BMW has built several "pickups," but none have entered production.
BMW has a weird relationship with trucks. The company caused a stir in 2011 when it converted an M3 E90 into a pickup, but it turned out to be an elaborate April Fools' prank. Before that, BMW secretly built a one-off M3 E30 pickup truck that was used to transport parts around the factory for 26 years. More recently, the automaker turned the X7 into a one-off pickup truck concept in 2019, but it never went on sale either.
While it has built several mock pickups in the past, BMW stubbornly refuses to put one into production. Sadly, the recent demise of the luxury Mercedes X-Class pickup probably won't change this, as it shows there isn't a high demand for expensive pickups from luxury brands. Americans like their pickups expensive, but domestic.
As a result, we've seen several owners attempt to build their own BMW pickup trucks based on existing models in the past, with mixed results. This latest effort was built by a group of students from the Career Tech Educational Center in Shelby County, and will be displayed at the Alabama Auto Show this month.
The project is based on a 2001 Toyota Tacoma, which received a face swap with a 1987 BMW 325i. In case you're worried that an E30 had its nose cut off for no good reason, both vehicles were out of commission. While the ingenuity on display here is commendable, the transformation isn't seamless. Look closely, and you can see the driver's door is out of line, but it's an otherwise convincing conversion. The Punisher skulls replacing the headlights are also an acquired taste.
It isn't known what lies under the hood. The 2001 Toyota Tacoma on which it's based was available with either a 2.4-liter inline-four rated at 142 hp and 160 lb-ft of torque, a 2.7-liter inline-four with 150 hp and 177 lb-ft or a 3.4-liter V6, good for 190 hp and 220 lb-ft. The BMW 325i E30 rolls with a 2.5-liter straight-six producing 168 hp and 164 lb-ft. We're hoping it gets that one.
If you want to see this one-off BMW pickup in the metal, it will be on display at the 2021 Alabama Auto Show, which starts on April 15 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.