Over the past few years it would seem BMW has been dedicated to extending it ‘s brand to smaller and smaller vehicles. While premium in their class they are departures for a brand that historically catered to wealthy customers looking for executive four door sport transport. But BMW hasn ‘t forgotten what got them where they are today and over the next 5-7 years the brand will return to it ‘s roots with a series of new large car introductions that will give customers all the feel associated with BMW ‘s but a little less of the guilt.
Through two generations BMW X5 has lead the industry. By any account it ‘s been a sales and marketing homerun for BMW and has allowed the company to profit and expand into many new arenas. And the vehicle itself has been praised for being one of (if not the) best large crossover currently sold. However there ‘s always been one thorn in the size of the X5; weight. At a staggering 5,379 lbs in 50i form the X5 is nothing less than a pig when compared to what family haulers weight some 15 years ago.
Yes BMW has to feature extensive technology and safety advances to keep their position in the market and yes those add to the enormous weight to a vehicle like the X5. But with new efficiency standards set to debut in the US and many parts of the world make that figure simply unsustainable.
BMW has an plan. According to sources F40 X5 (set to debut just before the 2015 EPA regulations go into effect) will be based on a new aluminum chassis that will significantly reduce the weight of the SAV.
The F40 (yes a bit a loaded name for car enthusiasts) will debut in late 2013 with evolutionary styling that will likely follow the current BMW brand design trend started with the current 7er and dimensions close to the outgoing E70 model.
BMW ‘s Other Aluminum Plans
So that ‘s BMW ‘s plans for the X5. But the aluminum chassis found in the X5 will be based on a modular design that will underpin everything from the next generation 5, 6, 7 and even the RR Phantom. Interestingly one source (herr26 – long a favorite of ours who posts on BF and elsewhere from the confines of BMW) claims that it will even form the basis of a CS Concept however we can ‘t confirm that at this time.
Beyond the new aluminum structure BMW intends to use it ‘s recent investment in high strength, light weight steel technology to further lighten the final production vehicles. Through these materials, more efficient design and the use of hybrid petrol and diesel engines, the next generation of BMW ‘s large vehicles look to lead the industry in efficiency and gives the cars a edge in weight they haven ‘t ejoyed in years.
The X5 will lead the way with the F40 (2013) followed by the next generation 7, 5 and 6 in that order in the years ahead.
For the X7 it is as they say “Up in the air” They are more interested in more premium “niche” concepts that are missing and needed more rather than an enlarged SAV.