Bits and pieces of news are beginning to trickle out of Germany regarding the plans for BMW’s front wheel drive cars. First, they will be identified as 1 Series models, even though they’ll slot beneath current 1 Series models (in pricing and content) in BMW’s product range. The automaker has not yet decided whether to build a three door hatchback, a five door hatchback or both. Expect focus groups to determine the ultimate product mix.
BMW isn’t concerned with pirating sales from in-house brand Mini, as they view both brands as having a unique image and customer base. The FWD BMW will carry many of the brand’s styling cues (like the Hofmeister kink, presumably) and will offer a more elevated and forward driving position than traditional RWD BMW models.
If and when the FWD models are offered for sale in the U.S., it will likely give the automaker an entry level vehicle option that they’ve lacked since the 318i was discontinued. Customers who want a BMW for the roundel and not the handling will also appreciate the FWD layout.