BMW Confirms Future Front-Wheel-Drive Small Cars

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Just over a week ago, reports that BMW was considering a front-wheel drive joint platform for its small cars, to be shared with MINI, emerged on the web. Today, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer confirmed the reports, stating outright, "There will be front-wheel-drive BMWs in the smaller vehicle classes in the future."

The front-wheel-drive models will also likely have all-wheel-drive variants, but purists will no doubt decry the move from the purity of a rear-drive standard. The new vehicles will inhabit the smaller ranges of BMW's lineup, meaning most likely the sub-1-Series car we previewed in February, leaving the 1-Series as the smallest rear-drive BMW.

Front-drive is almost certainly a given for the packaging and pricing constraints of the Project i Mega City Vehicle, as well, though the sub-1er isn't to be confused with the MCV.

It's not yet clear what BMW expects the move to a MINI-shared, front-drive platform to do to the brand's image, though so far it doesn't look like the smallest BMWs are planned for the U.S., so America's small-equals-cheap prejudgment may not enter into the decision matrix, as Europeans are much more accepting of the compact-premium segment.


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Comments (7)
  1. America as USUAL left out becuase of its ignornace to accept what Europe has to offer. What a shame

  2. America is not interested because we drive everywhere sideways. Drriiiiiffffftttt

  3. As VW and Audi already do better interiors and better exterior body panel fits than current BMW (and Mini), I think I would prefer the Golf, A3, or Polo.

  4. Europe can have that mistake. BMW would be better off launching a new Isetta, then pairing that brand with Mini in a stand-alone dealership system. Right now they've got MINI drivers being serviced in a BMW cost environment that is way too expensive for Mini buyers, but makes their BMW dealers happy.

  5. Maybe if it had awd and lots of power it would be good.

  6. Axel, you're the ignorant one. No way can this be an affordable "luxury" compact on American soil because of the ridiculous safety and emissions regulations that Europe doesn't have. Therefore, bringing it to America would put it out of its competitive price range once you convert the parts necessary to comply with all the regulations, so it isn't plausible to bring it here in the first place..

  7. I love America, but I do find myself saddened by our ignorance and prejudices that we have against small vehicles.
    Richard Hammond (host of Top Gear UK) said it best, America's idea of luxury is making things bigger.
    You can see it in the cars we build. They aren't luxurious, they are just big monstrosities run other vehicles off the road. Do you think the Germans or the French would create something like a Hummer as a luxury vehicle? Absolutely not. This is because they know that true luxury doesn't rest on size.

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