Photos: BMW

If you want a glimpse at the future of BMW, don’t look at the hybrid i3 and i8. Don’t look at the new 3 Series. Gaze instead at the BMW X7 truck concept, an actual thing designed by real people that you know BMW wants to make. It is the natural conclusion of things. I refuse to believe it’s not inevitable.

This is not a rendering. It’s not a crazy mockup made by some artist on the internet. It’s a real vehicle made by a team of a dozen BMW Group vocational trainees for the company’s Motorrad Days, which is why it’s so adept at transporting motorcycles.

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BMW says it’s a fully functional, road-legal show car, and something those trainees may take camping in the mountains or something. It’s a BMW X7 xDrive40i, meaning it has the new 3.0-liter turbo inline-six putting out 335 horsepower.

It has a slightly longer body than the X7 SUV, but weighs 440 pounds less. The bed area is still relatively short, though, at just 79 inches with the tailgate open.

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And remember, BMW is no stranger to making crazy one-off pickup truck concepts; it’s done that through the years with various things, usually 3 Series models, like the E30 and E92.

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What baffles me is that BMW (and Mercedes and Audi and the rest) hasn’t done this already! BMW’s SUVs are its most American cars to date, both literally and figuratively. They’re huge, opulent, powerful and expensive, just like we like our vehicles. They’re made in South Carolina, too.

So it remains truly surprising to me that BMW and the rest of the Germans haven’t dipped their toes into the luxury pickup truck market yet. Those are the vehicles Americans are buying. We can’t get enough of our hulking $75,000 leather-lined hauling machines from Ram and Ford and GMC. There is money to be made here, and BMW must know that.

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I’m calling it now: it’s only a matter of time before this happens. Then you can watch Mercedes and Audi follow suit, and then BMW will rush out a “coupe” version of the truck with a slightly curved roof once one of those competitors does it first.

This is the future. You are a fool to think otherwise.

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