This may sound ridiculous, but BMW has taken interest in an X3-derived pickup that was unveiled at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars by engineering graduate students from Clemson University. As a part of Clemson’s Deep Orange vehicle prototyping program, BMW directed the Clemson team to create an X3-derivitve capable of hauling potted orange trees in the back, but without sacrificing the luxury and sports car performance expected of a BMW.
BMW mandated that all materials used be BMW-approved, and the team was encouraged to create a low-cost manufacturing plan that could produce up to 5,000 of the vehicles and would ensure the new BMW’s sticker price is no more than $8,000 above the current X3 sticker price.
The students devised an impressive plan that would cost the automaker just $10.2 million in assembly line and process alterations to build the concept X3 pickup. According to autonews.com, the result is an X3 with an altered roofline and body shape to create a sporty car with a rear that can be used as a pickup.
“It’s a BMW with a trunk available for hauling,” Ashish Dubey, the project’s manager at Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research said, “but still fit for speed and performance.”
What do you think of the concept? Is there a niche for such a unique car in the luxury market? Tell us in the comments!
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