Munich - The idea of BMW building a premium double cab bakkie to compete with the Mercedes X-Class has been the subject of speculation for years now. Some BMW execs have expressed interest in that space, while others have ruled it out completely.
Well, now BMW has finally swayed to the pressure and created a double cab based on the X7, but there is one catch - it’s just a once off project.
The bakkie was in fact created by BMW trainees, with a little help from the company’s Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions at the Munich factory.
The team used the X7 xDrive40i as a basis, which is powered by BMW’s 250kW 3-litre straight six turbopetrol motor, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
And don’t expect to throw bricks, cement and garden refuse into the back of this one - the handcrafted load bin is finished in fine-polished teak wood - although that didn’t stop the team from throwing a BMW F 850 GS into the back.
With the tailgate closed the bin has a loading length of 140cm and boasts handgrips made from SLS 3D pressure parts, the creation of which took some technical precision on the part of trainees.
Incidentally, the bakkie’s colour combination of Tanzanite Blue metallic for the body and honey-coloured teak wood for the loading area, was inspired by yachting sports.
But will BMW ever build a bakkie for public consumption? At this stage it seems unlikely.
BMW Australia Chief Executive Vikram Pawah recently told Australian publication GoAuto that the company has no plans for a pick-up, nor any intentions to go down that path at a later stage, as there was simply no need for it.
But if the Bavarian carmaker were to ever change its mind, it would surely make sense to chase a premium niche with a unibody vehicle based on the X5 or X7, rather than a traditional ladder-frame bakkie based on another carmaker's chassis - a strategy that doesn't seem to be working very well for Mercedes-Benz!