• Oct 8, 2009

Mini Clubman JCW in the Autoblog Garage – Click above for high-res image gallery

The BMW 3 Series, once the smallest car in the company's catalog, has grown tremendously over the past few generations. So to meet demand for smaller vehicles, the Bavarian automaker has been continuously cranking out smaller models to slot in below it. Reports now indicate that BMW is preparing a new 0 Series to bridge the gap between the 1 Series and the Mini.

According to the reports, BMW will base the new 0 Series on the next Mini's platform, which tells us two things: first, that it will break with company convention and go front-wheel-drive, and second, that they're planning on developing the next Mini in-house, instead of co-developing it with another automaker. Meanwhile the 0 Series is expected to arrive in three- and five-door hatchback body styles, and potentially (as is usually the case with BMW rumors) breed a compact roadster as well. The point of the 0 Series is to help the company bring down its environmental impact overall, while flipping the same coin to offer premium buyers a smaller, more efficient package.



[Source: CAR Magazine via MotoringFile]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good thing my enthusiasm for BMW waned 5 years ago...or I'd be pissed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think just as likely as a FWD BMW is an RWD or AWD mini, so all might not be lost just yet
        • 5 Years Ago
        we could only hope!
      • 5 Years Ago
      that's smart... keep downsizing the car and keep the same price tag

      1 series starts at 29,000
      3 series starts at 33,000
      5 series starts at 46,000

      how much will the 0 series cost while Minicooper starts at 19,000?
      tons of parts on mini copper are labeled BMW...
      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW seems perpetually insecure about the continuing business case for the MINI, despite the fact that it continues to sell and profit like gangbusters on the thing(s).

      For a couple of years now, they've been pushing (or talking about pushing) Mini into more niches, with the Clubman, and the upcoming Countryman crossover. The Coupe and Speedster, too.

      Just a year ago, there were rumors that BMW was looking to either buy a mainstream manufacturer of FWD cars to help spread Mini's development costs across a future line of FWD component-sharing vehicles, or launch its own brand outright. The Triumph name was even bandied about.

      Then came talk of a Fiat JV that would yield an Isetta redux.

      Now they're going to try and launch their own-branded supermini on the same platform? Only for it to compete with the Mini? Especially, if the rumors are true, when it comes to a 0-based roadster and the Mini Speedster.

      This is the textbook way of running down their (already overexposed) brand, just like Mercedes-Benz has. Benz went into A- and B-segment cars at one end and capped themselves at the other with Maybach. They put too many irons in the fire and their quality and image paid the price.

      Why is BMW showing such insecurity about Mini that they now feel the need to field their own competitor? Is it a German business thing? Is it a hubris thing? What's the deal?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Mini has a problem similar to what Saturn had 3-4 years after the initial introduction. A Mini buyer a few years down the road has been happy with the car and dealership but now needs something larger and 4 doors."

        What? The current Mini is designed to be a premium B-segment car, and aimed at enthusiasts of the marque - a marque which never spawned anything other than a single small FWD platform in the first place. Mini owners are not likely to have families to ferry around, and those who do are highly unlikely to own one as their only means of transportation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mini has a problem similar to what Saturn had 3-4 years after the initial introduction. A Mini buyer a few years down the road has been happy with the car and dealership but now needs something larger and 4 doors. By BMW AG's way of thinking that buyer should go for a BMW (GM felt Saturn owners should have traded up to an Oldsmobile), but the one one series isn't large enough and doesn't have 4 doors (in the US) and the 3 is far too expensive.

        An O series (I'd rather it be a 0.5 Series) doesn't address that need either so it makes no sense. What Mini needs is an Austin or perhaps a Triumph Herald (BMW owns those brands)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Minis are too cartoonish, so sign me up!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Which brings to the question, when would they make the -1 series?

        I personally would love to get my hands on a new radical BMW such as the sqrt(7) series.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The ultimate biking machine?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I vote for over complicating/engineering
      make it an electric platform with a longitudinal mounted motor
      connect drive-train to front end of motor for Mini FWD and to rear end of motor for BMW RWD
      batteries in central rear and ultra-capacitors under the hood
      done
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, the BMW "mini" was originally a FWD platform developed by BMW before they bought out the MINI brand name from MG/Rover, the MINI gave them an excuse to slap some vaguely similar looking body panels and call it the new mini.

      This killed two birds with one stone: It allowed BMW to develop an affordable and practical small (ish) car that would always need FWD but without having to put a BMW logo on it.

      I think this zero series is a good idea, people who might want a german designed FWD car made by BMW will be able to get just that - a BMW, not some shameful attempt at continuing the true iconic car, the REAL (Austin / Rover) Mini.

      Sorry for the rant, I don't dislike BMW, just hate what they have done to the 'MINI' brand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The mini is huge compared to the original, any bigger model and the brand will be a complete mockery of the original philosophy.
      The 1 series has the smallest interior space of its segment, its only benefit is rwd and the prestigious badge, otherwise you're better of with a golf or A3. Absolutely no need for an even smaller fwd beemer. It will screem: "I can't afford a real BMW but I'm an a$$hole none the less"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most people who have been buying BMWs in the last few years were in the same pool as those who wereusing their houses as ATM machines, and they really didn't care about BMW's performance ability so much as it's image (to go along with gigantic $300 sunglasses and Ed Hardy T Shirts)....soooo, now that that game is over BMW has to make cheaper cars to sell to suddenly poor douchebags.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do we get an M0?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Call it the Moe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure this would sell just fine in Europe, go there and see how many 1 series there are. Just because people in the USA are too tight to pay real money for a premium small car does not mean that this will fail. There's a big world out there people.
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