Photo and Screenshot: BMW

Most of the time when you see a development mule, a preproduction prototype for a car in the works, it looks basically like the finished product with some extra cladding screwed on. Often, that’s exactly what you’re looking at. But sometimes you get to see the really early stuff, and it is weird.

This is what appears to be a very, very, very early vehicle in the development of the wonderful Bangle-Butt BMW 6 Series of the pre-Recession days. It looked like a concept car for the road, with giant wheels and a bizarre rear end that looked like it was designed twice. What it did not look like was a mail truck, though this prototype very much did.

You can see it at the start of this video BMW put together of the 6er’s road to production, with a driver wheeling the open-wheeled not-a-jeep around a test track, looking like something involving the suspension, steering and/or tires were getting worked on.

I would imagine this vehicle has been scrapped, but I kinda hope it hasn’t. Maybe it’s in the side of a warehouse right now in Bavaria, and engineers sneak a little gas to do donuts in it when all the bosses aren’t looking.