The idea of a front-wheel-drive minivan seemed unfathomable until the 2 Series Active Tourer arrived in 2014. BMW went on to give the family hauler a second generation in late 2021, showing its long-term commitment to MPVs. But what if the Bavarian marque were to launch a bigger van, perhaps without a combustion engine? A purely hypothetical rendering imagines a BMW rival for the Mercedes EQV.
As wild as it may seem, luxury minivans are gaining traction in China. It’s a growing niche currently occupied by the Buick GL8, the Lexus LM, and the recently unveiled Volvo EM90. If Lexus and Volvo are selling a high-end MPV, why shouldn’t BMW do it? To be fair, the LM and EM90 are both based on existing products as the Lexus is an upmarket Toyota Alphard/Vellfire while the Volvo is a premium Zeekr 009. The German brand doesn’t have a donor car it could use to create a minivan and spread development costs.
If you’ve been following BMW for several years, you are aware of how important the Chinese market has become for luxury automakers. So much so that there are locally built models that carry a distinct codename, separate from the global vehicles. From the 3 Series to the X5, many models have received the long-wheelbase treatment, including the new 5 Series / i5 that inherits the 7 Series’ Theatre Screen. By the way, the huge 31.3-inch display would be a perfect match for a luxury minivan.
BMW has bigger fish to fry these days as it’s massively investing in the Neue Klasse platform. The new architecture will underpin at least six EVs by 2028. SUVs will take priority, but there will also be an electric 3 Series Sedan as previewed by the Vision Neue Klasse concept. In addition, we’re hearing an i3 Touring (or something to that effect) is in the offing. Consequently, a large electric van doesn’t rank high on the list of priorities.
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