Change is the only constant. If you’re a BMW purist, you might want to repeat that line a few times because the automaker’s line-up has certainly changed quite a bit in recent years, and some of the new entries take a bit of getting used to.
It was difficult enough for some Bavarian Motoren Werke aficionados to accept the idea of the original X5 SUV — a “sport-activity vehicle” in the maker’s parlance – bearing BMW’s double-kidney grille and “spinner” logo. Then came the X6, not quite sport-ute, not quite sport coupe.
Now, we’re being asked to get our heads around the 2010 BMW 550i Gran Turismo. This strange brew isn’t really your classic GT, nor is it a sport-ut, despite the four-door’s surprising heft. Stuck for an easy definition, we jumped at the opportunity to take it for a long weekend’s drive down the Autobahn from Munich, up into the Swiss Alps and, finally, back down into Geneva.
Anyone used to the classic BMW sedan or coupe is likely to be in for a surprise when they get up close to the 550 GT. While it’s not quite as bulky as one of the maker’s X models, it still carries plenty of heft, especially when you compare it to some of its Gran Turismo-class competitors, like the new Porsche Panamera or the Audi A5 Sportback.