• Feb 15, 2007
Could this portend the impending doom of the SUV as family car? BMW will be adding sportvans to their lineup beginning with the F5 in 2009. The basis for the F5 will be provided by the X5. Following on the heels of the F5 will be a van based on the 3-series called, quite naturally, the F3. Underneath the five-door five-placers will likely be found several power options, as well as available all-wheel drive with rear-wheel drive standard. The rhetoric is that large diameter wheels will be avoided, as they mainly detract from ride quality, add unsprung weight, and don't help handling as much as you'd think. The picture seems to run contrary to that statement, as the wheels fill the openings, but perhaps the graphic artist just got a little crazy.
[Source: Motor Trend via Topspeed]

These vehicles are aligned with the European "people mover" design ethos, as oppposed to the minivan convention here in the US. Both have their place, and we'd love to get some cool, fun-driving people movers over here. There's no need to make the step-in height ridiculous, as it is with some SUVs, in an attempt to lend "off-road" cred to a vehicle that will never see terrain rougher than a Scout camp parking lot. A nice, carlike entry and egress with comfortable, slightly higher seating positions and plenty of passenger space would be a good trend to start. Lower heights would equal a lower center of gravity, always welcome for those of us who like to occasionally overcook exit ramps. With the Roundel on the nose, you can be sure that the suspension engineers are making it behave in a familial manner, and they must be happy about removing any trucky pretenses from the platform, as well. Even if it costs as much as the Mercedes R-Class, it'll likely have far more joie de vivre, and hopefully it pushes other manufacturers to flood to the practicality of this form-factor.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Side note - me wants that M5 wagon. 500hp in a wagon would rock. My dogs might get a bit peeved from hitting their heads on the back glass everytime I stepped on it though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you're smart, you'll go out and copyright "Ultimate mommyvan machine" before BMW gets the chance.

      • 7 Years Ago
      UNDERQUALIFIED:

      WITH BMW TRYING TO ENTER THIS CLASS BUSTING SEGMENT BY 2009, THEY'RE WALKING DIRECTLY INTO A CLOSE QUARTER STREET BRAWL WITH A COUPLE OF MANUFACTURERS WHO NOT ONLY "KNOW" THE TERRITORY, BUT NEARLY OWN IT OUTRIGHT. MITSUBISHI AND SUBARU PRODUCE TWO OF THE HOTTEST RIDES ON THE PLANET PERIOD, WITH THEIR REMARKABLY POTENT SMALL DISPLACEMENT POWERPLANTS, ADVANCED AWD SYSTEMS, SINGLEMINDEDLY DRIVER ORIENTED INTERIORS, SOPHISTICATED TRACTION CONTROL AND TORQUE SPLITTING TECHNOLOGIES, AS WELL AS POSITIVELY HERCULEAN STOPPING POWER. PLUS, BOTH MANUFACTURERS ARE NOW TAKING BIG STRIDES TO MAKE THEIR NEXT GEN OFFERINGS FAR MORE PRACTICAL IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE. MITSU IS MAKING THEIR EVO X AVAILABLE AS BOTH A THREE-BOX SEDAN AND TWO-BOX SPORTHATCH, WHILE SUBARU IS GOING TO MANUFACTURE THEIR STI MODEL AS BOTH A TRADITIONAL SEDAN AND 4-DOOR HATCH MODEL; (ie, A SPORTSWAGON.). AND BOTH OF THESE COMPANIES' VEHICLES ARE WHITE HOT ROAD BURNERS IN RANGE TOPPING TRIM. SO, EXACTLY WHERE DOES BMW FIT INTO THE MIX... ? AND EXACTLY HOW ON EARTH DO THEY JUSTIFY THE PREMIUM PRICES ALWAYS DEMANDED BY THE BAVARIAN COMPANY? THE WAY I SEE IT, THE ONLY PLACE LEFT OPEN FOR THEM, IS THAT OF BEING A HIGH PRICED BUICK. AND I DON'T THINK BMW WOULD BE TERRIBLY HAPPY WITH THAT LABEL, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO BE COERCED INTO A THIRD PLACE POSITION. THE TWO TRANSASIAN PRODUCTS ARE POSITIVELY BRISTLING WITH HIGHLY RELIABLE CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGIES, AND EVERY ONE OF THEM ADDS DIRECTLY TO THE QUALITY OF THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE. DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY THINK THAT BMW IS INTERESTED IN CHASING AFTER SUCH A NARROW SLICE OF THE PIE...? I DON'T THINK SO. AND I KNOW DAMN WELL THAT THE MANUFACTURER OF "THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE" CAN'T POSSIBLY BE COMFORTABLE WITH THE NOTION OF HAVING THEIR LATEST EXAMPLE OF FINE GERMAN ENGINEERING ROUTINELY GETTING KICKED AROUND LIKE A HAPLESS PIECE OF CHEAP TIN. THEY MAY WELL DO ALL OF THIS, BUT IT'S NOT LIKE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN WARNED. I'M DAN SMITH FROM SQUARE-ONE AUTOMOTIVE.

      • 7 Years Ago
      John,
      The R-class has not met sales expectations for M-B in the US. They dropped the price by $5K for 2007(and some content), but have not drummed up much demand.

      When I was looking at them, the local dealer was pushing the GL, and had a hard time even finding an R-class on the lot for us to test.

      I get the feeling that buyers view the R as too minivanish to be a prestige vehicle. BMW may well face a similar challenge with this vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They oughta do a Rolls-Royce entry into the B-class economy car market, too.

      Makes almost as much sense as a BMW van.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this will be the doom of BMW
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks horrible but all current BMWs look like ass. The e90 in my garage every morning reminds me I drive one ugly car. Thankfully, I drive it from the inside. Unfortunately, BMW keeps making everything obscenely heavy too. i'm sure these things will be tanks. The e90/e92/e93 are massive...so imagine how heavy these minivans will be. Blech.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #2 Many said the same when they started to make SUVs...

      I liked the car, just please, don't make any with Series 1 headlights, they are just awful.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's a damn travesty that BMW avoiding bringing Touring M5 to states. I'd have gotten one in heartbeat. All the practicality of SUV, coupled with power, handling, looks, luxury.

      Anyways...I think this is the RFK concept BWM derived from Vel Satis and Signum cars. Granted this will be a lot better executed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW will always be about performance and luxury. Hell , the X5 is even a blast to drive on the backroads, but it also gives you the confidence to tackle bad weather. I'm sure this new performance minivan or whatever it is will have the heart of all BMWs of the past and blend it with some utility. I've always been a BMW fanatic since I first saw a 2002 and I still love Bimmers to this day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just what the world needs, more variations on the wagon. Ugly ones.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We wil have to see if BMW can pull off this one or not, if they do, all their detractors will do an about face an say it was brilliant, if not, no one will mourn the loss
    • Load More Comments