Loading all this electronic equipment, even just the standard stuff, into the chassis makes the 550i GT an understandably hefty beast, some 4,500 pounds and change. But the turbo V8 and its exploding slug of torque-stretching from 1750 to 4500 rpm-makes a valiant effort at moving it with authority, both off the line and at speed. The transmission, with its silently meshing octet of forward gears, makes acceleration, deceleration, and whatever else in between a pretty undramatic affair-a good thing. And in typical BMW fashion, a superbly confident chassis and fairly clairvoyant DSC harness the vehicle's mass and serve to shrink its virtual footprint on any but the tightest switchback roads. Another very good thing.

It really drives like a typical BMW, so the biggest complaint with the GT, from the automotive press if nowhere else, will be its progressive styling-which, no matter how you feel about that, functionally serves its fairly unique, boundary-bursting purpose in life.

2010 BMW 550i Gran Turismo

Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

4.4-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, turbocharged

Eight-speed automatic

Double wishbone aluminum front axle, integral-V multilink aluminum rear

Single-piston swing calipers with 374mm rotors (f), single-piston swing calipers with 370mm rotors (r)

Length/Width/Height (in.): 196.8/74.8/61.4
Wheelbase: 120.9 in
Curb Weight: 4,542 lb
MSRP: $63,900

Peak Power: 402 hp @ 5500 rpm
Peak Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
0-62 mph: 5.5 sec.
Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

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