BMW and its Chinese partner Brilliance Auto looks set to upset the convention by joint-developing a high-end MPV for the local Chinese market as reported by China Car Times. To be badged as a Jinbei (a Brilliance Auto-owned budget MPV brand), the said luxurious people carrier will be built around BMW’s N20 2.0 litre turbo four engine – the same motor found in the base 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models.

The Chinese premium MPV segment is an obvious but curiously untapped market, with even Audi, the predominant German luxury automaker in China yet to introduce such vehicles. The only new entry to the class is the Taiwanese Luxgen MPV with its Renault-based platform and self developed engine. An upmarket Brilliance MPV with technical assistance and premium directive from BMW will fill that void just nicely.

Here in Malaysia, the Jinbei brand is sold under the Berjaya Brilliance Auto (BBA) umbrella, offering licensed (previous generation) Toyota Hiace-based budget commercial vans. BBA also holds the rights to assemble, distribute and export Jinbei products to South East Asia.

A BMW-powered Chinese-built premium MPV – there will be no questioning its technical legibility then. But what about its brand appeal; would you be interested in one?