BMW carrier bagged

24 Jul, 2007 1:00am

Although at first glance it looks just like a 3-Series Touring, this picture proves BMW’s much anticipated MPV has hit the road

Underneath the skin lies the basis for a model likely to be called the V3. It’s essentially BMW’s answer to sporty people carriers such as Ford’s S-MAX, and the firm hopes it will succeed where other prestige offerings like Mercedes’ B-Class have failed. Based on platform architecture shared with the 3-Series and the X3 SUV, the V3 will provide more versatility for families than any BMW before – but with the same style and driver appeal.

While this prototype doesn’t give away much – only the widened wheelarches and slightly raised ride height reveal the V3 will be bigger than the existing Touring – BMW bosses have made it clear that the new model will offer genuine flexibility.

The finished article will feature a high roof and a raised driving position – with an interior that features five, six and seven-seater options. Insiders claim the driving experience will be as sporty as ever and the looks will resemble those of a coupé.

Engines will be taken from the 3-Series line-up, with the
company’s 3.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel units topping the range. All variants will get BMW’s Efficient Dynamics system, which helps to save fuel and cut emissions. A four-wheel-drive model is likely, too. The V3 is set to go on sale in 2008.