We're well aware that BMW plans to introduce several compact, front-wheel-drive models in the U.S. within the next few years. We also know that BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen have been cooperating on engine development for several years, which includes a jointly designed four-cylinder gasoline engine that's about to go under the knife for a complete redesign and emerge as a Euro 6-compliant four banger. Now, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it's known that BMW and PSA will expand their collaborative agreement to include the development of hybrid components for FWD models as well.
Unsurprisingly, neither party will discuss the specifics of the deal, but joint development and production of these components will allow both companies to leverage economies of scale. The deal should also speed up the hybridization process and perhaps create a competitive advantage for both brands, as well as reignite rumors about BMW's upcoming FWD vehicles.
If you recall, at the Annual Accounts Press Conference back in March, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW, had this to say:
Now, this latest hybrid agreement between BMW and PSA allows us to speculate that at least one of the upcoming, FWD models could feature a gas-electric powertrain as well. You think?[The small car] segment is expected to grow further. And we will take advantage of this opportunity. We are exploring the possibility of developing a joint architecture for the front and four-wheel drive systems of these cars. In other words: There will be front-wheel drive BMWs in the smaller vehicle classes in the future.