BMW’s plan to launch future models based on one of two modular architectures will include a rear-wheel drive platform that can house everything from downsized internal combustion engines to three-motor all-wheel drive electric cars with more than 800bhp.
BMW first announced plans to base all future models off one of its two new architectures – FAAR for front-wheel drive models and CLAR for rear-wheel drive models – earlier this year, but has now given more details on just how flexible they will be in being able to underpin every future model.
The FAAR architecture is a next-generation development of the existing UKL platform that underpins the first wave of front-wheel drive BMWs and the current Mini range. The CLAR platform will be a next-generation version of the current structure of the same name.
BMW is hedging in bets in being able to respond to every type of drivetrain a customer might desire as it “simply cannot be sure” how much demand there will be for any particular drivetrain in the future, according to Lutz Meyer, who works on BMW’s product strategy for architectures.
Each of its models will be capable of being equipped with a standard internal combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to electrify the axle not driven by the engine, or a fully electric one.
Full EV configurations will include a single motor on the front axle for the front-wheel drive models and an optional one on the rear axle for all-wheel drive; a single motor on the rear axle for rear wheel drive, with an optional one on the front axle for four-wheel drive; and a further one on the rear axle for performance models to create a car with more than 800bhp.