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Jalopnik: BMW To Build MINI-Platformed "0-Class" [Over The Back Fence]

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500x_BMW-0-Series-TOP.jpgBMW's always said they'd never build a front-wheel-drive car or platform prostitute a BMW off the MINI platform. Now, according to Car Magazine, BMW's apparently reversed themselves on both, greenlighting a MINI-derived "0-Series" lineup that'll go on sale in 2013.

What we know so far is this new "0-Series," dubbed UKL1, for Untere Kompaktklasse (lower compact class), is designed to go head-to-head with the new Audi A1 and the Mercedes A-Class and be based oin the third-generation MINI. The "0-Series" will supposedly come in three different body styles: a three-door hatch, five-door hatch and a two-seat roadster.

Under the hood will be brand-spankin' new three- and four-cylinder engined and may even be built in Oxford on the same assembly lines as the MINI.

We'd like to show you more, but Car doesn't have the story up online. Pity. It's a good read.

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ZOMG!!!! BMW NOW HAZ MORE FWD VEHICLESSSE!!!11!!!

AUGGGGGHHHHHHHH end of the world!!!! Can we blame PCS??? :)

Seriously, though, this destroys any brand credibility they had left. Leave the FWD to the Mini brand. Sounds like a move of sheer desperation.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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They could bring out the Isetta name for this... disappointment...

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AUGGGGGHHHHHHHH end of the world!!!! Can we blame PCS??? :)

Seriously, though, this destroys any brand credibility they had left. Leave the FWD to the Mini brand. Sounds like a move of sheer desperation.

yeah, the absolut blatant hypocrisy shines through now. NO ONE can point to BMW anymore as not chasing the dollar instead of 'staying true to drivers cars'.

most people that BMWs are status seekers anyways. you know they are simply chasing the young demographic that blows all their money on abercrombie clothes etc. and they are buying the label, 3/4 of them won't know what wheels are driving the car.

now. I myself might be intrigued by a small FWD BMW. why? front drive for winter, small light and good handling, and perhaps a reasonable price. and it won't look silly like a Mini. But even then a VW might provide the same for less.

For those that think RWD and 6 pots wouldn't get killed by CAFE....here you are. Even BMW is scrambling to make their 21st century X cars, J cars and A cars........

Maybe Honda was right! to never make the RWD car

face it the Germans are not dumb. they know the writing is on the wall for their autonomous companies building uber expensive cars. they know that they will have to bend from building billet autobahn cruisers for the rich and stoop down to lower price classes and makes and models more closer to mainstream in order to keep volume high enough to keep their companies afloat in the new world auto order.

Edited by regfootball
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The point is the prices of BMW, MB and Audi have reached unsustainable level that is why they are differentiating the products, creating niches, going smaller while keeping the prices high. However, someday they have to take the pill and reduce the prices.

Couldn't have said it better.

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yup he said it right

another example of why cadillac is going down in prices somewhat. they even know that the market for super priced vehicles won't be there and they cannot survive as a brand without some volume.

Edited by regfootball
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face it the Germans are not dumb. they know the writing is on the wall for their autonomous companies building uber expensive cars. they know that they will have to bend from building billet autobahn cruisers for the rich and stoop down to lower price classes and makes and models more closer to mainstream in order to keep volume high enough to keep their companies afloat in the new world auto order.

+1

The Germans also know the US economy will be in the tank for a long time and people will be buying cheaper cars.

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That better not happen. The A1 and A-class are lame, BMW shouldn't follow them down that road. Especially when they have Mini to serve as a compact FWD car. The 3-cylinder I am not a fan of either, but 4-cylinder gas and diesel in the 3-series coming to the U.S. I support.

Mercedes I don't have a problem with building a wide variety because they are a primarily a one-brand company (I know, Smart and Freightliner). They are like if GM made the GM Aveo, GM CTS, GM, LaCrosse, GM heavy duty chassis truck, etc. But VW and BMW have multiple brands so why sell one out, especially BMW who sells 1 million cars a year and isn't really hurting.

