6 May 2004

BMW’s top brass have been looking at a whole generation of secret new products, including this strange box-shaped vehicle running on Mini Cooper wheels. The two-day Munich viewing gave board members a chance to take decisions on models including the next generation 3-series, due in autumn 2005, and the 7-series facelift coming next spring. Also under consideration were early proposals for the BMW Z4 replacement, despite the current roadster only being launched last year. Execs are deciding whether to go with another cloth roof or develop a folding metal hard-top. But the most intriguing of the 16 products on display were a pair of boxy suggestions, the smaller of which is pictured above. The Mini wheels suggest that the product approval meeting was for both brands.

The square shape under the tarpaulin backs suggestions that this car is a design study in interior packaging on an extended Mini platform. Although still visibly a three-door, there is a longer gap between the door and the rear wheels, betraying the lengthened wheelbase.

This car is separate from the estate ‘Clubman’ model that has already been approved. It will be launched in 2008, alongside the next Mini hatchback.

A second MPV-style car was also on show. Based on a 5-series, the Space Concept has a centrally mounted steering wheel, a high driving position and six- or eight-cylinder engines. It was going to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, but BMW had a last- minute change of heart.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK