By on February 2, 2009

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

48 Comments on “New BMW PAS: Do They REALLY Think This Way?...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Everyone involved in the development of that vehicle and that commercial should be hung from lampposts.

  • avatar
    cruzmisl

    It’s pretty obvious to me that they just spit the vehicle out first and then made this video to try and convince us that this monstrosity actually endured a thorough development process.

    Blech.

  • avatar
    durangodoug

    Just wait for it, they add the bangle butt right around 2:05. Hilarious, but I’m still a fan of BMW, just not their ad agency.

  • avatar
    cruzmisl

    I personally forgave them for the error of bangle after they introduced the E90 coupe.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Jeeeeezuus, I felt like I just watched a really bad infomercial where they have some nitwit asking truly stupid questions.

  • avatar
    John R

    What ever you do, just don’t call it a wagon, huh?

    Maybe if AMC had an ad department this ferocious they’d still be around…

  • avatar
    jayparry

    “Its not a sedan… or a SUV… or a wagon…” … wouldnt that be a HATCHBACK?!

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    Sweet, a command seating position!

    Also, enough with the AMC comparisons already. They are not relevant.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Also, enough with the AMC comparisons already. They are not relevant.

    Yes, they are. With more modern running gear, cars from the jack-of-all-trades vehicles from the Venza to the X6 are functional successors to the AMC Eagle: not quite a wagon, hatch or SUV, but a compromise of all of the above.

    I liked the Eagle, especially because it was, at the time, unique. I don’t particularly mind the X6, but I’d certainly feel better about it if a) the load floor and ride height were lower and b) the 5-Series wagon wasn’t so damn good.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I like it a lot. I see why I like cartoons. The x6 is a heavy machine though, also costs a lot and uses a lot of gas. I’m not aware of how it is to drive exactly but this is a great idea. I’m glad they made the vehicle. I’d love to have one once in a while. It has a lot of compromises still its worth a drive.

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    I do like that they gave it dual exhausts!

    Otherwise, yeah, they just created a station wagon. Only they chopped off the back so it has less cargo capacity. The hatch-wagon.

    Long live the Taurus X! Given how many people are rushing to copy it (Honda, now BMW, Porsche next, no doubt) it was apparently the most brilliantly ahead-of-its-time vehicle ever conceived….

  • avatar
    sean362880

    “Storage area separated from the passenger area. Everything stored discreetly, nothing to be seen, smelled, or heard.”

    What are they expecting their customers to transport? Dead bodies? Live ones?

  • avatar
    richeffect

    Sounds like BMW’s starting to build tarted up Subarus.

  • avatar
    Albnyc

    So this is a commercial for derivative thinking? Hasn’t MB already thought this through with their R-class? Just asking?

  • avatar
    dgduris

    All that to tell the world to buy an Outback, A6 AllRoad or Citroen?

    BMW should fire their agency immediately!

    And hire me! Ha!Ha!

  • avatar

    They had me with the promise of “easy entry.”

  • avatar

    Hmm I guess they just let Bangle doodle for fun now.
    I also guess they’re trying to make us give the X6 a second chance.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    “Also, enough with the AMC comparisons already. They are not relevant.”

    They are incredibly relevant. BMW wants to take credit for creating some kind of new category – the less practical, more expensive SUV. But they’re just knocking off a 30 year old American Motors design.

    John R:

    The similarities in your link are shocking. They have the exact same profile, and even the have the same black plastic wheel well outline.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Now I understand. Cars are now designed by cartoonists. No wonder they look so much like toys.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Perhaps I missed it but where is the part about how it drives? What happened to the ‘car loves the road’ etc?

    If you dumped the rondels from the cartoon ballons, what said “BMW” about this ad?

    The agency could have sold that ad to any car company, with only slight modifications.

  • avatar
    beken

    I think Pontiac did exactly the same thing. A car designed by a committee asking too many questions and coming up with a big giant compromise that pleased nobody. At least the bean counters get a say in the design.

