The Grand Touring car concept has been with us since the introduction of the Lancia Aurela in the 1950's. The thought then as now was for a sleek automobile with room for four plus luggage which could cover great distances in comfort and with speed. The idea still persist although the execution is more difficult given the proliferation of traffic and population density. However, if you are still of the mind of going for a long drive today's COD features two of the best recent GTs.
The BMW M6 produced from 1983 through 1989 is one of BMW's most handsome automobiles and a true embodiment of the GT class. Here was a car that was stylish, fast (260hp in US form, 290hp in European trim) and was able to carry four passengers and luggage.
To create the M6, BMW shoehorned a modified version of the M1 engine into the already capable E34 6 series, modified the suspension and then place all the creature comfort a fast GT would need. Only a total of 5,885 M6s were made with only 1,767 coming to the US.
The long lived Porsche 928 although a GT is more at the sportscar end of the spectrum. Meant to replaced the 911, the 928 at its 1977 introduction was hailed as European Car of the Year; the only sportscar to have ever been so honored. Here was a car with advance design, execution and first for Porsche; a front engined water cooled V8.
Unfortunately the 928 never found its audience but soldered on from 1977 to 1995 making it the second longest production Porsche. Throughtout that production run, the car was refined, engine displacement grew and some of the purity of the original design was lost. That said, the improvements over the production made the later 928s the ones to get.
Porsche which just recently re-introduced their idea of the four seat, front-engined water cooled V8 in the form of the hunchback Panamera might have been better served to have just simply re-introduced the 928; that is how good the 928 was and is.