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That better not happen. The A1 and A-class are lame, BMW shouldn't follow them down that road. Especially when they have Mini to serve as a compact FWD car.

The A1 has not been presented yet. :AH-HA_wink:

If you meant the aluminum bodied Audi A2, then I agree with you re it being lame.

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i keep recalling an article i read a couple years ago warning against overcapacity in the industry and a global shakeout that said maybe 12 manufacturers survive with like 6-9 of them being big on a global scale.

i think it was

GM (this is WHY losing Opel will be a disaster)

Ford

Toyota

Honda

Nissan Renault (now you get why they are together)

VW and whoever sleeps with them

probably Mercedes

Hyundai Kia

Fiat (which is why the chrylser deal makes sense)

Citroen Pueguot (if they are the same)

anyways, maybe BMW thinks they in a position of irrelevance or extinction being so narrowly focused.

well, if world order says 'build all 4 cylinder $h!boxes with front drive' then you can understand why BMW may be feeling a pinch to do this.

BTW, can't one get a mercedes a class in canada?

Edited by regfootball
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The 3-cylinder I am not a fan of either, but 4-cylinder gas and diesel in the 3-series coming to the U.S. I support.

Because you've driven a BMW 3-cylinder.... right? :rolleyes:

Honda did a decent job with the 3-cylinder in the original Insight. Granted, that wasn't intended as a performance engine, but I could see a turbo 3-cylinder from BMW pulling around the Mini platform quite effectively.

Mercedes I don't have a problem with building a wide variety because they are a primarily a one-brand company (I know, Smart and Freightliner). They are like if GM made the GM Aveo, GM CTS, GM, LaCrosse, GM heavy duty chassis truck, etc. But VW and BMW have multiple brands so why sell one out, especially BMW who sells 1 million cars a year and isn't really hurting.

You realize that BMW spits out lots of 1-series and 3-series in the EU that aren't even above the Jetta in terms of prestige right? We're talkin crank windows, rough cloth seats, and no A/C cars. BMW is quite capable of slumming it. They just don't do it in front of us yankees because then they couldn't continue to con us into paying $35k for a RWD Civic with "leatherette".

The whole purpose of this ZERO CLASS exercise is for BMW to be able to charge even more of a premium for the Mini platform without actually putting much more value into it. I mean, how much better handling can a Mini-Cooper-S get?

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BMW is backed into a corner on the MINI platform, methinks.

As someone else here said, they are trying to take what was simple (the MINI Coupe) and re-invent it seven ways from Sunday.

Chris

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AUGGGGGHHHHHHHH end of the world!!!! Can we blame PCS??? :)

Seriously, though, this destroys any brand credibility they had left. Leave the FWD to the Mini brand. Sounds like a move of sheer desperation.

I blame PCS. ;-)

I don't think this really destroys the brand's credibility, though.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner... I thought the 1 series was way too close to the 3 series... and since it uses many of the same engines, the 1 series' lighter weight makes it a better performer... I felt the 1 series should have been closer to the Mini.

Of course, it really isn't feasible to make a front engined, RWD Mini. As much of a RWD fan as I am, the Mini is one of the few cars which has a good reason to be FWD... so a Mini-based BMW would have to be FWD.

Of course, to REALLY differentiate the 0-series, it would be interesting to see the next gen Mini platform built in such a way that the drivetrain unit could be put in the front _or_ rear... something like how the Fiero used the drivetrain and cradle from the FWD A-body cars. A 0-series that was basically a Smart without the sucky drivetrain would be absolutely awesome.

I also give BMW credit that they are planning a 3 and 5 door. That 5 door preview shot looks really uncomfortable to get into. The 3 door is nice, as most other car companies (Smart and Mini excepted) seem to want to force us all into 4/5 door cars with tiny tiny doors.

