BMW Group Classic recently published a video that showed never-before-seen concepts that the company built in the past, but never made it all the way to production. It’s an interesting look at the ideas that the German carmaker came up with, and on hand to walk us through two of them is David Carp, who has been working at BMW Group Design for 29 years since 1992.
The first is the ZBF 7er that was built in 1996 and is based on the E38 7 Series, although Carp and host Mark don’t really talk much about it. Hopefully we’ll know more about it in another episode, but the huge kidney grille does certainly remind us of what you’ll find on the current 7 Series as well as the M3 and M4 (hint, hint).
The other concept gets more attention here, and it was built by the company in 2004. Called the ICE or Integrated Concept Engineering, it was the work of BMW’s design studio in Los Angeles who wanted input from designers on what the Malibu lifestyle is all about. The result is this two-door crossover you see here, which rides on the chassis of the first-generation X5 but with the interior from the Z4 roadster from around that time, plus extra seats in the back.
One thing to note is the coupe-like roofline, which serves as a precursor to models like the first-generation X6 that arrived in 2008 (the Concept X6 arrived a year earlier), and would be a staple on BMW’s other Sports Activity Coupes like the X4 and X2 as well. On the ICE, the roofline’s design accommodates a multi-part panoramic roof and hatch system that can fit two mountain bikes in the boot. Also notice the side mirrors have spotlights on them.
The ICE was never shown to the public, although the X-Coupe that inspired it did make an appearance at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Thanks to BMW Group Classic, we finally get to see the ICE in the metal, 17 years after it was designed. Watch the video to learn more about it.
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