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Wednesday / 28 July 2021
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5 fascinating BMW-based bakkies

We all know BMW for their sporty cars, luxury SUVs, and adventurous motorcycles.

However, this is not all they have built during their long tenure as one of the top German car manufacturers.

They have made some fantastic and imaginative cars over the years, including the E92 BMW M3 bakkie.

The E92-based bakkie is not the only pick-up produced, though, and there were several concepts and one-off vehicles that have been built by BMW.

You can see five of the best below.


1986 BMW M3 Pickup

When this M3 was unveiled, its engineers were just as excited about it as the general public.

Case in point: they built a one-off M3 bakkie, exclusively for use at the BMW assembly plant in Garching, Germany.

The bakkie was built out of a convertible version of the normal roadgoing vehicle that the engineers had lying around, and its main purpose was hauling goods around the plant as quickly and efficiently as possible.

At first, it was fitted with the engine of the “Italian M3”, which was a watered-down version of the normal motor due to certain regulations.

Later on they decided to go all out and install the 149kW engine that was found in all other versions of the car.

The exterior, sadly, did not feature all the flares and angles of the original E30 M3 – and the narrower body of the 3-Series was opted for instead.


1998 Bertone Pickster

In 1998, a company called Gruppo Bertone revealed a rather strange-looking bakkie that had the engine of an M3, and the modified body of a 528i.

The name that was given to this “vehicle” was the Pickster.

It featured squinting headlights, a sort-of kidney grille, a rather flamboyant orange and silver body kit, and a blue interior.

It sat on 21-inch wheels, had high-mounted wing mirrors, and had a spoiler installed on the tailgate.

When you peered through the window, you only saw blue.

There were 5-piece bucket seats, a digital instrument cluster, and a navigation system all covered in blue – whether it was made of steel, leather, or even plastic.

The M3-sourced engine provided a healthy 239kW, and this allowed the Bertone Pickster to carry loads such as the BMW C1 scooter quite comfortably.


2011 BMW M3 Pickup

It seems that BMW had a fascination with turning their M3 cars into cargo haulers.

In 2011, they repeated the process they ran 25 years ago and turned the E92 M3 into a bakkie.

Another convertible variant was chosen, and production began just as before.

Early in the production sequence, however, a clever BMW employee pointed out that they should market this one-off M3 bakkie as an April Fool’s joke.

Not long after, the company released spy shots of this “upcoming model” as it was doing laps around the Nurburgring.

This fueled speculation at the time and BMW managed to fool almost the entire world as bloggers and journalists ran to write up reports about this exciting new “E92 M3 Pickup”.

They even released an official press release dated 1 April 2011, which presented the bakkie as the fourth body variant in the new upcoming range.

And stated “309kW under the bonnet and a payload capacity of 450 kilograms over the rear axle take the BMW M models’ hallmark blend of racing-style driving pleasure and everyday practicality to a whole new level”.

Only in the final paragraph did they reveal that this car was to be a one-of-one that was reserved for use as a workshop transport vehicle only.


2014 Mini Paceman Adventure

For the first time, an M3 engine would not be used for a BMW-based bakkie.

Instead, a Mini Cooper S Paceman, which produced 135kW from of its 1.6-litre motor, was driven by all four wheels and packed a rear bin.

The vehicle was built completely by apprentices and was made to showcase the abilities of the Mini engineers.

It had the typical Mini styling that we all know, but saw the rear seats being binned in favour of a “bak”.

Additionally, a snorkel-style roof air intake was added, along with a roof-rack and a modified chassis to ensure that this Mini could tackle off-road runs.

The Paceman Adventure featured exclusive Jungle Green metallic paintwork and was sadly never scheduled to go into production.


2019 BMW X7 Pickup

As with the first M3, the first X7 also received its own one-off pickup variant.

This time, however, it was showcased in a museum rather than being used as a workhorse around a factory.

This BMW bakkie was also the first to feature a double cab, and is definitely the most luxurious pickup which BMW has built.

It took 10 months to complete the project and the end product saw the X7 bakkie gain an additional 10cm in length and lose 200kg in weight compared to the SUV derivative.

The base model that was used to create this specimen was the X7 xDrive40i in Tanzanite Blue Metallic – whose roof got cut off right behind the rear seats and whose cargo area was now covered in wood rather than cloth.

The bakkie produces 250kW from a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine and has useful features such as height-adjustable air suspension for easy loading and unloading, and space for up to five people in the large cabin.


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