BMW is one of the few left German automakers who doesn’t have a proper van in their lineup. Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, DKW/Auto-Union/Audi, all made some sort of van, but the closest BMW has ever gotten to a van is with the new 2 Series Active Tourer.
BMW has resisted the temptation to adventure into yet another segment and to potentially damage its brand image. But the questions remains: is there a demand from BMW customers for a proper sized van?
The market size around the world for full-size vans and minivans is compelling enough for any automakers to jump into a new source of revenue. Using an existing platform to “grow” a van on top of it is the most obvious choice. For example, imagine a BMW X5 or the upcoming X7 sharing its fairly long wheelbase with a taller, boxy vehicle that could further expand the interior space and luxury inside the cabin.
Or, an even more feasible solution would be the front-wheel drive layout seen in the 2 Series Active Tourer and especially its long wheelbase version with seven seats that comes out next year. The clever packaging for the surfaces and panels could be made possible by the front-wheel drive platform which means no driveshaft eating up room in the center of the car.
The folks over at Jalopnik went even further by putting together a few sketches of what a BMW van would look like, and as a bonus, they even found a “BMW-branded van” somewhere in South Carolina. You know, not that far from BMW’s factory there….
What do you think: should have BMW built a van?