With just a few months before the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the BMW rumormill continues to churn and the latest rumor revolves around a BMW Van Concept being unveiled at the last major auto show of the year. The rumors of a BMW Van-looking vehicle have been floating around for a few months now and while initially the rumor sounded crazier than ever, recent reports add more fuel to the fire.
First, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport featured a rendering of the Van-like vehicle. Dubbed internally Advanced Family Sports Activity Tourer, a name we have previously reported on, the Van-like model is built on the idea of mixing the space and flexibility of an MPV with the solidity of an SAV and the shape of a larger Touring model, but have maintain the car-like appearance. BMW’s ideas are to reinterpret the concept of a van to be more car-like, but without compromising space, flexibility and driving dynamics.
Second, Autospies published last week a leaked list of cars that will debut at the French show in October. Among them, there is a mention of a BMW Van.
Rendering of a BMW mini-van
Third, we learned through our own channels that BMW will unveil for the first their front-wheel drive vehicles, in the form of a 1 Series Gran Turismo, and possibly another niche model.
As always, we take these rumors with a grain of salt, but here is some more background information on why BMW is looking at a a van-like vehicle. Apparently the BMW AFAST went to the design table as demanded by customers who want a more premium offering which still fulfills their requirements around a van, but maintains the BMW values.
AFAST is said to be the reincarnation of BMW’s RFK project that morphed into the BMW 5er Gran Turismo. The car would be build on the new 3 Series platform, it would maintain the rear-wheel drive architecture. Inside, the car will feature a flexible design with adequate interior and cargo space.