What's Wrong With This Picture: Quantum Niche Theory Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

When word first began circulating that BMW was considering an X4, I wondered

is BMW trying to prove a kind of automotive Zeno’s paradox, in which niches can be infinitely subdivided?

It was a rhetorical question, of course, and the answer was “pretty much, yeah.” This official BMW sketch preview of the X4, which has been approved for production, shows a three-door version, but according to Autocar,

The car is also depicted in a pair of official BMW sketches. Although they reveal a three-door model badged X3, they hint strongly at the X4’s design, mainly its roofline and front-end styling; BMW sources insist that too much shouldn’t be read into the fact it has three doors.

But if MINI and Range Rover already have three-door “sport activity coupes,” isn’t it just a matter of time before Audi or Mercedes jump on the trend, forcing BMW’s hand? The only problem: there’s only one number between X3 and X5. Which means we will probably end up with an X4 xDrive28i (say) and an X4 xDrive28i Coupe. You know, the coupe version of the coupe version of the X3. Or maybe they’ll just move on to the inevitable X2 coupe version of the X1 and leave the task of trying to tear logical holes in space-time to the crazies manning the supercolliders.


Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Sep 26, 2011

    Does anyone care about visibility anymore, it used to be that you had to spend $200k or more to get lousy visibility, now they have lowered the price quite a bit.

  • JMII JMII on Sep 26, 2011

    Why not just build a 1 series hatchback? Oh that's right... people don't want hatchbacks they want SUVs just in case they have to drive across a puddle or a patch of road under construction to reach the Wal-Mart parking lot. I'm sick of lifted vehicles, as a teen in the 80's I remember when "cool" meant lowering your vehicle, yes even trucks!

  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.
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