By on September 25, 2011

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.





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20 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Quantum Niche Theory Edition...”

  • avatar

    This means that an independent European ‘premium’ car maker is about to launch it’s 25th individual car model… (including the Mini’s and the ones about to be launched) Or did I exaggerate or forget some models? (multiply that with engine choices and M-models and they hardly make anything close to two identical cars…)
    What has this world come to…

  • avatar

    It’s nice to see that BMW is still planning to put in side windows into the X2, although they are clearly non-functional by now …

  • avatar

    Apparently BMW thinks the world wants an entry level X6.

  • avatar

    everytime BMW does something great, they do something stupid like this.

    this cancels out the i3 for me. *sigh*

  • avatar

    They could always name it the X4 (3 door) and X4 Gran Coupe (5 door)a la the 6 series. Because nothing describes an extra set of doors better than the words Gran Coupe.

    None of the GT’s are taken yet either. Y’all know the X5 GT is going to be next big thing.

  • avatar

    I guess a full-size spare tire is out of the question.

    Where do the X3/45/6 sell? Do they sell well in Europe? Asia? North America? I see them on the streets here (Canada), but I doubt they would be practical on narrow European streets.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Here’s an idea – BMW converts to selling nothing but SUVs and M-coupes/convertibles and then we can end this charade.

  • avatar

    It looks like a 1993 Grand Am had a baby with a monster truck.

  • avatar

    Here’s an idea: BMW can pay me $500,000 a year and all the Jager I can drink and I’ll pop out better ideas than this all day long.

    Chrysler aught to sue for copyright infringement. It looks like a modern take on the Eagle SX/4 with custom fitted 33″ tires and 30″ rims.

  • avatar
    kid cassady

    Saab actually vied for this same niche (if it really is one) nine years ago with its 9-3X Concept, which seems much more imaginative than the X4. Unfortunately, GM had no intention whatsoever of building it.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    If I owned a dog that was as ugly as that thing, I would shave its hind end, and make it walk backwards.

  • avatar

    Does anyone even care what BMW does these days?

    They can make a really nice 3-series for $50K. Whoa, how did they do that? Make a great car for $30K, then call me back.

    They can stick huge tires and a big V-8 in an SUV and make it go fast? Well, knock me over with a feather.

  • avatar

    Call me crazy, but I would much prefer some more Zs to Xs.

  • avatar

    Somehow, I think that all car designers equate tires with tits – the bigger, the better.

    So, “endowing” every concept with the Michelin equivalent of 44 D cups does the same thing to cars as it does to women…

    Makes you disappointed with the real thing.

  • avatar

    I don’t understand the continual surprise and lamentation of these vehicles after all these years.

    Manufacturers can build family cars that are faster than sports cars of a few decades ago, and sports sedans that are faster than supercars of 10 years ago. Meanwhile, highways are sufficiently crowded, copped, or camera-ridden that there is no way to exploit even a moderately fast modern car on the road.

    Why is it any surprise that in the quest to add capability, off-road prowess (even the pretend kind) is one avenue people and manufacturers take? Most people who own a sports car never use it on the track; most people who own an SUV never use it off road. So what? They want a high seating position, which allows a wider view in traffic. They want to feel important (which was all most sports cars were for to most people anyway). SUVs provide that.

    For most people, the reason to buy a car is to impress people, women in particular (I many women want to impress other women more than men). And, sad as you might say it is, most people today – women in particular – seem to like SUVs. Perhaps it’s an Id thing, selling the idea that a car can dominate in the rough-and-tumble world. But just like Supercars seem optimized for a world that doesn’t really exist – a $100K race car is far better on track than any supercar – so are these lifted sedans are displays of ability that don’t even need real-world performance to back them up.

    Personally, I would never want to own an X6M or a Cayenne, but since they are pursuing a type of performance I don’t want, complaining about them seems no different than complaining about the fact that a family appliance like a Camry is a family appliance.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    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.

  • avatar

    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!

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