Should BMW follow in Mercedes' footsteps and compete with Ingolstadt's high-riding estate?
If there’s one thing the German luxury brands are good at, it’s to carve niches and then scale up and down across different segments of the market to fit a wider array of budgets. We’ve seen this happen with swoopy saloons and SUVs mistakenly labelled as coupes, and while they didn’t invent the rugged estate genre, Germany’s Big Three gave it a premium feel.
Audi has been selling an A6 Allroad for more than two decades and it didn’t have a direct rival until 2016 when Mercedes joined the fray with the E-Class All-Terrain. BMW has been standing on the sidelines all these years, but what if the Bavarians were to give the 5 Series Touring some SUV-inspired upgrades? Our Russian pals at Kolesa have envisioned a more versatile long-roof 5er with extra goodies derived from BMW’s X lineup.
The adjacent rendering is based on the 530d as denoted by the badge, but with an “x” prefix to signal the Touring’s SUV-like nature. It has gained the typical rugged estate goodies, including a lifted suspension, plastic body cladding, and beefy skid plates. Much like the Audi and Mercedes, the hypothetical rival has been envisioned with standard all-wheel drive.
Presumably, the high-riding estate would also have standard air suspension to modify the ground clearance in the same vein as its competitors from Ingolstadt and Stuttgart. The end result is a desirable all-in-one car for those who need a more competent 5 Series Touring without having to buy an SUV like the X5. We’re actually surprised BMW hasn’t built this yet given the niche’s appeal, inexplicably deciding instead to launch the oddball 5 Series / 6 Series Gran Turismo.
While BMW is currently staying away from this niche, Mercedes is expected to go after the A4 Allroad by preparing an All-Terrain derivative of the next-generation C-Class. There have been rumours and spy shots of a taller C-Class T-Modell, so it could happen as early as this year or 2022. If there is a silver lining in terms of BMW’s estate lineup, it’s that the M3 will finally get the Touring treatment by the end of 2021 / early 2022.