You can already buy a BMW 3-Series in sedan, coupe, station wagon and X3 “cute-ute” bodystyles, and for some automakers that might be enough. For niche-crazed BMW though, it’s just the beginning. A 3-Series GT is planned in the mold of the 5-Series GT, as a midway-point between the coupe, sedan and station wagon versions. You know, in case you can’t decide which you want. “This has never existed!” screamed Autobild… back in 2008. Of course, now it does exist in the form of the 5-series GT, which could actually end up replacing the 5-series wagon in the US market. And as the march of the niche vehicles rolls onward, there’s one more segment that the 3-series architecture still hasn’t capitalized on: the jacked-up midway point between coupe and SUV. That’s right babies, the X4.
But don’t blame BMW for considering a baby X6, which will likely resemble a jacked-up, slightly coupe-ier version of the 3er GT. After all, the Bavarians have sold over 80k X6s since launch, or twice the projected volume.That, BMW sources tell Autocar, makes an X4 far more likely to happen:
We haven’t made any firm decision. However, the X6’s success shows there is a continued demand for sporty off-roaders.
Of course, the relatively small difference between the current 1-series and the 3-series makes the niche spacing even more of a tricky task. Seriously, what are the differences between buyers of an X1, a 3er GT, an X4, and a 3er Wagon? Do we need to start making up Venn diagrams of these buyers’ priorities? Or is BMW trying to prove a kind of automotive Zeno’s paradox, in which niches can be infinitely subdivided? Where is the focus?