Spy Photos: BMW PAS – still don’t see the point of it

5 Series GT | August 7th, 2008 by 11

It seems like the BMW’s all-new Progressive Activity Sedan, is going under heavy testing in the Mojave Desert. For the past few weeks, more and …

It seems like the BMW’s all-new Progressive Activity Sedan, is going under heavy testing in the Mojave Desert. For the past few weeks, more and more photos of this new BMW design have been popping up all over the internet. As usual, the car is heavily camouflaged so seeing the real proportions and design, is something that it’s forbidden for now.

As I have said before, I really don’t see the purpose of this PAS, short for Progressive Activity Sedan. BMW has pretty much narrowed down the gap between its series and I just don’t see the PAS fitting anywhere. We know that it will simply be portrayed as a bigger hatchback that will satisfy the needs of those that need more rear seat room and a big trunk space, but don’t we have the 3 and 5 Series Wagons for that? Doesn’t the upcoming X1 fit in pretty much the same category, with a few differences of course?

In the mean time, here are some new photos captured by our friends at WorldCarFans

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11 responses to “Spy Photos: BMW PAS – still don’t see the point of it”

  1. Gragop says:

    Agreed. This vehicle is pointless. This is in same useless vein as the X6. The only upshot of the PAS is that it will probably give us a moderatly good idea as to what the next 5 series will look like.

    For my money I’d take a 5 Series Touring rather than have some sort of weird psuedo-hatchback.

  2. Giom says:

    Yea, you guys are right. BMW should get stale, stagnate… do the same thing year after year – never do something new.

    Funny, it reminds me of the british motor industry – look at them now.

    Forgive the frustration. But I’m sick of hearing how BMW is building pointless cars. I bet a lot of you guys said the same thing when the first X5 came out. Look at where it is today! Couple of years on, you’ll probably own one of these cars (X6 or PAS). Long forgotten about it’s uselessness. By that time you’ll be shooting down the newest products cause thy’re breaking new ground.

    Are you truly this scared of something new? Change is a part of life friends, get used to it!

  3. Horatiu B. says:


    This is different Giom. When the X5 came out, there was no other bimmer in the same market, or near it. I have always supported BMW and I shared their vision. I was even a huge supporter of the X6 and still am. I absolutely loved the E46, but when the E9x came out, I did not look back, nor bash it.

    But this time, the PAS just doesn’t have a huge market to tap in and it overlaps with the 5 Wagon. If the price will be in the same range, it will be even worse. Remember, you cannot always get it right, and there are plenty examples to show, including MB R-Class, which failed.

  4. Gragop says:

    I just don’t see the utilities this car can provide. As Horatiu B said, the X5 added a product into BMW’s line up that it needed to compete with Mercedes and other brands. It seems that the PAS is either creating a niche that isn’t needed or trying to compete with the R Class, which as noted above, failed.

    I love BMW but seriously, tell me what this thing does for their lineup in terms of adding value? This is just like when MB created the CLS as a stop-gap between the S class, E class and CLK. “Oh yes! I’d love a sedan smaller than an S class, bigger than an E class but looks a little like a XCLK coupe but isn’t!” Sorry – but the same sort of logic prevails on this car.

    Considering the trend BMW has been on and is on for the last 30 years they’ve done pretty damn good with their lineup with very few failures. I even liked their failures! (Read M1, 318ti, 8 Series).

    Just because someone doesn’t like a design of BMW doesn’t mean they’re some closed-minded jackass that rejects anything new beyond a certain point. I’m a BMW nut but it doesn’t mean I’m going to buy into every model they make just because it’s a BMW – they do make mistakes.

  5. Giom says:

    I see ya’ll point. But hear me out.

    We don’t know where BMW is going with this. Obviously they’ve done research and is building a nich with a slot in their line-up. Now, this poor product is receiving the worst publicity before it’s able to being understood or explain itself. So, in thousends of minds – including those this car is aimed at, this car is already a failure. Perceptions are powerfull!

    I believe the 8-series was a victim of poor perception. Think about this. That car was researched and build with a specific market in mind. The only perceptions we got, were those from the press that drove it. The 8 was never build for them – they didn’t understand its purpose or its market. It got the worst revues ever, which scared off the people that it was aimed at. Today it’s still perceived as a BMW failure.

    Don’t sink the ship before it leaves the harbour!

  6. George says:

    This car is not a original design.Renault has been using this design for their Laguna. The PAS uses the same platform as the 5 series then why would anyone buy this car?For space, I’ d rather buy the 5 series Touring. Don’t tell me that station wagons don’t sell well in the US because hatchbacks don’t sell either!
    Send Adrian van Hooydonk back to the Orange land please!

  7. Gragop says:

    Yeah, the 8 Series was largely considered a failure. But part of the problem was BMW picked a bad market to compete in before they fully developed the reputation they have today. If BMW built that now it would be a huge hit – but in 1990 BMW building a car to compete with a Ferrari seems a bit silly – too bad we didn’t see a true M8 versus the 850CSi. But that car had a purpose – to fight a Ferrari or Porsche while still remaining a comfortable GT car.

    The PAS doesn’t really have a purpose. Who’s it taking on? Why? Why isn’t a 5 Series wagon sufficient? If that’s the case, buy an X5 – they’re in the ballpark of each other in terms of price. I feel like this will be product of BMW’s marketing team versus BMW finding true functionality and need in the marketplace for this car. I expect BMW to be revolutionary not a trending-riding company and the PAS seems to have that feeling about it.

    Why the hell do they produce the PAS but they won’t produce the M1 Homage car or the 328 Coupe(pre-war retro car concept)?!

  8. Giom says:


    Why the hell do they produce the PAS but they won’t produce the M1 Homage car or the 328 Coupe(pre-war retro car concept)?!

    Now that’s a question! Not the 328 maybe, but the M1 definitely.

    Do you really think the 8 was ever intended to go up against a Ferrari? I never got that idea. A grand tourer is how BMW defined it, and that’s what it was. The perception maybe was for it to be compared with some Ferrari-type sports cars, just because it looked so damn good.

    I’ll keep my judgement on the PAS till its been selling for a few months, but till then I’ll support the efforts of the BMW guys and gals and wish for them success with this model.

  9. Speedoholic says:

    I think it’s gonna be named X1 cz 1 is the smallest number and this car is crossover so X1 would be perfect for it

  10. Gragop says:


    The X1 is already slated to be a different, smaller SUV. This will probably be some sort of 5 derivative or it’ll have some new prefix. There were rumors for a while that this model would be named V1 or V5 or something along those lines.

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