No, your eyes don’t deceive you. BMW has indeed built a one-off double-cab bakkie based on its flagship X7 SUV. But the Munich-based firm has made it clear a production version “is not planned”, so a battle with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is not on the cards.
Officially known as the BMW X7 Pick-up, the bakkie is described as a “unique conversion performed by BMW Group vocational trainees in co-operation with the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions at the BMW Munich plant”.
Based on the X7 xDrive40i derivative, the show car draws 250 kW from its petrol-flavoured, turbocharged 3,0-litre straight-six.
Billed as a “five-seater luxury pick-up”, it boasts a “handcrafted” loading area finished in fine-polished wood. The length of the loading space varies from 1 400 mm (closed) to 2000 mm (open). The vehicle also employs a height-adjustable two-level air suspension system … and a BMW F850 GS motorcycle on the rear.
The bakkie features carbon-fibre reinforced plastic on various roof components, the rear doors and the rear lid, which BMW says helped reduce weight by 200 kg compared with the production X7, despite a 100 mm longer body.
The firm says it turned its concept into a “fully functional, road-legal automobile in show car quality” in just ten months.
While officials in Germany have long insisted the firm has no plans to build a bakkie (with a high-ranking executive even saying there is "no market" for premium pick-ups), the head of BMW in Australia in 2017 admitted some markets had shown "very high-level interest" in a luxury bakkie from the automaker.