And boy, does it look good.
Unlike most frankentrucks, this one actually comes from BMW itself, more specifically from the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions. Both departments teamed up with vocational trainees at the company’s Munich plant to turn a BMW X7 SUV into one-off luxury pickup truck.
Saved from the crusher
The donor was a pre-production X7 xDrive40i that was destined for the crusher. In normal guise, this so-called SAV (or “Special Activities Vehicle”) carries a turbocharged inline-six gas engine, good for 335 horses and 330 lb-ft. of torque.
Rather than being scrapped, the team took the $74,000 SUV, chopped off the back row, and replaced it with a teak-paneled cargo bed. The C-pillar was given chrome-accented handgrips, and finished off the back with a custom-made rear bumper, taillights, and tailgate.
They also replaced the roof panels, rear door components and cargo bed with carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, making it 440lbs lighter than its SUV cousins. That should give it more oomph than the X7’s already impressive 0-60 time of 5.8s.
The end result is a handsome five-seat double cab pickup with a 1,4m bed, or 2m with the lid down. There’s a hint of Range Rover inspiration in the body, while the handcrafted wooden bed reminds us of the Lincoln Blackwood. The truck is nearly 4 inches longer than the regular X7 but retains its AWD tranny and air suspension.
According to BMW, it took just 10 months to craft the one-off pickup, thanks to the use of 3D printing technology and no doubt, the augmented labor of its Munich trainees. And while there are no plans for serial production, the concept itself is fully road-legal and will be displayed at the company’s BMW Motorrad Days.
Not the first BMW flatbed
The X7 concept isn’t the German automaker’s first foray into pickup trucks. In 2011, it released a one-off ute based on the E92 coupe, with a bed lined in silver aluminum and powered by the M3’s beefy 4.0L V8. The 414hp beast was called “the fastest targa pickup in the world”.
But while both these concepts are destined to be garage queens, BMW did build a number of shop trucks back in the day. In fact, the company’s M division used a tiny convertible pickup based on the E30 to haul parts around the factory since 1986. It was originally powered by the E30’s emissions-throttled 192hp 2.0L mill, before receiving an S14 four-banger upgrade from the M3. The little runabout served the Bavarian automaker for 26 years, before being put to pasture in 2012.