Can the BMW 5-series GT discover its handsome side for 2016?

It’s polarised the critics and hasn’t exactly set the sales charts alight, but the BMW 5-series Gran Turismo will return, these spyshots confirm.

As revealed in CAR’s scoop dossier, the GT will bookend the new sixth-generation G30 5-series range together with the Touring estate version. The new 5-series saloon is due to launch in late 2016; expect the GT to arrive before then.

Remind me what the first 5-series GT looked like?

Here you go:

BMW 5-series GT

The awkward, bustle-backed coupe-meets-saloon bodywork on the 2009 5 GT was an acquired taste, and its successor has adopted a more conventional notchback shape closer in appearance to the likes of the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. Even with camo applied, it already appears more sleekly proportioned than its predecessor.

Could that mean losing the enormous rear passenger room and luggage space that was one of the original GT’s undeniable plus points? The versatile new ‘CLAR’ (for Cluster Architecture) scalable platform that underpins the new 5-series family is thought to possess various packaging advantages, allowing sleeker exterior proportions without sacrificing interior space.

BMW 5-series 2016: the headline facts

The new 5-series platform, which shares elements with the new 7-series, mixes materials including steel, aluminium and composites, with an enormous benefits in weight-saving. Between 80-100kg is thought to have been shed on average compared with the outgoing 5-series.

That in turn enables three-cylinder engines to join the 5-series range for the first times, although the Gran Turismo is more likely to feature powerplants from further up the scale. A variety of four- and six-cylinder engines are available, including a potent range of straight-sixes. A plug-in hybrid ePower variant is also on the cards, combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 82bhp electric motors.