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32 Motoring


seats are selected, there’s enough room for six-footers to stretch out comfortably, and the headliner is sculpted to accommodate tall passengers’ noggins. Driving a mixture of four-lane freeways and two-lane twisties, the GT handled everything we could throw at it with aplomb – in fact, the easiest way to describe its character is to say it feels very much like a 7 Series. It’s heavier than a current 5 Series sedan, but still gets from 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. One feature that helps keep the GT out of the ditches is standard Dynamic Drive Control, which adjusts steering, suspension, throttle and stability controls to make driving much more accurate with Normal, Sport and Sport + settings. The optional four-wheel Active Steering and Adaptive Drive add filters to the feedback coming through the steering wheel and an additional Comfort setting for the DDC, meaning the 550i GT feels more isolated than a regular sedan. The added height doesn’t help either. The other new feature to debut on the GT is BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system that captures electricity generated from kinetic energy, much like a hybrid. All of the accessories – power steering, air conditioning, etc. – are electrically driven, and are driven directly off the battery, rather than a power-sucking alternator. This requires a different battery, but the benefits are obvious, improving fuel efficiency by about 2 per cent. Overall mileage is 11.2 L/100 km combined, which isn’t terrible.


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