BMW Niche-Wagen Watch

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Carzzi Carzzi on Aug 06, 2008

    Oh, the heart bleeds... for those who have trouble dealing with too many choices... ain't capitalism horrible? Those who beg for fewer choices can move to friggin' Belarus. Or Cuba, if they can't afford the flight... and want the option to swim back once they realize their folly and give up their lofty utopian ideals. My only criticism is that BMW (like so many others) didn't forecast today's downturn of gas-guzzler sales in the USA. Well, nevermind, because they have some amazing diesels that'll satisfy the need for gargantuan shove with decent mileage. Let's hope they make enough profit on those "sport" luxobarges so as to continue to indulge us with nuggets of joy like the 135i.

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Aug 06, 2008

    Looks like Saab 9000 hatch to me.

  • Axel Axel on Aug 06, 2008

    shaker: Chevy called, and wants their Maxx back. If they wanted it back, they'd still be producing it. That said, it was the only car in the whole dang freakin' GM lineup that was worthwhile.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 07, 2008

    No matter what a BMW is still a clas machine