Rumored: BMW's Front Wheel Drive Strategy Outlined - Starting with the 1 Series - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > BMW News

BMW News
Get the latest BMW headlines, news, and rumors and discuss the future of BMW with other BMW enthusiasts!

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-17-2010, 07:03 AM   #1
BMW's Front Wheel Drive Strategy Outlined - Starting with the 1 Series
tim330i's Avatar
tim330i Founder
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: SF
Posts: 15,488

Show Printable Version Email this Page

posted by tim330i

BMW will abandon decades of tradition and launch its first front-wheel-drive hatchbacks in 2013 as new entry-level models to its range.

The new cars will be based on the next-generation Mini platform and be positioned below the 1-series, which will continue in production as a rear-drive family of hatches and saloons.

Surprisingly, the new front-drive hatches are also tipped to carry 1-series badges, giving buyers the choice of BMWs entry level with either front or rear-wheel drive.

Despite carrying the same badges, the two families of models will be distinguished by unique sheetmetal and price positioning; the rear-drive car will be pitched higher in price and quality than its front-drive stablemate.

Despite the clear overlap with the Mini, BMW is not concerned that its own front-wheel drive models will cannibalize sales of the third generation of the British car, due in 2014.

Both brands possess a clear and individual image, a BMW insider told Autocar, pointing to the sales success Volkswagen and Audi have achieved with both the Golf and A3. Our research shows BMW and Mini appeal to different buyers.

Just as VW and Audi appeal to different audiences, BMW will aim its front-drive and rear-drive 1-series at different buyers.

The front-drive model will be designed to attract new customers to the brand. The BMW source said, We want a car that will appeal to non-BMW buyers with a focus on roominess and interior flexibility, yet like our existing entry-level model it will be fun to drive and cheap to run.

The first of the new front-drive BMWs to appear in UK showrooms will be a tall five-door, five-seat hatchback, a rival for the upcoming Audi A2 and next-gen Mercedes A-class. It will offer the sort of interior space and overall practicality not found in the rear-drive 1-series.

The keys to the front-drive cars spaciousness are a transversely mounted engine and gearbox. These have allowed engineers to create an uncharacteristically short bonnet for a BMW. This flows into A-pillars positioned well forward of the front wheel arches.

The altered front-end architecture helps to free up cabin space by moving the bulkhead closer to the front axle than in any existing BMW model.

The driving position also moves forward within the wheelbase, and the seat is positioned higher to give a more commanding view of the road.

While weve yet to get a glimpse of the new cars exterior design - prototypes are not planned to start testing until this time next year - it is already clear that the looks of the first of BMWs front-drive models will be quite different from those of next years second-gen 1-series.

A second model under development at BMWs FIZ R&D centre in Munich is a more sporting variant, conceived to go head to head with the soon-to-be-launched Audi A1.

Clothed in a sleeker body BMW is undecided on whether it will offer both a three and five-door or just a three-door the second of the front-drive models is aimed at typical BMW customers looking for a less expensive alternative to the 1-series.

Source -

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Front-Wheel-Drive-BMW-Released.jpg
Views:	771
Size:	43.0 KB
ID:	230508  

This article has been viewed 2023 times.
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > BMW News
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:14 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms