BMW is set to take a huge risk by pressing ahead with the launch of the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) executive hatchback, a ‘5-series GT’.
The controversial BMW PAS is due to be unveiled in late 2009. One senior company source has told Autocar that the 5-series GT is “one of the bravest designs ever signed off by BMW”. But insiders describe the car as a ‘modern grand tourer with a luxury cabin and interior flexibility’.
The BMW PAS expected to be priced between the BMW 5-series and BMW 7-series and pitched at drivers who like a higher driving position but are not keen on full-scale SUVs.
One source has suggested that BMW is aware of an ageing population who now find conventional saloons’ seat positions too low for comfort.
Those who have seen the 5-series GT in the metal describe the BMW PAS as more of a ‘tall 7-series hatchback than a low-rise X6’.
The car is based on the latest version of BMW’s large rear-drive platform, first seen under the recently launched BMW 7-series.
Although the precise dimensions are not yet known, the PAS is slightly longer than a 5-series saloon and just shorter than a 7-series. It also rides slightly higher on its wheels than a normal road car.
The car’s overall height is pitched almost exactly between a 5-series and an X6, with higher than normal seating positions.
Insiders say this layout allows the PAS to offer the same rear leg room as a new long-wheelbase 7-series. Despite the sloping roof line, head room is said to be more than adequate.
The cabin is based on the same flowing theme revealed in the new Z4, with a wide centre console. Sources say front passengers get a “relaxing, semi-raised position”.