BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer has confirmed that the firm remains committed to launching a smaller, more affordable luxury crossover to accompany next year’s 5-series GT.
The new smaller BMW Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) will be based on the facelifted 3-series, due in 2010. As such, it will further bolster the burgeoning ranks of models based on the 3-series platform, slotting into the line-up between the Touring and the next X3.
As with the 5-series-based BMW PAS, the 3-series crossover will come with rear-wheel drive as standard, but four-wheel drive will be offered as an option.Designed to offer a slightly higher seating position than the BMW 3-series Touring, the five-seater should also adopt its larger sibling’s two-piece liftback for added versatility.
To help streamline production, the engines are likely to be drawn from the rest of the BMW 3-series range, with a future line-up of turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units mated to standard manual or optional dual-clutch gearboxes.
Earlier this year BMW stopped work on a project to develop a large SUV that would have given the firm a rival for the Range Rover. It blamed the collapse in SUV sales in North America for the decision.