Sometimes a good car company creates for itself a successful niche. Subaru for instance, raised its Legecy wagon, threw on some tough looking bodily cladding and told everyone it would be a great soft- roader. And it worked, the Outback became an instant hit, and other automakers have rushed into production their versions – the Volvo Crossroad, the Audi Allroad, etc. When auto makers come up with a new niche – and give consumers something they didn’t even know they wanted, they get the jump on sales, and usually figure since they’ve done it first, they’ve done it best. Mercedes came up with the four door coupe car – the CLS, and now all the Germans have a version – include VW with its CC. So a few years back when BMW gave us the X6, basically a SUV “coupe” with four doors, we all wondered who would follow suit? Acura did with their ZDX, although the verdict is still out if it has been a success. Rumors are Mercedes and Audi are working on their versions of the theme too. So surely VW will weigh in, as the Germans play Keeping up with the Reichmanns. And by all accounts the formula has worked for BMW – around the world, but not here in America. I guess it is a gamble to give Americans go-anywhere pretentions without the ability to take all your stuff with you. The Pitch: ” Hey Franz, how about we make a SUV but without cargo space??!!” And on some level, I get that. Most SUVs you pass on the road are carrying nothing but air back there – and certainly no more than you could fit in a regular truck. And the one thing people say they like about their SUVs is the see everything, high driving position. So this makes sense. Sort of. You see, it doesn’t really factor in America’s deep rooted sense of optimism and fear of common sense. In the translation from concept to automotive entity, Germans didn’t really take in the reality that although Americans rarely, if ever, actually go off road, we all want to believe that when the shit hits the fan, we can if we need to. To support this stupidity, we will drive vehicles that don’t handle very well, get bad fuel mileage and haul nothing but groceries in a space big enough for a couch. With the X6 the Germans gave us what we needed, but not what we wanted. Now they have refreshed it – bringing it into the more modern BMW design language, and sculpting out some of its more blunt edges. I have always liked it. It is absurd and to my eye at least, beautiful. A combination I find irresistible. But it does raise the question: who is more kooky, the Germans or the Americans?