By James Raia
BMW makes vehicles admired by many performance-car enthusiasts. The automaker’s reputation, like other German carmakers’ pedigrees, is well-heeled and varied.
BMW makes comfortable sedans that power along the open road like sports cars.
What’s less known is BMW’s foray into pickup trucks. It made the E30 M3 and the E92 M3.
BMW made pickup trucks. Really?
The E30 M3 debuted in 1986. It had a 2.3-liter engine with 200 horsepower and it was a soft-top convertible. The pickup wasn’t a success but it lasted for 26 years – as a transport vehicle for the manufacturer.
The manufacturer also made a second M3 pickup, the E92. It included a 4.0-liter V8. It was short-lived and only was viewed as a prototype.
Both of the pickup trucks featured load bins lined with aluminum tread plating.
The legend of the prototype E92 will celebrate a decade next month. It debuted on April Fools’ Day in 2011. The joke backfired — sort of.
BMW never intended to make the vehicle to sell it to the public, but it was well-received. And in the past decades, advocates have expressed desires for BMW to make a pickup truck.
Even as recently as the 2018 Paris Auto Show, executives in the BMW Australia division, advocates for the BMW pickup truck to return, were told it’s not in the company’s plans. The market share potential is too small, BMW decision-makers reiterated.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.