BMW Tries Hand @ SUV Psychology: 'You're Getting Very Sleepy...'

January 30, 2009

"Something new, full of character, 100 percent BMW..." That we can believe. "Not a sedan, not an SUV, not a wagon." Come on, BMW, you've tried the SAV (Sports-Activity Vehicle) thing already, and we ain't buying it. Last time we checked, 5,000+ lbs, a high roll center, four doors, and a hatch (not to mention a thirsty engine) was an SUV, pure and simple. Could this be BMW's first foray into the crossover segment (for which, undoubtedly, they'll invent yet another acronym all their own)?

In the video promo above, complete with a whiteboarding session meant to evoke the product planning session that resulted in - yawn - yet another BMW SAV SUV SAC WTF-UV (props: Jalopnik), BMW walks viewers through a presentation that does show some admittedly cool features on this vehicle under development. Adjustable rear seats, a la the abandoned last-gen Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, provide either more cargo room or "first class" accomodations. A panorama roof lets the sunshine in. A trick storage compartment within the rear cargo area seals out odors and keeps items warm or cold. As well, the cargo area is separated from the cabin, "just like a sedan."

2009 BMW X6

2009 BMW X6

Enlarge Photo

How is this concept really any different than a tricked-out BMW SUV? Time will tell. They told us the X6 "Sports Activity Coupe" was in a class all by itself; possessing slim utility, narrow usefulness, and a bulky and awkward exterior, most journalists found it to be a plodding receptacle for thirsty engines and rich suburbanites with something to prove.

In their presentation, BMW claim that a station wagon "has too much utility character." Let's hope that this new offering actually has enough to make some sense.

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