Form follows function” is a design principle. It means that the shape of an object should be based on its intended function. The curvy openings in the sides of the front bumpers of a car—designers call them nostrils—are not there because they are decorative, but because they let in massive amounts of air that modern engines need for cooling. The gently sloping roof line of a car is not there because it looks good, but because it reduces air resistance. Each edge, each curve and every detail on a car is a result of ‘function’. But, in the automotive world, the ‘form’ that follows ‘function’ isn’t always eye grabbing. For example, Mercedes-Benz B-Class or the now discontinued Jaguar X-Type. No offence meant, but these are not the cars that often steal second glances. However, every once in a while there comes a car that is a classic representation of the ‘form follows function’ adage and does it in style. Case in point here is the BMW 3 Series GT.
Launched at this year’s Auto Expo, the GT in BMW stands for Gran Turismo. An Italian term, it translates into English as ‘grand tourer’. A GT, thus, is a performance or luxury vehicle capable of making long-distance, high-speed journeys in comfort, yet provide driving thrills when demanded. The GT is a very European concept—smooth highways in Europe ensure high-speed driving and covering distances of over 1,000 km a day. So a GT makes sense there. But does it make sense in India? If not, what is the point in launching a GT here? Simple, to fill the gap between existing segments—the BMW 3 Series GT sits between the 3 Series and the 5 Series sedans.
The way the 3 Series GT combines dynamic lines with the elegance of a coupé is fascinating. Embedded in the precisely-outlined front is the trademark BMW kidney grille. Go to the sides and the view becomes even more appealing. Step at the rear and try stopping yourself from falling in love with design! This form is very functional. Increased height provides more legroom and headroom, the gently sloping roof increases space in the cabin, and wide dimensions give it more stability on the road. The active rear spoiler, which deploys automatically when the car goes faster than 110 kmph, is not only a visual delight but also provides steadiness at high speeds. Another cool feature is frameless windows.