BMW explains the rise of the SUV and the fall of the two-seater

SUVs and crossovers have gradually replaced sedans, station wagons, minivans, coupes and sometimes even convertibles on driveways across the United States, and manufacturers large and small are redesigning their line-ups accordingly. This trend is not recent, it is at least decades old, and it traces its roots to a wide range of situations that go beyond the “driver-like” argument that often comes up in this debate. Autoblog He sits down with Adrian van Hoodenk, head of BMW’s design department, to take the shift.

“It’s not easy to understand, because when you come here, at the Concours d’Elegans in Villa d’Este, most of the cars on display are two-seater. Seats. In the distant past that was still fine. Perhaps, if you analyze each person’s life, one There are times when they just want it. Then, for most people, life moves on to something where they need four doors and the ability to carry a lot of things, “says Van Whidunk. Autoblog.

That hasn’t changed: people still tend to settle down and have more to move around with their kids, dogs and, in general, the neighborhood. According to Van Hoodenk, what has changed over the last few decades is what drivers look for in cars when they reach this stage of their lives.

“In the past, the expectation was ‘I had it for a while, but I can’t get it anymore so now I have it.’ Today, people want everything they want, so it turned into an SUV with a sporty character and then it turned into an SUV-coupe [like the X6]. It may sound weird at first, but now it’s normal. People don’t want to give up a certain lifestyle because they need four doors, “he added.

Practicality is one of several factors in this equation. Another is the relationship between the fun factor of a car and the discounts that car owners need to make. Driving Z3 is an explosion – on the right road. In a traffic jam in 97-degree weather, this is a bit of a chore. Van Huydunk opined that the appeal of a great car is not dead, far from it, but it is the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčcompromising for a great car that is fading.

“What does that mean for two-seater, two-door cars? It’s pretty interesting, and that’s something we’re looking at right now. For the most part you can see now that companies are taking these cars out of the market. I hope this is a trend. Not that it will continue, but perhaps times have changed for the better. People are probably not ready to make the kind of compromise they did a few years ago, “he added. Everyone has said that the definition of what is great and what is seen for driving has changed significantly in the last few decades.

BMW is committed to its coupe and convertible model. Its line-up includes 2 series (which have recently been redesigned, and which will make a hot-robed M2 in the very near future), 4 Series, 8 Series and Z4. However, many of BMW’s competitors have abandoned (or are planning to abandon) the parts in which these cars compete. Mercedes-Benz has removed the two-door variants of the SLC and S-Class and it doesn’t sound like a direct successor to the pipeline. Then again, Mercedes has just released a new SL and is working on a new AMG GT coupe. The unconfirmed report claims that Audi’s TT and R8 are not long for this world.

Will BMW continue to be a safe haven for coupe and convertible fans? Time will tell.

“It’s something we’re playing around with right now, but I can’t tell you where it still goes,” he concluded.

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