By on July 21, 2016

BMW pickup

If you’ve ever though the backseat and trunk in your 3 Series would be a perfect place to put a long, flat cargo space for hauling dirtbikes, start planning a move to Australia.

According to Motoring, the German automaker is considering fielding a pickup variant Down Under — a move once thought impossible, but now looks much more likely, thanks to Bimmer’s rival.

BMW, purveyor of dignified, high-end rolling stock, said “definitely not” when asked last year if it would build a “ute” for utility-hungry Australians. That tune has since changed.

When asked again by Motoring, BMW Australia managing director Marc Werner replied, “Never say never.”

Why the change of heart? Blame Mercedes-Benz, and its tentative plans to offer its own ute in the Australian market in 2018. Traditionally, whatever Benz does, Bimmer feels compelled to do the same, while trying to top its competitor at its own game. German siblings are the würst.

“We’re watching the space closely,” Werner said, referring to his rival’s possible foray into the niche market.

It won’t be easy bringing a BMW ute to Australia. The automaker lacks the commercial trucks and vans that Benz already sells in the country, Werner said, adding that rival Audi could easily rebadge a Volkswagen Amarok pickup if it wanted its own ute. There’s a ghost of a chance that BMW could expand its relationship with Toyota beyond the Supra sportcar the two companies are jointly developing.

As an April Fool’s joke in 2011, BMW teased images of an M3-based pickup to satisfy the El Camino crowd.

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44 Comments on “BMW Might Build a ‘Ute’ Pickup Just to Screw Mercedes-Benz...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I am always trying to haul 2x4s in my 3 Series and am so tired of playing Tetris getting them to fit.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Yikes.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s no good unless it includes plywood somewhere.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Only Motoring Blog mentions here and the example they give is
    “Could the Toyota HiLux be a donor vehicle for a BMW ute?”
    Ute would mean a Amarok, Ranger, Mercedes fighter, not really a car based Ute

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Mercedes are already rebadging a Nissan Navara into some kind of “Mercedes ute”.

      They see the Amarok and want some of that pie.

      BMW could do the same since they seem to want to plug every niche like the dutch boy and the dyke (!!!)… there’s Isuzu? But Mazda are with them now…

      Who else wants to share their ute designs?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, we need something to replace the supercharged 6.2 Maloos or a Miami powered Falcon ute. We need more muscle car pickups. It would be nice if the US made a decent handling fast pickup and exported them here.

    To me it just isn’t viable for BMW to build a ute, unless they “buy” a chassis like Mercedes Benz had done.

    The only good chassis that BMW could use other than the Nissan Navara is the VW Amarok.

    Maybe BMW should approach VW as I’d say VW could use some extra cash at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      We don’t make them because no one buys them. People that buy pickups want a Raptor instead.

      As an aside, the 2017 Raptor’s order window opened up this week.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Adam,
        Pretty well how people feel about the Raptor, it is a contradiction in terms,cannot handle and Just a Ute that is OK off road. Must admit the Maloo did set a similar time to an Aston Martin DBR9 on the top gear test track, and was a pretty good rally car

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          That’s fine, but American truck buyers don’t really care about Australian Utes or how fast a truck is on the Top Gear test track. The Raptor is obscenely profitable and sells in decently large numbers. Americans want it. Dearborn Truck Plant will probably be making five an hour.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Adam,
            We have contradictory values, we are not interested in Raptors, more a US thing

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Wouldn’t a baja/prerunner style truck do well in the vast expanses of Australia’s Outback? Don’t you guys have dunes and stuff? I’ve never been there so I don’t know.

            My point about the US pickup truck makers not building a ute style truck is in order to justify it’s existence, it would have to sell well in the US, not just Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Adam,
            Yes Dunes we have and everything else, but a ” fun” Dune Jumper or Rock Crawler,would be an extreme niche vehicle. Something that carries a sizeable load(2,000lb +) over similar terrain and considerable distances , is very much sort after.
            That is why Jeep Wranglers are as popular as Smart Cars in the US
            Something like this more of an interest
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tLhXwa_LfuY

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            But we liked our Rancheros and we loved our El Caminos.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Johnster
            Which were and are still work vehicles primarily. Unlike US Pickups,they can handle and are a good rally/ drift vehicle. That is the ” fun” part
            Notice the before and after section on the link
            http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LA06-Ford-Falcon-XG-XH-XF-AU-BA-BF-FG-BOSS-Air-Bag-Load-Assist-Kit-In-Cab-Kit-/171111668647

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Lol. El Caminos are a similar concept to current US Pickups. “Work during the week and go to church on Sunday.”

