Don't expect to see a pickup from BMW anytime soon. The automaker's design boss Adrian van Hooydonk is clear about a truck not being on the horizon.
"It’s not an obvious fit for the BMW brand. We don’t have to go after every trend that is happening," van Hooydonk told BMWBlog. "If we go into a segment then we want to go in there for the long haul. Also, we don’t have to go after every trend that is happening. What I do see and find interesting is that during COVID, we saw a trend for people who want to spend time outdoors."
Gallery: BMW X7 Pickup
Van Hooydonk had nice things to say about pickups, in general. He described them as "becoming more sophisticated" and getting "more refined."
While not a mass-produced offering, BMW made a one-off pickup based on the X7. A group of vocational trainees worked with the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions to create the truck. The cargo bed featured polished wood, and there was a BMW F 850 GS motorcycle back there. The rig debuted during the BMW Motorrad Days in 2019.
Also, the M division created unique pickups using the E92 and E30 generations of the M3. The crew used them as shop vehicles for moving stuff around.
Mercedes-Benz, one of BMW's primary competitors, dabbled in the pickup market with the X-Class. The truck debuted in 2017 and production ended in 2020. It shared underpinnings with the Nissan Navara, and production happened at that automaker's plant in Barcelona, Spain.
The X-Class was pricey compared to competitors. In Germany, it was €16,000 more than a base Navara and about €4,000 more than the Renault Alaskan, which was also on the same platform.
The Audi Activesphere concept recently showed the Four Rings' idea for creating a luxury vehicle with a truck bed. Rather than looking like a traditional pickup, the vehicle had a sleek, arching roofline. A power-operated glass panel at the back could slide away to make room for larger cargo. The designers even made spots specifically for carrying e-bikes.
For more discussion about the Audi Activesphere, check out this episode of Rambling About Cars: