• Oct 4, 2010
BMW seems to think American buyers are ready to sink their teeth into small luxury vehicles. The automaker has reconfirmed plans to unleash a wave of small, front-wheel drive creations positioned below the 1 Series and due to go on sale in the U.S. market. The vehicles will be sold under a new class called UKL, and there are supposedly several different body styles just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting North American buyers. The news came via Ian Robertson, a BMW board member for sales and marketing, who also said that the full line will pack a four-cylinder engine when the cars debut before 2013.

BMW is looking to move around 100,000 units of its new UKL series vehicles worldwide, though the company hasn't said exactly how it expects that figure to be broken up by market. Automotive News reports that while the company has also been tight lipped about exactly how many different vehicle types will fall under the new front-wheel drive, four-cylinder philosophy, other reports have pointed to a total of four body styles at launch.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]


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  • 55 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Basically then, the new FWD will be in direct competition with its own Mini? Using the same or similar body architecture?

      However, on a second thought, some people will not buy Mini because of its somewhat cute looks. but they might consider a similar car with BMW badge and a bit meaner look on it.

      This can be a game changer and another segment buster from Germans. If this becomes a success, its neighbor MBenz will have to follow the suit. Audi already is on FWD platform, so the only thing it might consider is expanding its A1 range or create A2 with various body style.

      I know many critics will cry foul for FWD BMW, but I am sure BMW will create one of the best handling FWD car and I applaud their effort to aligning themselves to changing market place.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hypocrites.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love it when a company gets all snarkey with their advertising then has to eat their words in a big way! Reminds me of Samuel Adams' "There will never be a Sam Light" Ad. LOL
      • 4 Years Ago
      If the "UKW line" says BMW on them, I'm officially done with BMW. Hear that BMW? Where is the ultimate driving machine?
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is what happens when you hire people in marketing that are not auto enthusiast. 1st was toyota and then ford(before mullany). My beef with this is that they will start with the new small car and slowly just like a virus, it will begin to affect(or infect) other model lines in the future. All in the name of cost reduction while still charging a premium.lets not forget the dealer price hike (like when i was asked $56k USD for a base 135i in Puerto Rico).M-B might repond by bringing the A-class and B-class.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Four cylinders is fine. Luxury is fine. Small is fine. FWD? BLASPHEMY!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is like when Volvo said they wouldn't put IRS on their cars because it was "too complex", and hard to keep in alignment. Then, they put IRS on their cars.

      When BMW started building SUVs (and I don't care what they call them), it was the beginning of the end.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My my, so many haters. Considering what BMW has shown they can pull off with FWD (the MINI does NOT suck), don't expect any front wheel drive BMW to drive like some crappy Japanese car. Personally, as long as they still provide the great RWD stuff, I'm fine with it. Doubt any of the haters who responded can come anywhere close to affording a BMW anyways, except maybe a 1995 3 series.
      • 4 Years Ago
      NOOoooooooooo......
      Making FWD is satan's work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are diluting the brand if they do this.
      • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was gonna say the same thing. Urkel drove a BWM Isetta. BMW is calling these new cars UKL... UrKeL... something's suspicious here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the next nail in the coffin. The first nail was that atrocious lineup of crossovers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        don't forget the complete disregard for the M badge
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