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Adam, the Cab Chassis version of the Ford Falcon, with it’s 2,700lb payload allows it to up fitted or carry a reasonably heavy Truck Camper.
            Holden Maloo’s are the minimal payload, Sportscar handling.
            Falcon still used a a Pickup Truck replacement. Easy access to the bed and car like ride and handling make it well liked
            http://www.graysonline.com/lot/0001-5006717/motor-vehiclesmotor-cycles/2008-ford-falcon-bf-mkii-auto-xl-service-body-ute
            http://bomaderry.australialisted.com/trailers-mobile-homes/ford-slide-on-camper-98-travelon-slide-on-falcontravelon_17301224.html

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Adam,
        I’m talking a full chassis pickup, not a ute. Mercedes is apparently looking seriously into an AMG midsizer and VW is coming out with a more performance orientated Amarok. I wonder if the Germans are attempting to trump Ford and GM in the performance ute market here.

        As for the Raptor. There is limited scope use for them. Even the desert regions in the US are heavily populated. A Raptor would not last for weeks on end, especially when diesel is mainly the only fuel you can find within a 1000km. Plus the Raptor doesn’t have the capability required for extended outings. They can’t tow or load very well off road.

        They would be nice in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to drive to work and Bunnings and maybe for weekend jaunts to the beach, sand dunes.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Not that we’ve come to expect the picture you paint of OZ, typically distorted or slanted, but from everyone I’ve talked to, most towns in the Outback where you can find diesel, you can also find petrol. And more like 100 km in between.

          For you, I’m not sure, but this guy has actually been there:

          outbackjoe.com/macho-divertissement/macho-articles/diesel-vs-petrol/

          And not that anyone would expect you or your partner to allow the Raptor a fair shake, but once you highly modify an Ozzie Ute to match the Raptor’s off road abilities, you’ve equally diminished its towing and payload abilities, physically.

          Some would consider these things “trade-offs”, but it hardly matters if we’re talking slow/methodical rock crawling, or 100 MPH across the desert floor. But you’ll agree the Raptor, like or hate it, has inspired more truck makers to go beyond glorified sticker-packages.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike,
            Did you read the article???????????????????????????

            Here’s a cut and paste from it;

            “Fuel Availability

            Homesteads stock diesel only. Mine sites stock diesel only. Any remote area that needs power will probably get power from diesel gensets, so diesel will be found there. If you’re going bush then diesel is a better option in terms of availability.”

            Better get back to the drawing board. So, how many communities are there in the greater part of the Outback? How many people live there, 100 000 in an area as large as west of the Mississippi.

            DenverMike, why don’t you really put an effort into your trolling. Your style of trolling or as we were told the other day flaming is uncalled for.

            You aren’t that fncking stupid, moron.

            Adam, read his link, please. Then tell me if he’s is for real or on drugs or an alcoholic.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz,
          I doubt anyone is interested ,as the aftermarket crowd, would have produced something like this a long time ago.( there is a lot of tuning and modifier operations around) As far as factory stuff, there was the TRD Hilux, that came and went.
          Maybe , larger and heavier diesel versions of the current crop of Utes, would be the most obvious direction.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            RobertRyan,
            Factory sh!t generally is not as good as the after market sh!t. Factory is more a value adding exercise for the manufacturer. That’s why TRD was a fail here.

            Factory enhance off road vehicles do have improved off road performance, but it will not suit all. In Australia we will build an off roader to suit the individual. Why buy a factory enhanced off roader when you will need to replace parts to make into a worthy off roader?

            With a few grand or so investment you can turn the Landcruiser into an extreme off roader. And probably one of the most reliable off roaders around.

            Landcruisers here even come with extended range tanks as standard, so you can travel in the Outback. Front and rear diff locks are also standard on some 4x4s.

            The differences between us also is a base model midsizer comes with identical, traction, stability, diff locks, etc as the high end model. We don’t need to buy a FX4 package or what ever to make a 4×4 into a 4×4 with some form of traction aids.

            For the same money for a TRD Hilux you can make a far better Hilux than Toyota for the same dosh.

            So, now the biggest options from the manufacturers is generally roo bars and sports bars (useless waste they are), ute back liners if they are not available on the vehicle, etc.

            But, again you can buy better after market equipment than factory accessories.

            I do think the Raptor is a good pickup, but it is basically sold on perception to the hairdresser set, like a Wrangler is used here. Also, why would you buy a Raptor when you can buy a V8 diesel 70 Series Toyota Landcruiser ute or even a coil sprung Patrol pickup? A far better off road vehicle and far more reliable and capable for less or around the same.

            So, the Raptor can drive across the desert at 90mph, but how far will it get before it needs petrol and the petrol is not readily available. Another reason petrol is hard to find in the Outback off the beaten track is it sits in storage tanks and goes off. Diesel rules, mines, roadtrains, proper 4x4s, etc all run on diesel.

            I think the US off road scene is different to ours. I believe that’s due to our ability to travel off road for thousands of kilometres at a time and not be restricted to short runs of even a couple hundred miles. We did that to go to our fishing hole or just camping, drinking beer and swimming when I was up north, towing boats off road, with over 1 000lbs in the bed.

