Every now and then, the German luxury brand surprises us with rare cars. After recently seeing the 1990 V16 Goldfish prototype, here comes an unusual 5 Series Touring. Six years before the X5 E53 took the SUV segment by storm, BMW had this early attempt at making a sport utility vehicle. Built by BMW Individual strictly as a one-off for Auto Motor und Sport, the 530iX Enduro was a more practical iteration of the E34 Touring.

BMW Group Classic is showcasing the unusual wagon this weekend in Stuttgart at the Retro Classics event. Compared to the donor car, the roof was raised by 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) while the rear was fitted with a bespoke upper spoiler. At the front, two extra lights were incorporated above the windshield. Underneath the 530iX Enduro, a steel reinforcement was added to protect the oil pan when going off the beaten path on rough terrain.

The 530iX Enduro even received an adjustable air suspension to adjust the ground clearance in four levels. Inside, BMW Individual fitted this unique E34 Touring with an aluminum tray big enough to hold two mountain bikes. The wagon’s roof was raised to clear the two bikes and the custom-made platform. A fax machine was added to the glovebox compartment.

In its original form, the M50 engine made 192 horsepower and 245 Newton meters (181 pound-feet) of torque. However, the inline-six unit was upgraded to a healthy 246 hp and 316 Nm (233 lb-ft). This was done by bumping displacement from 2.5 to 3.0 liters. Output was channeled to all four wheels in an all-terrain wagon that weighed 1,840 kilograms (4,056 pounds).

Developed in three months, the 530iX Enduro had a few more tricks up its sleeve. BMW Individual gave it auxiliary heating, an air compressor, and an extra power supply with a supplementary battery. The ramp mentioned earlier extended from the cargo area, making it easier to load/unload the bikes or a snowmobile. It was still possible to carry a rear passenger even with two bikes inside.

Back in the day, Auto Motor und Sport spoke with the car’s project manager and learned a production version wasn’t entirely ruled out. The German magazine learned the asking price would’ve been 170,000 Deutsche marks provided 50 customers would’ve ordered one. The car could’ve been even more versatile by fitting a double bed instead of those bikes. It was also roomy enough to store the hardware of a small hot air balloon. BMW Individual even thought of fitting a raised seat, allowing the passenger to go through the sunroof while hunting.

The 530iX never saw the light of production day but we’re glad this unique creation is being shown in public.

Source: BMW Group Classic / Facebook, DrGumoLunatic / YouTube