BMW really leaned hard into the whole SUV thing. When BMW first introduced the E53 X5, its first-ever SUV, the enthusiast fanbase lost its collective mind. Fans felt that BMW needed to remain a sedan/wagon and coupe manufacturer, not an SUV maker. Since then, though, BMW has almost become more of an SUV company than anything else. And it’s hard to blame BMW because it’s making shiploads of cash. However, that time might be coming to an end, at least if Citroen boss Vincent Cobée is on to something.
“The world of SUVs is done,” Cobée told Auto Express. Despite him admitting that sales numbers don’t back up his claim in the slightest, Cobée feels that the current trend of tall EV sedans and wagons will eliminate the need for SUVs. More importantly, he feels that aerodynamics will play a huge factor in the death of the SUV.
“On a battery EV, if your aerodynamics are wrong, the penalty in terms of range is massive,” he said. And he does sort of have a point. The taller a vehicle is, the harder it is to make it aerodynamic. However, there have been some SUVs with fantastic coefficients of drag, like the BMW iX and Tesla Model X. However, there’s no question that something smaller and sleeker can be made more aerodynamic.
Cobée also mentions weight, though. There’s a chance that governments start taxing customers and automakers more, based on the weight of their vehicles. And weight does make a huge difference in range. Weight is far more of a range killer than aero. So how do brands get around the weight and tax issues of SUVs? Stop making them, I guess.
The problem is that the public still really likes SUVs, regardless of what car enthusiasts think. Sure, public perception is changing a bit, with big SUVs becoming symbols of pollution and environmental harm. But they still sell more than smaller cars, so perception isn’t changing very quickly.
I think most enthusiasts hope that Cobée is right, though. SUVs are less fun to drive, worse looking, and less efficient than smaller cars. So if EVs kill the SUV, old-school car enthusiasts might actually warm to them.
[Source: Auto Express]