BMW Niche-Wagen Watch
BMW was once known for the elegant simplicity of its vehicle lineup, but no more. Now the Boyz of Bayern must spend as much time imagining lifestyles and creating vehicles for them as they do developing new platforms. After all, if you can tweak a few chassis to reflect the infinitely variable lifestyle statements of postmodern life, why would you actually work on making your model line more broadly diverse? You wouldn't if you like profit like BMW likes profit. Accordingly, Auto Motor und Sport has spy photos of the latest BMW why-mobile, the "Progressive Activity Sedan" or PAS. What exactly are we looking at under the black camouflage? A fastback version of the five series, which will offer four-door coupe looks with better rear-seat room than say, a Mercedes CLS. Sound familiar? That's because it basically takes the X6 formula and plops it on the next-generation five series. Within a year or so of the PAS's 2009 launch (no word yet on American availability), BMW will sport no fewer than four four-door utes (X1, X3, X5, X6) and five four-door sedans (1, 3, 5, 7, and PAS series) in its European market lineup. In fact, Bimmer nearly went for a tenth model, the X7 (hilariously imagined as an extended model here), but AM und S says that it's been canceled. And if you think Norbert Reithofer's decision to can the X7 means BMW is aware of its bloated four-door lineup, think again. The weak dollar and high gas prices get all the blame. And shopping for a four-door BMW just got a tiny, tiny bit easier.
More by Edward Niedermeyer