2010 BMW V5 - Sneak Preview 2008

BMW's upcoming "progressive activity sedan" will join the X6 "sports activity coupe" on the list of vehicles attempting to tap into niches that you didn't even know existed. This tall sedan-cum-hatchback puts an emphasis on rear-seat room, with styling taking its own back seat.

The V5 gets its platform from the next 5-series, and it will be available in either a four- or five-seat configuration. The V5 mixes visual elements from both the X6 and the 5-series, and it attempts to combine those cars' missions. Rear-seat occupants will be treated to roominess rivaling that of the 7-series. The cargo opening can open either like a hatchback or hinge at the base of the rear window like a traditional sedan's trunk.

A choice of three turbocharged engines will be offered: a 3.0-liter in-line six, a 4.0-liter V-8, and a 3.0-liter diesel. All engines will be mated to a new ZF-developed, eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.

THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MINIVAN: We admire most of BMW's lineup, but this just seems like overkill. Does the world really need three SUV/SAC/crossover vehicles (X5, X6, V5) based on the 5-series? Especially if they all look about the same?

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