We'll be the first to admit that BMW has taken us by surprise with the unveiling of its so-called Dune Taxi. A new fast-paced video published on YouTube by the company's Middle East division shows a wild purely electric off-roader with meaty tyres and huge ground clearance. With 400 millimetres (15.7 inches) of wheel travel, the eccentric EV flaunts its go-anywhere capabilities in a promo film co-starring the X6 M Competition and the iX M60.
The high-riding, electric beast wears the company’s enormous new grille but we'd argue the kidneys are – maybe for the first time – proportionate with the body. The Dune Taxi appears to have gullwing doors and a roof scoop, part of the natural fibre-reinforced polymer body. Slim LED lights at the front and rear give the off-roader a futuristic vibe while the stripped-down cabin has a full rollcage and "Cosworth" lettering on the centre control stack.
BMW Dune Taxi electric prototype
BMW has yet to issue a press release about the Dune Taxi, albeit it does share some juicy specs in this action-packed video. We do know the electric motors deliver a combined output of 400 kilowatts and 1,000 Newton-metres of instant torque, which works out to 536 bhp and 738 lb-ft, respectively. The contraption seems to be real even though some parts of the clip do appear to make heavy use of CGI.
Speaking of blurring the line between what's real and what isn't, the Dune Taxi performs a slalom manoeuvre to avoid a bunch of X5 E53s riding on two wheels before climbing a 130-degree slope. The video ends with the 2021 Concept XM, which will break cover in production form on 27 September.
It's unclear whether the nearly five-minute video is only to showcase xDrive and M with a heavy dose of "i" or BMW actually wants to go racing with the Dune Taxi. It would give the Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 a run for its money at the Dakar Rally.