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Spied: Mystery BMW -- CS revived? New 6-Series mule? You decide...

by Nick Aziz

Usually, we're able to identify the prototypes photographed by our spies with relative ease. But we've been sitting on these photos for a while and no source has come up with a solid answer. All we can say for sure is the vehicle is a 'mule' with the front end of a new car grafted onto an '09 7-Series. If BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer hadn't already announced the CS Gran Turismo was cancelled, we'd probably think this was that car. But a revival sounds unlikely -- so what is it?

Well, there's the distinct possibility this really is a CS mule. If so, there are two further possibilities. The first is that this is an "old" test car that was simply never spotted before, and just happens to be in use still. There's also the chance BMW has reversed its decision to scrap the CS, but that is even more unlikely considering the company's slumping sales and changing direction.

The appearance of this mule is also suspect. It clearly features the front of a new model grafted onto a new 7-Series. The CS was going to be built on a version of the 7er chassis, so that much makes sense. But the styling of the front end only has a passing resemblance to that of the CS Concept. There are so many basic differences between the show car and this mule that we believe it probably isn't a CS.

So what else could this be? It's certainly not the 2010 5-Series, which is well beyond the mule stage, and bears little resemblance to this car. One possibility is this could be the front of a next-generation 2011 6-Series grafted onto the 7-Series body. The next 6 is expected to be larger than the current model, so it's conceivable it could ride on a 7-Series platform. But at this point it's simply conjecture.

At this point we just don't know enough to say anything definitive, so Bimmer fans will have to sit tight and speculate.