Currently reading: Front-wheel-drive BMW 1-series set for Paris
Front-drive BMW 1-series is planned to form part of an increased number of 1-series models to be sold in the UK by the middle of the decade

Mini's new five-door hatchback forms part of a broader front-wheel drive platform strategy instigated by parent company

Developed under the internal working name UKL (an acronym for the German words ‘unter klasse’, or ‘entry level’ in English), it aims to not only increase the number of front-wheel-drive models offered by Mini but also provide the basis for a ground-breaking new front-wheel-drive BMW that is planned to form part of an increased number of 1-series models to be sold in the UK by the middle of the decade.

Likely to be called the 1-series GT, the new entry-level BMW is set to be previewed in concept form at the Paris motor show in September, ahead of a planned introduction in late 2014.

As well as running the front-wheel drive underpinnings developed by Mini and BMW, the new Mercedes B-class-rivalling hatchback will use the firm’s new turbocharged 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine, which will also be used in the next generation of Minis.

Relying on the same modular construction techniques evident in its diesel engines, the new petrol engine shares its 500cc individual cylinder capacity and other key elements with BMW’s classic 3.0-litre straight six petrol unit.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
knighttony13 24 August 2013

I didn’t expect a front wheel drive BMW

I didn’t expect a front wheel drive BMW. It will feel awkward I think since they were born to be rear wheel drive. But the good thing about this will be the price, of course, and it can easily be repaired if there are usual car problems. There should be a lot of BMW DIY Tips after the release of this car.

auk2222 2 October 2012


for those of you speculating about the newly proposed FWD BMW, it's NOT a BMW. Its actually a mini, hence the FWD, with a BMW Badge. BMW tried going mainstream before and turned out a Vauxhall Astra with a BMW badge. For those of you thinking about buying this model so that you can say that you owned a BMW....stay at work a little longer each day, do the overtime an save up for a proper BMW. Otherwise you will be in the same league as the 316 drivers of years gone by. Disappointed !

The A class is not a proeper MERC either. Its a dressed up golf cart.
For goodness sake. when will these manufacturers learn to stick to what they do well. If we wanted to drive a Fiesta, we would go and buy a Ford.




JulianAD 8 June 2012

My blood runs cold, my memory has just been sold, my BMW is FWD.


Growing up in the 1980's Bavarian Motor Works represented all that was right in the world. Superb disciplined unmistakeable design, Made in Germany, Rear Wheel Drive, Turbine smooth inline six-cylinder engines and model designations that logically described the vehicle e.g. 325i. Where the English speaking world was slowly losing the plot with marketing-hyped consumer clinic’d product engineering, BMW led the charge.


By the early 90’s I was in university and my parents purchased both an E36 BMW325 and an M3. BMW had no greater fan than I.


Over the last 15 years I have suffered Bangle design, the spreading virus of four-pot engines, made in USA/Thailand/China, The ‘M’ badges now standing for Marketing and not Motorsport, low-end hatchbacks and now finally FWD (isn’t that what Mini is for?)


RIP The BMW we knew. Hello BMW the General Motors of Premium.

My currently Germanic garage is Mercedes, BMW & KTM but In the future it will be Jaguar, Range Rover, Triumph & Norton. Whilst sadly all good things must come to end, fortunately everything that is old is new again.