Throwback: BMW’s Holiday Video Features Rarely Seen M3 E30 Pickup
With Christmas literally being a few days away, automakers have started rolling out their holiday greetings for the masses. BMW’s M Division is the latest to do so with a holiday-themed ad that features a vehicle that was never sold to the public. We’ve seen it a handful of times over the years, but this is probably the first time Bimmer is using the pickup version of the BMW M3 E30 for any of its promotional videos. Consider it a treat then that BMW is doing it for the holidays. Merry Christmas, indeed!
BMW Trolled the Tesla Cybertruck Hard on Twitter
We’re back with more Tesla Cybertruck-related news as BMW decided to capture some attention on Twitter and channel it on one of its most spectacular products by throwing some shade at the Cybertruck.
As you know, BMW will sell you, on special request, the so-called X5 Protection VR6, a heavily armoured vehicle packing 530 horsepower and the ability to withstand gunfire coming from an AK-47. This sort of badassery allowed BMW to troll Tesla and Musk for the “armor” widows gaffe that took place during the pickup truck’s live reveal.
BMW Is The Latest Automaker To Throw Its Hat In The Pickup Truck Ring
Gone are the days when premium automakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, left the trucking business to companies like Ford and Chevrolet. They focused on the luxury aspect and that meant mainstreaming into sedans. Later, the trend crept into SUVs as well, but still, they did not consider getting into pickup truck manufacturing, even though the best-selling vehicle for four decades was a truck. But, when truck manufacturers decided to offer luxury features in these big beasts, people started getting drawn towards them, despite some of the offerings today breaching the six-digit price range. So, what do the premium automakers do? Build a truck to grab a share of the pie, with the latest one being Bayerische Motoren Werke. It’s not coming right away, but we can expect a truck from the stable very soon.
The BMW X7 Pickup Is a Real Thing, Folks
The BMW X7 has stunned automotive aficionados not necessarily through its sheer size, but more thanks to a larger-than-life front grille. The same grille is not proudly sitting on the nose of the revamped BMW 7 Series, so purists should know that it is not going anywhere. But that’s another story for some other time because we didn’t bring you here to judge on design cues. Well, in fact, we did. With good reason, mind you, because BMW just built a one-off pickup truck based on its X7. Yes, you read that right. There is an X7 pickup truck in this world, and it has been created to haul a motorcycle.
BMW X7 Pickup Could Be BMW’s Answer to the Mercedes X-Class
Ever since BMW entered the SUV market with the X5 back in 1999, enthusiasts have been clamoring for the Germans to produce a pickup truck. Now that Mercedes-Benz is offering the X-Class, a BMW-badged truck seems to make more sense. With the flagship X7 unveiled a few weeks ago, we can’t help but wonder whether BMW should consider a truck version at last.
BMW and John Deere Tease Hybrid Backhoe Concept
Talk about an unconventional partnership producing an even more unconventional product. The legendary heavy equipment brand John Deere has teamed up with Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW, to create a hybrid backhoe built from futuristic materials and integrated high-tech features. It’s called the Fixstern, which in German means fixed star. Like navigating by the stars, the Fixstern will act as guidance and inspiration for John Deere’s future products.
The backhoe isn’t a reality just yet, but the concept is a test bed for out-of-the-box thinking. John Deere and Designworks set out with several goals: high functionality, reduce weight by 20 percent, decrease environmental impact by 10 percent, decrease manufacturing costs, improve the user experience, and to address changing market demands.
Meeting these expectations involves using lighter materials that are still extremely strong. The backhoe’s weight has been distributed lower along the extended wheelbase. Stabilizer bars on the front axle help with road-going stability and are rather rare on backhoes. Airless radial tires are said to further improve stability while being completely impervious to flats. The backhoe also features a “tuck” feature with its digging arm, giving it a shorter overall length for parking or on-road driving. The entire rear section, including the rear axle, is designed to pivot for tight maneuverability and is controlled by electronic four-wheel steering. Deere hasn’t divulged any details regarding that hybrid powertrain, however.
Deere also concentrated on making the operator happy. The cab is larger and its door is wider – both thanks to the longer wheelbase. The seat is also insulated from the backhoe’s frame for better vibration resistance. The in-dash tech includes communication with a fleet supervisor for preventative maintenance and the project supervisor for getting the construction job done right.
