2018 BMW Pickup
Is BMW jumping into the pickup segment?by Mark McNabb, on
News recently surfaced of BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner, saying, “never say never” in regards to BMW’s entry into the pickup segment. As we reported, this is far from an official commitment by BMW, but it certainly creates opportunity for the automaker to expand its market reach.
And what’s more, archival Mercedes-Benz is preparing its first-ever pickup while newcomer Tesla has an all-electric pickup on the drawing board. Furthermore, GMC has its Canyon Denali headed for dealers in 2017, so it seems the premium midsize pickup segment is about to explode.
So we at TopSpeed decided to run with the idea of a BMW pickup truck. This rendering shows a midsize pickup based on the X5 platform. Like the Honda Ridgeline, it would use a reinforced unibody chassis designed to handle extra hauling and towing duties, while still maintaining a crossover-like ride. And with it being a BMW, the truck would surely handle well for a pickup. Could this be the “Ultimate Driving (and hauling) Machine?”
Continue reading for more information.
2018 BMW Pickup
Horsepower @ RPM:300 (Est.)
Torque @ RPM:300 (Est.)
Displacement:3.0 L (Est.)
0-60 time:6.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
Okay, so BMW has several ways it could build a pickup. First, is to leverage its partnership with Toyota. Remember, BMW’s next roadster, the Z5 will share parts with the upcoming Toyota Supra, so the pair aren’t adverse to co-developing products. Theoretically, BMW could borrow the chassis of the Toyota Hilux. BMW’s version would undoubtedly have a unique appearance from the Hilux, though the Toyota’s rugged strength would shine through.
Another route BMW could take is building a completely new, body-on-frame pickup that squarely competes with American midsize trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, but on a more luxurious level.
Finally, and more logically, BMW could use one of its existing crossover platforms, modifying it to incorporate a cargo box. It makes logical sense then for BMW to use the X5 for its starting point.
From the C-pillars forward, the BMW pickup will likely carry the same styling as its X5 cousin. This means the classic kidney bean grille and four-eyed headlights. Expect the truck’s approach angle to be impressive, allowing it to handle moderate off-roading. Satin chrome-like accents are likely to appear on the lower front bumper and the rocker panels, giving the impression of skid plating. Like the Volkswagen Amarok, the BMW pickup could utilize a roof rack for extra cargo storage.
As for the cargo bed, expect it to be a composite bed with a plastic liner. Both the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline use beds like this with great success. The rear bumper is likely to curve like a crossovers, but is likely to have a center step section for a license plate and a lower cut-out for a trailer hitch receiver.
Overall, the BMW pickup would embody luxury and functionality, catering to wealthy buyers who want something different or perhaps who more utility than a choosy crossover provides.
BMW X5 pictured
Like the front end, the interior will carry familiar themes from the X5 SUV. Expect to see BMW’s typical dashboard with French-stitched leather and wood inserts. The iPad-like infotainment screen and iDrive controller will be present, as well as the classic analog gauge cluster.
In back, BMW could follow the lead of other midsize trucks in offering a folding bench that accommodated either three people or a large amount of cargo. A small transmission tunnel would only slightly distort the otherwise flat load floor. Hopefully BMW will borrow the Toyota Tundra’s roll-down rear window idea.
Regardless of which direction BMW takes with the truck’s chassis and body, expect nothing less than BMW luxury inside the cab. That one we can be pretty sure on.
Drivetrain choices also depend on what route BMW chooses for the truck’s chassis and body. If it borrows the Toyota Hilux platform, perhaps the Hilux powertrains will be offered. However, since we’re betting BMW will use the X5 as its starting point, it’s only logical BMW would offer the X5’s powertrain choices in the pickup. This also holds true if BMW builds a unique truck chassis, as engine sharing would likely happen.
The current X5 is offered with four engine options: the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder, the 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel, the 4.4-liter turbo V-8, and the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with its lithium-ion electric motor. That last one belongs to the X5 xDrive40e, BMW’s plug-in hybrid SUV.
The 3.0-liter I-6 gasser pumps out an impressive 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, scooting the X5 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. The diesel version makes 255 horsepower and a whopping 413 pound-feet of torque, only needing 0.4 seconds more to hit 60 mph. The turbo V-8 is the performer of the bunch, using 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque to hit 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds. All these engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As it’s a truck, expect BMW’s xDrive AWD system to come standard.
What’s more, offering the plug-in hybrid version could steal customers away from Tesla. Include the hybrid version in the pickup mix would certainly be wise.
BMW will surely charge a premium for its pickup, but should be on par with the Mercedes pickup. If we go by the X5’s current pricing schedule, the base BMW pickup will cast around $57,000. (Remember, xDrive comes standard.) The diesel version will only see a nominal up-charge of $700 or so. Opting for the hybrid will cost just over $62,000 and selecting the powerhouse V-8 will set you back nearly $72,000.
Of course, pricing for a future BMW pickup is pure speculation at this point.
Mercedes is moving forward with its pickup plans. Whether or not Mercedes brings a luxury version of its commercial pickup to the U.S. is still unknown, however. We’re betting it will, especially since Tesla as openly announced plans for an all-electric pickup.
Details are still scarce at this time, but Mercedes is partnering with Nissan in a joint venture. Both the Navara pickup and Mercedes’ truck, rumored to be called the GLT, will ride on the same platform, but each will have a unique exterior and interior. This gives both automakers room to customize the pickups for their unique customer bases.
Read our speculative review on the MB GLT here.
Details surrounding the Tesla pickup are even scarcer, but we recently put together a rendering of what Elon Musk’s next vehicle might look like. In all likelihood, it will be based on the Model X SUV and will offer customers choices between the 75D and 90D battery packs. There might even be an option for the P90D system with its Ludicrous mode.
Driving ranges will vary between powertrains from 230 to 260 miles when driven conservatory and without cargo. When it comes to towing, expect the Tesla pickup to out-tow the Model X’s 5,000-pound capacity. Prices will likely start around $50,000, falling between the $35,000 Model 3 and the $68,000 Model X.
Read our speculative review of the Tesla Pickup here.
Whether or not BMW will enter the pickup category is completely unknown at this point. We do know, according BMW Australia’s Marc Werner, that the German automaker is keeping a close eye on the developing premium midsize pickup market. And why not? BMW is on a crusade to fill every possible niche in the sedan, Gran Coupe, and SUV segments, so why stop there?
It will definitely be interesting to see what BMW does in the next few years. Just imagine that – a BMW pickup. That sounds about as crazy as BMW building an SUV 20 years ago.