• May 14, 2010
BMW executives have been talking openly about adding a front-wheel drive model to the range and the first example are due to arrive in 2013. A new model to slot in below the 1 series is expected to share its platform with the next generation Mini, while the 1 series is expected to continue with rear-wheel drive and be available in both the current hatchback and coupe body styles.

Autocar
reports the new FWD model will also be badged as a 1 series, giving customers multiple options to choose from. Similar to how Volkswagen and Audi share platforms at different price points, BMW is expected to pitch its car as more premium than the Mini.

What is unknown at this time is whether the new entry BMW/Mini will also share its platform with BMW's upcoming electric Megacity vehicle.

[Source: AutoCar]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      sub 1 series fwd hatch... oh... you mean mini?

      most pointless bmw to date and further proof they haven't got a clue
        • 4 Years Ago
        didn't even know it was you zamafir when I was going to mention VW's hatch and Audi's plans to bring a small fwd hatch.

        So isn't this what BMW is doing? Explain how Audis strategy is different. kthxbai
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not everyone likes the retro form-over-function styling of the Mini: the center-mounted speedometer, the boxy shape, the chic-factor, etc.

        A BMW-branded Mini could remove many of the Mini's polarizing features, thereby appealing to people who might like the Mini if it was less like the Mini.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The last time someone said that about BMW (X6) sales doubled expectations.
        Enough with the armchair CEOs!
        • 4 Years Ago
        explain? it's not hard.

        the mini is priced from where the a1 will start to where the a3 sets
        the 1 series hatch takes it from there

        audi is producing the a1 because they don't currently have anything priced below the a3, because audi doesn't have a 'mini'.

        this makes about as much sense for the bmw brand in north america as it does in europe, none. it's akin to the rebadging that caused gm so many problems, they're essentially building a bmw badged mini... but mini's customers already know it's a bmw... so they'll be competing with their own car which already has spades more credibility in a segment bmw's not been in before with their roundel.

        if you're still confused, go look at the lexus HS debacle to understand how completely contrary options play out in brand portfolios they don't belong in.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "lol, nah. hit up a friend who's a journalist in the uk before i commented, so apparently you and he have differing opinions. but keep trolling the ignorant american line, if you think i'm bad (actively attempting to consider the european worldview in damn near every post) you'll love everyone else on here who don't actively convene with europeans, subscribe to evo or car, and occasionally catch topgear thinking all europeans are zany and anti american. man, u must be in heaven commenting here."

        But of course you did! You know why? Because instead of actually providing any intelligence comments about this car in the European market - and because you simply don't have the resources to find out about the said market for yourself - you take the easy way out with an outright lie. Thankfully, I use Febreze Air Effects around your posts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @zamafir: I bet you survey mini owners and 80% will not know their car is a BMW, just like the 80% of 1-series owners that don't know their car is RWD (I still find this shocking).

        And re-badging in GM's sense is not the same as the platform sharing that BMW will likely employ for the FWD 1-series. I guarantee you not a single body panel or any of the interior will be shared between the two. They will also likely not share an assembly line.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Leave it to LP to be clueless and a jerk in the same post. Typical.

        As stated, BMW's strategy suggests market overlap, Audi's does not. I really don't see how this move cannot hurt BMW's brand image. Audi's been pushing nose-heavy front-drivers for years under the quad-ring badge, nothing new. BMW up to this point had been smart to keep such things under another label.

        Who am I to criticize? BMW is still successful despite several decisions I thought were terrible for their product in the last decade. I can't say I'm still a fan, though I miss my E30 terribly and admire many BMWs from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Something drastic has changed over in Germany. A front wheeled BMW? That's like saying Porsche will make a truck... wait a minute.....

      Here in Vancouver, Canada, I would say there are more drivers on the road who buy for the name then the car itself. I see a ton of Cayennes around but who goes to Porsche to buy a truck? It's the name, and same goes with BMW. Lots of young asian drivers in those cars, I imagine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      a front drive bmw is like replacing the lincoln town car with the mks, not a real bmw, just like the mks is not a real lincoln. when a front drive loses control, it is almost impossible it steer out of. not to mention the bmw would most likely be equipped similarly to the mini, but have the same engines... no thanks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Front wheel, rear wheel...schmel wheel. According to Autocar a survey of BWM owners indicates "Four out of five BMW 1-series drivers think their car is front-wheel drive..." http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/248407/
      Also since I love to use my parents as the ultimate non-auto enthusiast but everyday American types I know for a fact that they prefer front wheel drive. Don't know why but I grew up hearing them say that front wheel drive is better in the harsh New England snows. At least that was what they believed. I know my parents wouldn't buy a BMW as they tend to go for the more lazy beige Toyotas but it goes to say via them that really front wheel drive BMW's won't even raise an eyebrow in the US. Well at least not in retirement communities that are filled with Toyota, Lexus, Buicks and other big road yachts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup. Exactly. Few people outside the Autoblog forums give two shiits about which wheels drive their cars. In the case of BMW, I suspect a large percentage of their buyers would buy a giant cat turd so long as it had the little "roundel" on the front.
      HRP
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's next ... BMW bringing back the 'Bubble Car'?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am sure this will be a great little car. And at that size, FWD will be a perfect fit. But I just don't see this being a success if they decide to sell it here in the states. It will just be too expensive if they price it above a mini.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am BMW fan and I hope they make this. It will allow them more freedom in the harsh CAFE standards coming up. I will be able to continue to drive M3s and M5s knowing that someone else will be paying the econo prize.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The BMW 0.5er

        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously. And then they report that the "normal" 1-Series and the FWD car will *both* be called 1-series? WTF?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love euro hatchbacks. Price has always been the killer. Being FWD I will expect a low price point and good fuel economy. If its affordable and reliable, especially with a diesel engine, I'm all for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Then I take it you already own a MINI. If not, then you're statement is not serious.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You had me until FWD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sorry if I step on any sensitive BMW toes but the 1 series (specially the X1) already started BMW's descent into auto whoredom. Once you go down that road it's difficult to stop and further monstrosities like a *sub 1 series blah, blah, blah* are almost a foregone conclusion.

      Next up the BMW washing machine, inline skates and frying pan (with possible M variants).
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