Why Are These BMW Cars Camo'd If We've Seen Them Already?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
why are these bmw cars camo d if we ve seen them already

Over the weekend, I spotted a completely camouflaged BMW ActiveTourer heading into the mountains of Colorado. At the same time half a world away, a TTAC reader on vacation in Germany spotted a completely camo’d 7 Series on the streets of Munich.

What gives, BMW? We’ve already seen these cars before.

Turns out the story is less exciting than what I had for breakfast.

Well, in the case of the 7 Series, the car hasn’t been revealed to the public yet. Case closed.

But our mystery 2 Series Active Tourer driving around the U.S. is a little more interesting. Spy photographer Brian Williams — who didn’t take the 7 Series shots — clears it up for us:

“In June every year BMW brings about 50-60 cars into Death Valley. From there they disperse across the US doing all kinds of different testing. The reason that prototype is still camo’d is probably because it’s just more work to take the wrap off. It’s just a lot easier for them to leave the camo on.”

This must be the first instance in recorded history of a German automaker being accused of laziness.

But it’s spy season in Colorado, however. Several manufacturers send cars up Mt. Evans — the highest road in North America — for high-altitude testing. By the time they trek up the 14,000-foot mountain, many of the cars are fairly close to production and lightly camouflaged — if at all.

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  • OliverTwist OliverTwist on Jul 07, 2015

    I live in Munich and see those camouflaged BMW vehicles almost every day. I saw a lot of BMW models six to twelve months before their official release, including i3, i8, F15 X5, G11/G12 7-Series, 2-Series Active Tourer (with different rear door design), and so forth. Yet, it is very extremely rare for BMW to park and leave their camouflaged prototypes on the street. Leopoldstraße, a main trunk road going from city centre to the northern city boundary, is very popular hotbed of BMW prototype sightings. Additional bonus: the traffic can be mercilessly bad in the afternoon, keeping the BMW prototypes stuck in traffic and affording us excellent photo opportunities. I snagged a chance to photograph the early 2-Series Active Tourer prototype to the intense annoyance of test driver. Same with right-hand-drive G12 7-Series last April (a couple of months before its official reveal). I sometimes see BMW vehicles with partial swirl camouflage, namely the bumpers, which denote them as mid-cycle refresh. Some prototypes are so subtle that they are overlooked if not for 'WERKSTESTWAGEN' (factory test vehicle) sticker on the rear bumpers.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Jul 08, 2015

    Perhaps another series addition- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, perhaps 9 or 10 series? Something that'll attack the S-class directly?

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