Don’t expect to see pickups from BMW anytime soon. The automaker’s design boss Adrian van Hooydonk is clear about the truck that isn’t on the horizon.
“This is clearly not suitable for the BMW brand. We do not have to chase every trend that is happening,” said van Hooydonk. BMWBlog. “If we go into a segment then we want to get in there for the long term. Also, we don’t have to follow every trend that’s going on. What I see that’s interesting is that during COVID, we saw a trend for people wanting to spend time in outdoor.”
Van Hooydonk has good things to say about the pickup, in general. He described them as “getting more sophisticated” and “more refined”.
While not a mass-produced offering, BMW is making a one-off pickup based on the X7. A group of vocational trainees worked with the Vehicle Construction Concept and Model Technology divisions to build a truck. The cargo bed features polished wood, and there’s a BMW F 850 GS motorcycle back there. The rig debuted during BMW Motorrad Days in 2019.
In addition, the M division created unique pickups using the M3 E92 and E30 generations. The crew uses it as a shop vehicle to move goods.
Mercedes-Benz, one of BMW’s main competitors, has entered the pickup market with the X-Class. The truck debuted in 2017 and production ended in 2020. The truck shares a foundation with the Nissan Navara, and production takes place at the automaker’s plant in Barcelona, Spain.
The X-Class is expensive compared to competitors. In Germany, it costs €16,000 more than the base Navara and around €4,000 more than the Renault Alaskan, which also uses the same platform.
The Audi Activesphere concept recently showcased Four Rings’ idea to create a luxury vehicle with a truck bed. Instead of looking like a traditional pickup, this vehicle has a sleek curved roofline. The power-operated glass panels at the rear slide to make room for larger cargo. The designers even made a special spot to bring the e-bike.
For more discussion of the Audi Activesphere, check out this episode Rambling About Cars: