Currently reading: FWD baby BMW range confirmed
More details on upoming range of front-wheel drive BMW models
Autocar
News
2 mins read
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

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HiltonH 18 March 2010

Re: FWD baby BMW range confirmed

Although the R50 Mini bounced back between Munich and Gaydon, the R50 was substantially designed in the UK. Certainly the whole front suspension was done in the UK by a UK engineer. The chap in question once showed me the drawings. The original BMW brief didn't allow 17in wheels, so the Cooper S wheels are very tight fit.

J400uk 18 March 2010

Re: FWD baby BMW range confirmed

aston01 wrote:
Considering BMW have never designed a FWD platform (the MINI was Rovers design pinched by BMW and still used today) it will be interesting if they can get it right or use another makers platform which is probably the way they will go to save all the development costs.

Not true. The current 2006-on R56 MINI is 100% BMW. Perhaps Rover had some input on the previous shape, but the latest one is very different even if they look similar on the outside.

aston01 18 March 2010

Re: FWD baby BMW range confirmed

Considering BMW have never designed a FWD platform (the MINI was Rovers design pinched by BMW and still used today) it will be interesting if they can get it right or use another makers platform which is probably the way they will go to save all the development costs.

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