2011 BMW 550 Gran Turismo Overview
The retooled 2011 BMW 550 Gran Turismo represents the best of both worlds, with the length and comfort of the 7 Series combined with the utility of a crossover, on a 5-series frame.
Taking its cues from the restyled 7 Series, the 550 Gran Turismo hatchback (which is longer than the 5 Series sedan) receives a refreshed interior and exterior. The Gran Turismo is a blend between a 7 Series and BMW X6 Sport Activity Coupe (SAC) due to its design, utility, and intense power. A 400-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 lies under the hood and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel estimates are at 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. BMW’s Adaptive Drive allows the driver to select between NORMAL, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes based on conditions and preferences. The 550 Gran Turismo competes with the Audi A6, Acura RL, and Lexus GS. An xDrive all-wheel drive system is available for slicker handling.
The 2011 BMW 550 Gran Turismo seats between four and five passengers with its 40/20/40 split folding rear seats, and provides 15.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. For more space, fold the rear seats and take advantage of 60 cubic feet of room. A standard panoramic roof covers the front and rear area, connecting all occupants with Mother Nature. An optional navigation system with real-time traffic information is displayed on a 10.25-inch, high-resolution display, which also features BMW’s iDrive system. A 12-speaker sound system with two subwoofers and HD Radio is standard, while a multimedia adapter for iPhones, iPods, and USB MP3 players is optional.
The 550 Gran Turismo features the 7 Series’ Black Panel gauge and climate displays, which incorporate BMW’s classic gauges into an electroluminescent display. 10-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats with 4-way lumbar support as well as Dakota Leather upholstery and door trim are standard. The available heads-up display projects the Gran Turismo’s speed and navigation directions on the windshield so you don’t take your eyes off of the road.
The 2011 BMW 550 Gran Turismo also possesses an array of advanced safety technologies, to keep occupants out of accidents. Active cruise control with radar-based sensing automatically maintains a safe distance from the traffic ahead, while a night vision system with pedestrian recognition can detect animals and pedestrians over 900 feet ahead in the dark. Blind spot detection helps to find other cars in your blind spots and a lane departure warning system alerts you when you start to drift. Front, side-impact, and side curtain airbags are standard, while rear side-impact airbags are optional. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard.
A sleek hatchback-like exterior accompanies a luxurious interior with high-tech gadgetry and safety features in the 2011 BMW 550 Gran Turismo.