in two of the three variants in the model line-up. All versions will come with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission with paddles as standard.
Prices will start from £46,810, rising to £52,705 when the new model goes on sale in the UK later this year.