There is one niche BMW has still left untouched.
This has been the year of the BMW X vehicles, practically every X model in BMW's extensive line up has been refreshed and a few new ones like the X2 and X7 have been introduced for good measure too. Yet despite the introduction of the odd-looking Gran Turismo and stylish Gran Coupe models, BMW has never ventured into the soft-roading world of the Audi Allroad, Volvo Cross Country and Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain.
Designer Aksyonov Nikita has attempted to right this wrong with some interesting renderings of what a high-riding BMW sedan might look like, dubbing his creation the X-Cross.
The first designs show what a 3 Series sedan or wagon might look like with the trademark arch flares, underbody protector and jacked-up ride-height that differentiate cars like the A4 Allroad and C-Class All-Terrain from their standard counterparts.
While it is unlikely that BMW will ever introduce such a model, especially in the current F30 shape as it is soon due for replacement, the thought of a having an off-road capable BMW without needing to go the full SUV route sure is tempting. The sedan version looks a trifle strange though and this sort of go-anywhere capability is more suited to the added practicality that a wagon body style offers anyway.
Aksyonov also turned his hand to the new 6 Series GT and 5 Series sedan models. To our eyes, the 6 Series seems the more likely candidate for X-Cross status as it already has a huge rear hatch and would move the whole genre in a new direction.
Whether BMW ever do decide to build a rival to Audi's, Volvo's and Mercedes' offerings is unlikely. It has already saturated the market with X models of all shapes and sizes and seeing as the crossover/SUV segment is one of the fastest growing sectors, venturing into this area may be one niche too far.