With Mercedes-Benz having taken the plunge into pickup-land with its Class X (which won’t be sold in North America), BMW gets asked regularly if it isn’t tempted to follow suit.
And the answer has always the same: Nope!
This hasn’t stopped the company from having a pickup Beemer designed and built, mind you – one based on the company’s new X7 SUV.
And why would it do that? Simply put, as a work project for the students in its vocational training centre. The training centre is located close by to BMW HQ, a perfect way to encourage close cooperation and improve learning.
The X7 pickup, let’s be clear, is a one-off. Still, it’s highly professional in its design and execution. The students used carbon-fibre for the roof, rear doors and liftgate in order to keep the truck’s weight to a minimum. The pickup is in fact 440 lb lighter than the X7 SUV’s it’s based on.
What’s striking is how production-ready the truck appears. No details were overlooked, and you see some outstanding features like the chrome handles on the C pillar and the old-school wood floor of the bed.
In releasing the images and info on the pickup, BMW made clear that the project was not a sign of things to come from the company. We don’t doubt the company’s sincerity in this, but we can’t help but feel that behind the project given to its apprentices lies a desire to float a trial balloon, just to gauge potential interest.
Frankly the company would be crazy not to approach it that way.
Again, we believe BMW when it says it has no intention of producing a commercially available pickup truck. But if ever the German automaker sees that there could be real money to be made from such a vehicle, you can be sure the development wheels would start turning.
And now we have an idea of what a BMW pickup might look like.