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    Rumorpile: A Front-Wheel Drive BMW Roadster


    • A Front-Wheel Drive Roadster from BMW?!

    A new report from Car & Driver says BMW is working on a front-wheel drive roadster that could possibly come out in 2016 or 2017.

    Possibly named Z2, the rumored roadster will use BMW's new front-wheel drive platform that underpins the new MINI Cooper and upcoming BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The focus will be on designing a lightweight roadster that could possibly weigh around 2,500 pounds. Unlike the Z4, the Z2 will use a fabric top.

    As for powertrains, BMW could equip the Z2 with a range of three and four-cylinder engines. Car & Driver speculates BMW will stick fours ranging from 160 to 230 horsepower.

    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.



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    I really think that anything FWD-based should be labelled as 1-Seeries with the 2-Series living on as RWD coupe and convertible. That said, a Z2 roadster should be RWD-based, though I understand why BMW wants to milk the MINI's platform as much as possible.

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    A 160 hp, 3-cyldiner front wheel drive roadster sounds awesome! Oh wait, no it is about the worst idea ever. BMW more than any other luxury brand needs to be RWD because their whole mantra is "ultimate driving machine" and handling and performance.

    If they want to utilize the Mini platform why not build a small British roadster, since the British were the kings of the small roadster. Who says every Mini brand car has to look the same, why couldn't they mimmick styling of a Triumph or Austin Healy roadster of the 60s but with modern interpretation. That would be way better than a cheaper, crappier looking Z4 with less power and handling.

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    A 160 hp, 3-cyldiner front wheel drive roadster sounds awesome! Oh wait, no it is about the worst idea ever. BMW more than any other luxury brand needs to be RWD because their whole mantra is "ultimate driving machine" and handling and performance.

    If they want to utilize the Mini platform why not build a small British roadster, since the British were the kings of the small roadster. Who says every Mini brand car has to look the same, why couldn't they mimmick styling of a Triumph or Austin Healy roadster of the 60s but with modern interpretation. That would be way better than a cheaper, crappier looking Z4 with less power and handling.

    IIRC BMW owns the Triumph brand (or at least the right to using it in cars) as that btrand was under the old Rover umbrella... Could be more interesting if they reintroduced that brand like they did with MINI. They could even share dealers, service/repair facilities, etc so the economies of scale would still be there...

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    Retro only sells so well, and current MINI sales are in the tank....possibly for good.

    One can make a good driving FWD car....look at the MINI and the GTI. Or go to an autocross or track day.....lots of FWD cars are raced in SCCA, NASA, et al.

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    I agree, Mini is past date and they need some new auto's like a Triumph or some other small roadster. I do not expect Mini to grow market share till they diversify their product line up.

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    ...and as far as the roadster Market goes, it is TINY in the USA. Miata, Z4, S2000 (discontinued for five years now, I know....) Boxster....add them all together....your still under two thousand units a month...even if you throw in 370Z....BMW needs more than niche market cars already competing in a crowded Niche market with established competitors. I mean, Honda tried twice to crack into this market with a resounding thud...as did Toyota with the Mr2 and MR2 Spyder. Even though both Toyota and Honda had good if not great product, they fell flat on their ass.

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    The S2000 is supposed to come back. Mini sales I don't think will do too much because the styling has been the same for 10 years. And the SUV Mini looks awful, the Clubman was a stretch as it was, then the other variants came in and they are all bad. Retro does only work for so long, Mini might need a new look. The roadster market is tiny, but if you made a cheap roadster like the Miata there would be some sales there, and the platform and engines are there already.

    An unrelated problem to Mini is that 10 years ago when most small cars were crap, or just boring like the Civic, the Mini had it easy and they would win on gas mileage and looks. But now the Elentra, Veloster, Focus,Fiesta, Mazda 3 etc have stepped up their games, there are several good looking cars that can get 40 mpg now. When Hyundia and Kia made crap and Chevy and Ford had the Cavalier and Escort, the Mini didn't have much to worry about. The competition got good, and Mini still builds the same car from 2003.

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    Buick Encore Kick's the Mini's Butt and they still have one of the highest bugs per 100 auto's built. They have yet to realize they are not the only game in town.

    I cannot fit into a mini, but I can into an Encore if I had to get an inner city auto to drive it would be an Encore.

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    Encore is still not terribly sporty. It is a good not great product, and gm has image problems of its own. Your average car buyer will skip the small premium thing and buy a Hyundai Santa Be.

    I have to disagree with you totally on this. Many who could afford a Chevy have gone to Hyundai to get more for their money. Yet plenty of people love the Encore and the sales seem to support that.

    Have you even sat in one or test drove it?

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    I need to test drive one.

    Many who said negative things at the Seattle Auto show last year about Buick were holding old history and when they test drove the Encore they came back surprised and excited. I see more Encores on the Highway around here than Mini's or many other compact CUV's. At least here it seems to have hit the right note.

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