    I do like the cartoons though.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    psarhjinian: No, they’re not. They were and are for different customers.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Lokkii,

    Good point! BMW used to be about ultimate driving machines. What are they about now? It is frightening to surmise from this ad!

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    re: “…but I’m still a fan of BMW, just not their ad agency.”
    durangodoug / February 2nd, 2009 at 11:34 am

    i guess i’m just the opposite – except for 3-series coupés and the x-6, i find most bangle-era bmw aesthetics downright offensive. and although i’ve personally owned three bimmers in the past [1986 – 1997], i won’t be buying any of these.

    but i do like the advertisement. i find its look, visually distinctive, which should help separate it from the clutter of its competitors ads, in the minds of its target audience – and its storyline linear, logical and pragmatic – qualities i have historically associated with the design of desirable german automobiles.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    No, they’re not. They were and are for different customers.

    Valid point, but that has more to do with the time period than a functional difference of product. Had BMW sold an E12 in 1980 that had all-wheel drive, was raised six inches and had a hatch instead of a wagon or sedan rear, it would have been an AMC Eagle competitor. BMW, in the late 70s and early 80s, didn’t have anything resembling the brand cachet they do now.

    Were AMC still around, there’s chance you could speak of the in the same breath as BMW today. After all, it’s not entirely inappropriate to say that a Volvo XC70 or Audi Allroad would compete, and neither of those two brands were playing significantly above AMC’s game in the Eagle’s heyday.

    The kind of buyer that would be attracted to the X6 flat didn’t exist in 1980, so comparisons about “different customers” is hard to make. If AMC still existed and continued to crank out cars like the Eagle, there’s a good chance that today they’d be an American Volvo or Audi.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    re: “…what said “BMW” about this ad? The agency could have sold that ad to any car company, with only slight modifications.”
    Lokkii / February 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    true – but if one will stop and think carefully about them, the same could be said for many, if not most, automobile advertisements these days. there is a whole lot of product parity going on out there.

    which is why broadcast video ads also rely heavily on repeated exposure to specific product imagery and the brand’s logo.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    No doubt these guys have white offices lifted directly from the set of Woody Allen’s Sleeper.

    Pow! I Never forgot that gem R.F..

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    psarhjinian:

    I second that, they really weren’t for different customers. The Eagle brand was expensive and aimed at professionals.

    Hell, the Eagle even had an Inline-6.

    Or possibly like.a.kite’s point was that pudgy women in capris didn’t drive AMC Eagles. That seems to be the market for anything from BMW that starts with an X.

  • avatar

    Ha-ha. Flashing to a Saab ad campaign with a sketch of a driver smiling maniaically. The account exec had doodled this, and spent ages forcing it through – he considered it the height of high automotive advertising art.

    We spent a lot of saved up capital blocking it, but it ran when we were no longer working with Saab international. The account exec did an end run in the interim, and got “his ad” out.

    Anyone notice? It was worse than this, and this is really bad.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I want my three minutes, thirty-eight seconds back, BMW.

  • avatar
    Rev Junkie

    So what, they made it high off the ground, just for better visibility, made it look like a coupe for an elegant profile, and gave it a big trunk? So it has the height and center of gravity of a wannabe-truck, aka “crossover”, the visibility reduction of a sloping roofline, and instead of giving it a practical hatch, they give it a trunk big enough to store large items. Does anyone else see the contradictions made just to avoid being called a truck, a sedan, a coupe, or a wagon? So what are they going to do? Take a 5-series, raise it to an X3-level height, give it a roof like the 6-series, and a raised and lengthened trunk? It seems BMW is bored with making sports sedans and finds amusement in making automotive Frankensteins. Either that or they want to see if people will buy the most ridiculous vehicles just because of the BMW badge. In any case, it seems the watchamacallit X6 is just the beginning.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Is anyone, anywhere going to believe that a car with 20″ rims and $2000/pair painted on low profiles preventing even modest ‘offroading’, yet the interior floor height of a Jeep, is somehow designed by people concerned with clever ‘practicality’. Sheesh!

