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.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.