Beemer Births a Bakkie
Once in a while, BMW’s M division go a little crazy. We’ve seen it with the M Coupe of the 1990s, those behemoth X5 and X6 M models and we’ll see it again with the 1-Series M Coupe which is set to arrive soon. Now they’ve done something unthinkable: the M division has created a bakkie based on their perennial best-seller, the M3.
The people at BMW are in the April fools spirit, it seems. In the release issued to the media, it looked as though the M3 Pickup could be an actual production model – having undergone rigorous pre-production testing at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife track and being subjected to road certification procedures. But only in the last paragraph of the release, does it mention the fact that the BMW Pickup is a once-off model built as a workhorse vehicle exclusively for the use of BMW M GmbH.
The BMW M3 Pickup is powered by the same V8 found the other M3 models, churning out 309 kW. Coupled with a rear-axle load capacity of up to 450 kilograms, the Pickup will be able to transport equipment quite briskly. Although the lap times of the BMW’s sprint around the Nürburgring have not been released, the press release purports an insane top speed of around 300 km/h.
The M3 Pickup moves around with around 50 kilograms less body fat than its sister, the M3 Convertible. Apart from being practical, with an aluminium-clad load bed, the Pickup could be a competent leisure vehicle too – for those Sundays where you simply want to enjoy a cruise. It has a Targa roof, not only rendering the joy of open-top motoring, but also reducing the Pickup’s weight by 20 kilograms.
Even though it was designed as a workhorse, the M3 Pickup still retains the sporting abilities of the rest of the M3 range: it achieved a Cd factor on the same level of the M3 Coupe, when placed in the BMW Group’s Aerodynamic Test Centre. The load area of the M3 Pickup can accommodate up to 20 46-inch golf bags – so those BMW employees lucky enough to get behind the wheel of this beast will have a ball teeing off.
I’m sure bakkie-loving South African customers would flock to an M-badged bakkie, if it were to see mass production. But for now, those in want of a high-performance pick-up must opt for choices like the Chevrolet Lumina SS Ute.
Photo Credit: Quickpic