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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