    There is ‘some’ reason to lift the roof a bit on the 5T, and perhaps even the seats, as higher seat cushions do give more legroom for a given length (lower legs closer to vertical), but not if you at the same time lift the floor. And add a few thousand pounds of weight. On an ‘ultimate driving machine’ to boot.

    Hint to automakers: Start publishing the inside volume / outside required container volume ratio of your cars, and make it a competitive point. Then, go get your doodlers all clever.

    Oh! and I almost forgot: First Class on an airplane sucks! You are still on a nasty airplane! Eating nasty, preprepped food, in bone dry, nasty air. With people from all over the world flaunting their latest virus acquisitions. It might be less absolutely torturous than Cattle Class, but it’s not something to aspire to. Even if it does, like certain automotive aboninations, cost a few shekels and may, just may, impress the celebutante set.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    psarhjinian: except (accept?): you don’t know that a new AMC Eagle today would be in the same category as the BMW. Call it a successor if it makes more sense, but the Eagle was at no point in mind while building the X6.

    BMW’s not copying them. I, possibly for one, think that the video rather well illustrates how the company ‘thinks’ (and thus answers the titular question in the affirmative). The collective mind at BMW is looking for holes to fill profitably. A weird and entirely segment-blurring tall wagon sedan thing that admittedly probablywill look like a Venza? A BMW Cayenne Turbo that doesn’t look like a Touareg? Perhaps they won’t (and don’t) sell as well as their projections say, and perhaps BMW’s seat for every assedness will ultimately be its downfall (I was OK with it until the X1, which came after this PAS), but as the company grows evolutionarily some of these blasphemous and perceivably-imitative new models will come to define their genres as a product of the detailed thought process behind conceiving them. Those thoughts being ones involving filling holes profitably, and the trying of one’s luck on new opportunities. The X6 is only an Eagle successor by way of several coincidental similarities.

    And yes, it is too bad about all the platinum yoga classers who buy them. But it’s this way because they are such nice vehicles. In the era of the Eagle, weren’t the aspirational cars for the same people closer to something more traditional?

    The X6’s offroading capability is there only as a selling point. To make money.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Two little points from me.

    Firstly, BMW is not about layout. Fiat is about layout. BMW is about the ultimate dingsbums and making cars that tailor to yuppie tastes. This ad is all wrong, because it tells us BMW is concentrating on the wrong topic. It’s like an ad telling us how Ferrari is breaking its ass to up its mileage.

    Secondly, I think the BMW PAS is an upcoming vehicle, is it not? The X6 that commentators allude to is already here (it’s also neither here nor there, despite Lieberman’s love of it), but the Progressive Activity Sedan is a kind of middle ground between an SUV and a minivan. It’s a true abomination, too, despite all efforts to influence the early adopters though teaser comic-videos.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    PAS is French for BUT, just as Nova is Spanish for does not go. I will stick with my 528es and my Grand Wagoneer thank you very much.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    BMW is about the ultimate dingsbums and making cars that tailor to yuppie tastes.

    BMW is about ultimate driving machines, a taste shared by not only yuppies.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    BMW is about ultimate driving machines, a taste shared by not only yuppies.

    Well, in some of their cars, yes. But they manufacture and sell cars that are not ultimate driving machines as well, particularly outside the US. For example, in Europe the low end on the 3-series is the 2.0L 318i with 143 hp. 0-60 in 9.1 secs (9.9 on the automatic) is not an “ultimate driving machine.”

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    I agree with Detroit-Iron.

    By about 50% through this video you could just tell it was going to be a justification of the X6 disaster.

    (The sweet turbo V8 engine will be only carry-over when that puppy is put to sleep….)

  • avatar
    Ferrygeist

    “Now I understand. Cars are now designed by cartoonists.”

    You won’t be shocked to know that for such a small number of people who can call themselves car designers by trade, they are disproportionately represented in the animation industry.

