BMW ICE Concept when the Concept “SUV” and “Coupe” were Still a Rare Sight

BMW ICE, German firm already began to test this idea years ago, especially when seeing that the X5, its first SUV, was a success after its launch in 1999. It was, clearly, the precursor of the X6 and the X4 that we have today.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BMW (@bmw)

İt was developed in 2004 and combines the powertrain of an X5 with the interior of a Z4, plus some small rear seats, becoming a kind of 2 + 2 coupe model. In this case, the name “ICE” does not represent what you think. . Because even though this car was powered by an internal combustion engine, the acronym stands for “Integrated Concept Engineering.” According to the brand, this was the basis for another model, the X Coupe Concept (2001), a two-door SUV that, in reality, only served as an exhibition.

Unlike the latter, the ICE Concept never came to light. And do you remember BMW designs at that time? Despite Chris Bangle’s controversial design language, which resulted in models with as many enemies as defenders, there were some even wilder things behind the scenes that, these days, even seem beautiful in perspective to us. And the ICE Concept is a crossover in the truest sense of the word, combining a coupe body and the chassis and ride height of an off-road vehicle.

The front end certainly looks quite polarizing with its oval kidneys and twin circle lights set on a shapeless bumper. But the subject matter becomes more interesting as you move backwards. Interestingly, most of the ICE Concept’s design was formed at BMW’s California Design Center. The Bavarian company wanted to get different opinions from the designers who knew the most about the Malibu lifestyle, and the result was what you see on screen, peculiar.

The most ingenious feature of the prototype is its rear, which can be accommodated in a variety of ways to accommodate cargo, such as mountain bikes, or simply to provide a cabin more connected to the outdoors. The BMW ICE Concept also features headlights in the side mirrors, something that many “active lifestyle” concepts mess with but few production models (like the Toyota FJ Cruiser) end up bringing to market.