The Fixstern might not be pushing dirt anytime soon, but the ideas will likely evolve modern heavy equipment for the better.
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Mercedes X-Class vs BMW Pickup
Mercedes has just released its X-Class concept pickup and the frenzy is growing strong. Markets around the world are set to get this “urban lifestyle pickup,” save for North America. Regardless, the Mercedes pickup will undoubtedly cause huge waves in the segment, likely spawning competition from other luxury automakers, including BMW.
We created a rendering of a BMW pickup a few months before the X-Class Concept’s launch. It was based in pure speculation on what BMW could possibly come up with for its first luxury truck. Unlike the Mercedes, we figured the BMW would utilize a unibody architecture shared with the X5 crossover. Luxury and comfort being first, a rough-riding ladder frame truck wouldn’t be the first choice for engineers, right? Mercedes obviously doesn’t think so, but hey, BMW might want to cater to a different, more refined audience who aren’t towing 7,000 pounds or hauling a metric ton.
Both trucks will definitely be big departures from the Toyota Hiluxs and Ford Rangers of the world, and Mercedes says it’s catering to Gen Xers who have previously never considered buying a pickup. BMW would likely follow that direction, leaving the commercial and agricultural sales to the segment stalwarts.
Despite the two trucks (theoretically) going after the same audience, there will undoubtedly be differences. Let’s explore that theoretical world between the Mercedes X-Class Concept and a BMW pickup that doesn’t yet exist.
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2018 BMW Pickup
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?”
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What? BMW Eyeing Premium Pickup Segment?!
No, it’s not April Fools, but news from Down Under is undeniably strange. In talking with BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner, at the M3/M4 Competition launch in Queensland, Motoring was told “never say never” in regards to BMW’s entry into the pickup market.
Yep, the M3 pickup joke from 2011 and the X3-based pickup aren’t looking so laughable now.
This all comes after BMW’s Asia, Pacific, and South African chief, Hendrik von Kuenheim told reporters in 2015 BMW would “definitely not” build a pickup. Now a year later, Kuenheim’s subordinate is undercutting his bold statement. “We’re watching the space closely,” said Werner in reference to the premium pickup segment – the same segment Mercedes-Benz is entering with its partnership with Nissan.
So could this mean BMW is actually considering the possibility of building a pickup? Perhaps, but it’s likely the German automaker is simply keeping tabs on the market space. After all, modern BMW isn’t one for letting vehicle segments slip away. A quick glance at its 3, 4, 5, and Gran Coupe Series cements that theory. BMW could, however, jump into the premium pickup segment if it sees Mercedes and Tesla making money.
And like Motoring points out, this wouldn’t be the first promise BMW has ever broken. The automaker has trailed away from its “Ultimate Driving Machine” mantra to one that includes FWD cars.
Logistically, BMW could leverage its relationship with Toyota when it comes time to build a pickup. Imagine a Toyota Hilux bathed in BMW luxury. Now there’s something truck buyers would gobble up.
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Well speaking of jokesters and pranks, so far the best April Fool’s joke comes from BMW with their new M3 - the world’s fastest pickup. A prototype was "caught testing" recently and BMW couldn’t even hold out until April 1st before they confirmed that it was indeed just a prank. But staying true to their powers of pranking, the German automaker still released full details on their new M3 pick-up.
The M3 Pick-up is powered by a V8 engine and features a generously sized load area in the back and a removable Targa roof. The pick-up, which is only 110 lbs heavier than the convertible M3, offers a maximum load capacity of 992 lbs. The best part? The M3 pickup can hit a top speed of 186 mph (as a reminder, all of the other M3 models are limited to 155 mph).
The official BMW statement states: "the BMW M3 Pickup will not be heading for the golf course or series development, but will retain its status as an exclusive one-off. It is earmarked for use as a workshop transport vehicle for BMW M GmbH. With this in mind, the current BMW M3 Pickup – unlike a similar predecessor built back in the 1980s – has gone through the requisite procedures to earn its road certification. Which makes it officially a truck – but one that puts a whole new spin on the meaning of the word."
The idea behind this is absolutely fascinating and just the sheer curiosity of it all would have made this the best April Fool’s joke ever, had BMW lasted long enough to make it to April 1st.