    At the studio I work in (err, most famous in the world), I can name three co-workers making cartoons who used to design cars.

    Cartoonists and Car Designers: BMW completes the circle.

  • avatar
    detlef

    BMW’s imitation of Pontiac is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    johnthacker :
    For example, in Europe the low end on the 3-series is the 2.0L 318i with 143 hp. 0-60 in 9.1 secs (9.9 on the automatic) is not an “ultimate driving machine.”

    And in Austria they have a 122hp 316i for tax reasons – which proves what?
    BMW is much more about handling than about straight line speed. The four-cylinders are the brand’s core.

    If you want to talk about something that doesn’t fit the brand values, why not talk about
    -automatic transmissions
    -AWD
    -tall vehicles with lots of ground clearance
    -pleather seats instead of proper cloth

    Disclaimer: I drive a BMW, and it has 143 hp, 221 lb-ft. I like to drive fast, and I get a lifetime average (calculated) of 43 mpg (US). It doesn’t have iDrive.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    TTAC has possibly posted pix of the PAS, but I can’t find them, so here’s a link. And before anybody else does, let me ask: what kind of animal is overweight, has enormous nostrils, hooded eyes and bushy whiskers?

    http://www.cochesdb.com/wp-content/bmw-pas-2009.jpg

  • avatar
    JJ

    As a fan of the brand, I’m not liking the idea of this new vehicle. I still wonder why BMW insists on making the same mistakes Mercedes made in the last 10-15 years. The X6 is already a reach, but it’s fine because it’s not much more than a design option on an X5 and they will probably attract some people with it that would otherwise have gone for a Cayenne or something else entirely that’s a little weird.
    This however will be more like a 5-seater R-class, it will mostly be an MPV and that works even less well for BMW than for Mercedes.
    I am on the other hand looking forward to the X1 though, from what I’ve seen so far it looks quite good, it’s practical and it will be available with RWD. I think it’ll do really well, especially if they can offer it for prices comparable with the 3-series. Personally I’d probably still rather have just a 3-series but at least I can see a potential market for the X1, which is something that can’t be said of the 5PAS.

    And in Austria they have a 122hp 316i for tax reasons – which proves what?
    BMW is much more about handling than about straight line speed. The four-cylinders are the brand’s core.

    I would argue the 4-cylinders make up the volume, but the I6s are the brand’s core. Otherwise I agree with you completely, but I think US citizens are only now starting to understand the importance of handling over power.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Actually, a Pontiac Aztek combines many of the qualities expressed in this video – except for the “cou-pay” roof and ‘twice pipes’.

    Of course, BMW will manage to squish all of these incongruous design elements together and market this overweight, expensive vehicle to people who will defend it against attacks from all over.

    Wash, rinse, repeat?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    This just in: Bangle is leaving BMW.

    Very fine news, I say. Not that it will make much of a difference for the PAS, or for most other models being developed.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    They hired the whiteboard guy from UPS to do the animation, so expect a smaller Brown truck.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    @oldowl…

    albeit one that is Hydrogen powered!

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    Anyone else getting annoyed by car companies that say their vehicles can’t be categorized like anything else?

    SUV,SAV,LUV,Crossover and the list goes on.

    “Normally I wear a shirt and tie to work but today I’m going to wear a shirt, tie and a baseball hat. I bet no one will even recognize it’s me.”

    It would be interesting to see a company have the balls to classify their vehicle as a “wagon”.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: @el scotto–Agree. Add we will sell what is left of this hollowed out company to the Chinese and go away...
  • mcs: ” I would wager that 99.9% of all EV owners have a second car that runs on dead dinosaurs.” Why? Not...
  • Jeff S: @DenverMike–You are correct if you live in an area without salt and chemicals on the road you can make...
  • Imagefont: The question is not about subsidies, the question is if you buy an EV right now, the way the world is...
  • mcs: “rather than going to oil companies.” Actually, what I should have said is rather than the entire...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber