5, 6, 7
evo India|July 2018

Decisions, decisions, decisions! We try to make sense of the puzzle

Sirish Chandran

WHEN DID CAR BUYING BECOME SO COMPLICATED! So here you are, heart set on the 5 Series, the pendulum having swung towards The Thrill of Driving over outright rear legroom. But as you waltz into the BMW showroom the first car you clap eyes on is the 6 Series GT. Nobody’s pulling the wool over your eyes. Despite that unique notchback tail it is clear that the 6 GT is a stretched out 5. You check out the prices. Hmm, you tell yourself, not much more on the EMIs than the 5. Can I have The Thrill of Driving and space, you ask yourself? Back to the magazines and websites, resume the brain racking, and by the end of the week you’ve learnt that the 6 GT has as much in common with the 7 than it does with the 5 Series. Now what?

A common architecture

Platform sharing, everybody is doing it. First seen on the 7 Series, the CLAR architecture is a modular platform that underpins all of BMW’s current and future rear-driven cars, even SUVs. The Cluster Architecture uses a mix of high-strength steel, aluminium and carbon fibre to cut weight while flexibility in production is aided by more versatile sub-modules. These modules are adjustable for content, size and adaptability and that is what allows the spinning off of new models in even narrower niches, thus the 6 GT.

Sitting at the top of all the CLAR applications is the 7 Series that uses the most expensive and most sophisticated application of the platform. The highlight is the carbon fibre core that incorporates lessons gleaned from the i8 project; the carbon core adding strength and rigidity without the attendant weight, and it reflects in the way the luxury saloon drives. Which is unlike any other luxury saloon.

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