More details on upoming range of front-wheel drive BMW models
17 March 2010

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer this morning confirmed Autocar’s story that the carmaker is planning a range of front-wheel drive BMW models.

A new platform, covering front- and four-wheel drive models, will be used for both the third-generation Mini in 2014 and for a range of BMW models between 3.8m and 4.3m long.

According to industry reports, there could eventually be up to 20 individual BMW and Mini-badged models based on the new BMW-engineered platform. The dual length of the platform would enable it to cover models sized from a typical supermini to a Golf-sized car.

Reithofer also confirmed that the next-generation BMW 1-series would continue to be based on a rear-wheel drive chassis.

According to the Financial Times, Reithofer said the new platform would allow BMW to ‘achieve its profitability aims in the small car sector’ but that the company could offer the to share the platform with other carmakers, further increasing the economies of scale.

Klaus Draeger, head of development at BMW, was also quoted by the FT as saying BMW could build between 600 and 800,000 front-drive cars annually without co-operating with another brand.

Speaking at the company’s annual results press conference, Reithofer estimated that the ‘premium small car’ market would grow annually by 4-6 percent every year until 2020.

BMW is also estimating that, by 2020, the average Co2 emissions of its entire new car fleet will, be just 117g/km, a figure driven down by the new range of baby BMW models.

There’s no news on whether the new platform will be shared with Peugeot-Citroen with whom BMW have an engine building joint venture.

However, Draeger told the FT that if BMW decided to share the platform, the company would ‘talk first’ to the carmakers it is already in partnership with.

Hilton Holloway

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest VW Beetle reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
22

17 March 2010

Four years away, I guess it's a bit early to know if they'll be badged as BMWs or not.


17 March 2010

This would be a great idea in any company that wasn't one of the Holy Trinity of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. I've no doubt that, as with the turbocharged petrol engine, the FWD cars will be the best money can buy in their class (no FWD 1-series, please!), but this just doesn't seem right. Mercifully, now the X-type has been killed off, we have Jaguar still proving themselves a bastion of RWD.

17 March 2010

I think this is very intelligent planning by BMW.

17 March 2010

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer this morning confirmed Autocar’s story that the carmaker is planning a range of front-wheel drive BMW models.

A new platform, covering front- and four-wheel drive models, will be used for both the third-generation Mini in 2014 and for a range of BMW models between 3.8m and 4.3m long.

A range!!! Until 4,3 m long!!!

Where are the funerals of BMW?
I'm goint to light a candle.

17 March 2010

I can see BMW getting this just right in engineering terms. I am imagining them tackling cars such as the small MPV(A2, A Class) Small hatch (A1 and Polo), and maybe a genuine Golf competitor. If they take the same approach as they have with the 3 and 5 series in the long term they could own the core of this marketplace. BMW often offer engineering quality rather than just marketing gloss (I concede they offer marketing gloss too) and have delivered the majority game changing cars in my motoring career.

17 March 2010

[quote PhilM4000]I can see BMW getting this just right in engineering terms. I am imagining them tackling cars such as the small MPV(A2, A Class) Small hatch (A1 and Polo), and maybe a genuine Golf competitor. If they take the same approach as they have with the 3 and 5 series in the long term they could own the core of this marketplace. BMW often offer engineering quality rather than just marketing gloss (I concede they offer marketing gloss too) and have delivered the majority game changing cars in my motoring career.[/quote] Completely agree. Yes, its the sad the end of the road for RWD or AWD only at BMW, but lets face it, Audi don't exactly do badly out of FWD cars do they? And being BMW, they will make sure it is still the best car to drive. They have to look to the future in terms of EU regs on emissions etc, and also in terms of packaging. Look at how poor the 1-series is because it is RWD. Most supermini's beat it in terms of rear space and boot.

17 March 2010

I agree with you.

But I'm for the diversity.

RWD is in the DNA of BMW.

17 March 2010

I seriosuley doubt they will offer 20 baby FWD BMWs for sale alongside the RWD 1-series as the article suggests..

17 March 2010

[quote J400uk]I seriosuley doubt they will offer 20 baby FWD BMWs for sale alongside the RWD 1-series as the article suggests..[/quote] Think they probably mean that the next 1-series will be RWD, while the one after that will be FWD

17 March 2010

[quote superstevie]Think they probably mean that the next 1-series will be RWD, while the one after that will be FWD[/quote]

1-series going FWD? Well, that comprehensively buggers its only USP. How long before the 3er goes FWD too? It'll just be another bloody Mondeo, then, but an overpriced one, as the only thing it'll have going for it over and above the Mondeo will be the badge. They'd have to scrap the straight-six engines in the 3-series, too. Then how long before the 5-series just becomes another A6? I've even heard that there will be some non-Quattro FWD A8s in the new range, so how long before we also have a FWD 7-series? BMW has lost its way - first the XxM series, then electric power steering, now this, and still no M3 CSL. Oh, of course! The M3 would die for want of a suitable platform to base it on... and doubtless the Z4 would be similarly killed-off. BMW is truly and utterly fvcked without a big management change - I really hope this new model (and the XxM series) are boycotted and become dismal sales failures. Put it this way, I haven't seen an Audi A3 around here for ages... because people are wise to the fact that it's just a harder-riding, over-priced Golf. The same thing will happen with these FWD BMWs - why buy them when a Golf will be just as good, and cheaper, and an Octavia even more so?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out