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Front Wheel Drive BMW Update

Posted in BMW, Cars, General, Mini, New Cars by Kurt Ernst | May 17th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

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.

Source: More details emerge on BMW’s upcoming front-driver

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4 Responses

  1. E46 Fanatic says:

    …my guess is they will decide on the 5 door hatch.

    “Customers who want a BMW for the roundel and not the handling will also appreciate the FWD layout” -sad, isn’t it?

  2. Kurt says:

    Agreed on both parts…

  3. Sierra says:

    Anyone that wants a FWD BMW simply needs to buy a MINI. BMW’s should only be RWD, anything FWD will dilute the brand. It’s bad enough to see AWD BMW truck-wagons and absurd variants like the X6 plying the roads plastered with a Roundel and piloted by clueless rich old white women. A FWD BMW will in my mind always be a 0 (zero) – series, as it correlates precisely with the level of intelligence of this type of buyer.

    If BMW was really interested in a baseline model, we’d have 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 liter 4-cylinder examples of the true 1-series, and BMW would offer the 2 and 4-door hatchbacks in the US market like those available in Europe.

    Seems to me this is just another example of how a once-great company built on simple, reliable, and fun-to-drive products is peddling it’s name as it repeats many of the mistakes that GM began making in the late 1960’s. At the current rate of BMW’s decent into automotive hell, by 2030 or so they’ll have succeeded in re-branding the company into the equivalent of Oldsmobile. What a shame.

  4. Kurt says:

    Sierra, I agree. There are some excellent entry level BMWs available in Germany, but they don’t import de-contented 1 Series or 3 Series models here. They’ve got a great 1 Series diesel, but we’ll never see it.

    By trying to be all things to all people, automakers inevitably fail. GM is a good example, but what about Toyota? Scion is sucking hind tit, and the Lexus HS250h hybrid isn’t moving from dealer lots.

    The problem with not learning from others mistakes is that it ensures you’ll make the same ones.