So here it is: Autocar reports that we'll see the first front-drive BMW at the Paris Motor Show this September, in concept form. It will likely be called the 1 Series GT, and the report says it will debut in late 2014. The car will share a platform with the forthcoming Mini redesign, as well as the turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder Mini engine that's basically half of a BMW 3.0-liter inline six.
When BMW began making noise about bringing front-wheel drive to the table, purists, enthusiasts and fans of the brand immediately busted out the pitchforks and torches. Visions of front-wheel drive 3 Series and 1 Series models were almost enough to induce frenzy (not that a huge number of owners would know the difference...), but if the latest word from BMW Blog is to be believed, the company's front-wheel drive efforts will be contained to a handful of all-new models.
If there's one thing that's certain in this crazy world, it's that Ultimate Driving Machines are driven by their rear wheels. Sure, there's an occasional all-wheel-drive model thrown in for good measure, but even those revert to the tried-and-true RWD when extra traction from the front two contact patches isn't deemed necessary or desirable. Well, alert the media (oh, wait...): BMW has confirmed the rumors that it will build front-wheel-drive automobiles.
Rumors of a front-wheel drive model to slot in below the 1 Series have been circulating for some time, with the most recent report coming last October. Now, Autocar has confirmed with BMW's chairman, Norbert Reithofe, that an all-new model is coming from the automaker, designed to compete with the recently introduced Audi A1 and built atop the next generation Mini's platform.