            That’s something a US pickup can’t do to well.

            A group of guys where I worked used to go buffalo and pig hunting. They traveled literally off any track, cross country using a GPS and always had a sat phone.

            Us fishing guys tended to have a “reasonable” track, you needed two vehicles sometimes to drag you through awkward sections.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…Having said that, most communities will have petrol so the difference isn’t huge…”

            That’s the part you must’ve missed. Yes diesel is found everywhere, every farm, mine, train, etc. But let’s focus on placed fuel is “sold”. And how far apart are they really? No BS this time.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike,
            How many communities are there?

            That’s the part you don’t understand. The communities are based near the only two highways that traverse the Outback. One north-south and one east west. This is in a area as I have mentioned as big as west of the Mississippi.

            So, where are these communities?

            Other than that there is nothing, but some stations and a few communities that only have diesel.

            Petrol is only on and near the black top. Petrol goes off when sitting in storage tanks as well. It costs massive amounts too. Three times what it is in the cities.

            You really are quite an unusual form of troll aren’t you?

            Go back to being another person on PUTC. I see you left and kept with me. That sort of makes me proud, that your drugged and alcoholic life is based around me.

            Again research, as I’ve actually lived in this region and worked in this region for a number of years.

            Its like me telling you about Winnepeg where you live.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’d be nice to get a true and honest picture of the Australian Ute scene/culture, from a local, instead of full distortion and the jacked agenda.

            Clearly the Raptor wasn’t designed for trekking open desert, slow/methodical, just as your best Ute setup for the Outback could never dream of keeping up with the Raptor going 100 mph on a rutted/sandy wash. Depends on your mission.

            But no one followed you here. You showed up on TTAC years after I was a regular. PUTC is polluted with the likes of you, no moderation, and you go completely unchecked there. Your extremely obscene and vulgar language there, says it all. I’d had enough.

    • 0 avatar
      DownUnder2014

      Funny, while the Aussie Utes are more popular, I do see the occasional Raptor floating around however. They’re two different sets of markets. At least that’s how it is in my area. YMMV depending on where you are.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Please. No. Just…no. I will turn in all things “Roundel” related if they do this. And this from a long-time Bimmer fan…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Meanwhile GM kills Zeta, Holden and the Ute – while everyone else piles on in the class down under.

    /facepalm

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      APaGttH,
      It would be nice to see a continuation of GMH and Ford Australia utes. For our size market (and NZ) they do sell well, but our volumes are low.

      I can see GMH and Ford losing ground. Now Ford and GMH will be forced to take on the Japanese utes head on. The niche they have filled they can’t replace at the moment.

      Ford could take the Ranger with a SWB, ie, a six foot bed on a single cab and drop a Coyote in it to appease the Ford fans. GMH could do the same with the Colorado and drop a 6.2 into it.

      I suppose Ford could use a 2.7 EcoThirst, but I don’t think the V8 boys will take to that.

      Now they would be midsizers to beat.

      But, the Germans are coming, I’d say with diesels as well. Imagine if BMW used an Amarok chassis and dropped a 381hp, 500ftlb BMW diesel into it? It would be possible to get over 35mpg as well. Something a gas engine will struggle with, even not considering the hp and torque.

      But, I would settle for a in line BMW six petrol in a midsizer.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Here’s the engine that would suit an Aussie BMW ute.

        http://www.gizmag.com/bmw-adds-four-triple-turbo-diesel-performance-m-cars/21227/

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz,
          Keeping it very cheap , with a lot of Power,and pleasing the ” hooning” element of the Utes how about,this Holden V8,( Not a Chevrolet)with an improved bottom end, 700hp and up to 500cu in a very non metric size.
          http://www.torque-power.com.au/big_paw11.htm

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Robert Ryan,
            V8s are nice, but a dying breed.

            A 308 will not fit into a Colorado due to it’s 90 degree vee.

            As for 308s, we used to run one at the drags with an 800 double pumper, 13.5:1 compression, solids, valve guides, in 1981 had the head rollerised, back then the heads cost over $5 000 and heaps more, triple plate clutch and more.

            The problem back then were differentials, Salisbury, sh!t and weak, but saved the Muncie a few times. A 9″ from a Ford would of been better.

            Used to run 12s in a HQ van. At the time probably one of the quickest 308s in the country. One night we did a very early run down Hume Hwy/freeway with a 3.08 diff at 7 500rpm. We worked it out to over 167mph. That’s fncking fast.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “Never say never…we’re watching the space closely” translates into, “Please continue to write stories about us, we always like free PR.”

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    It’s only a matter of time before FCA counters with a Challenger Hellcaminocat!! The “Sweater” demands it!

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    “If you’ve ever though the backseat…”

    thought?

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    A perfect opportunity to try out the new FWD platform, you can get a nice low bedfloor with it.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Where’s BMW’s G-Wagen? Or UNIMOG?

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