BMW 535i Gran Turismo – Click above for high-res image gallery
Depending on who you ask, BMW is either at the forefront of an exciting new automotive genre with the 5 Series Gran Turismo, or is inventing market segments with no real purpose other than to grab several thousand new sales from those who simply must be seen in the latest trendy niche. In other words, the 5 Series GT is nothing if not polarizing.
For now, it seems that you can put such luxury brands Lexus and Infiniti in the latter camp, though fellow upmarket Japanese automaker Acura is headed down a similar path as its German counterpart with the new ZDX – at least with regard to the X6. Speaking to Auto Observer at the New York Auto Show, Ben Poore, Nissan North America's vice president of the Infiniti business unit, said, "What [we are] seeing is a much stronger preference (among consumers) for a trunk."
Granted, some may see little difference between such vehicles as the 5 Series GT and Infiniti's own EX and FX crossovers, but Poore suggests the machines aren't direct competitors. "I'd rather be on (either) the crossover styling or the trunk styling," he said. Dave Nordstrom, Lexus' vice president of marketing, concurs, saying, "We don't have any plans for it right now. We have not seen the demand from our customers – but we continue to look at it."
As for us? Well, you can read all about our initial impressions of the 5 Series GT by looking back at our First Drive. Suffice it to say, our own office is split on the effectiveness of this new giant hatchback trend just like everyone else.