As for demolishing brand creditability, that would only happen if the 1 and 3 series were converted to FWD. Or worse... if the next 5 series was on the W-body platform. Ugh.

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When the 1-series was announced, I went on record here stating the '0-series' and the '.5-series' would soon follow.

We're getting there ... :smilewide:

BMW is also undoubtedly 'feeling the pinch' due to what has to be slower fleet sales in europe- their bread & butter there.

Edited by balthazar
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Because you've driven a BMW 3-cylinder.... right? :rolleyes:

Honda did a decent job with the 3-cylinder in the original Insight. Granted, that wasn't intended as a performance engine, but I could see a turbo 3-cylinder from BMW pulling around the Mini platform quite effectively.

You realize that BMW spits out lots of 1-series and 3-series in the EU that aren't even above the Jetta in terms of prestige right? We're talkin crank windows, rough cloth seats, and no A/C cars. BMW is quite capable of slumming it. They just don't do it in front of us yankees because then they couldn't continue to con us into paying $35k for a RWD Civic with "leatherette".

The whole purpose of this ZERO CLASS exercise is for BMW to be able to charge even more of a premium for the Mini platform without actually putting much more value into it. I mean, how much better handling can a Mini-Cooper-S get?

I don't want a 3-cylinder anything, much less a 3-cylinder BMW. I'm sure a 3-cylinder turbo would move an Aveo or Yaris around just fine, but a BMW is supposed to be performance, plus have refinement.

The cheapest 3-series in the UK has cloth seats, but it has direct injection, front and side airbags, A/C, power windows. push button start, first aid kit, tool kit, CD player with 6 speakers and trip computer. It is not a luxury vehicle, but it has the basics that a mid range family sedan has.

I think a 4-cylinder (especially the turbo diesel) 3-series in the US is a good idea, they already make it, and some people value gas mileage more than 0-60 time and still want rear drive handling dynamics. Plus a 320i can still hit 60 in 8 seconds, which is on par with a lot of 4-cylinder family sedans.

BMW is about handling and driving dynamics, not muscle car power, so I don't care if they make a car that goes 0-60 in 8 or 9 seconds but handles like a Lotus. Although I still want them to offer the 0-60 in 5 seconds cars. I am 100% opposed to any BMW being front drive, that destroys brand credibility. A front drive BMW is like a front drive Corvette, it is just wrong.

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considering how BMW has gone hog wild with cute utes, whoring out their legacy and badge for the future quick buck is hilarious.

guess hyundai is the new shop for rwd excitement!!!!

bmw cimarron!

Edited by regfootball
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guess hyundai is the new shop for rwd excitement!!!!

Sadly it is looking that way. Among the mainstream brands, only Dodge/Chrysler has a rear drive sedan (once the Ford Panther platform is totally gone) and who knows how long that will continue with the state they are in. I think there is a great opportunity for someone to do a rear drive sedan that is a smaller midsize (like a G37 size) but priced like a Camry or Accord. There are a dozen front drive family sedans, it would have been nice if Hyundai did a rwd Sonata, they would be truly unique in that segment. They could have been a mainstream brand with 4 rear drivers, now that spells Excitement!!!!!!!!

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I'd be really disappointed with BMW if they made that car, and didn't find a way to make it RWD. Especially after the CEO's comments a while back, saying the one things they would never do is make a minivan, and a FWD car.

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I really think the cute utes destry BMW's credibility worse than FWD. FWD doesn't bother me so much as long as they offer me RWD.

What bothers me is that they are going to screw up the marketing of the MINI and the MINI will go away. Then small car lovers like me will be stuck with stuff like the Kia Soul....ughhh...

Chris

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hare.jpg

Agreed, and they should stick to rear drive. Although one could argue that rabbits are 4 wheel drive. BMW needs to be like greyhounds or cheatas, those are definitely rear wheel drive and look at how fast they are.

The X1 is a bit suspect, but I think the X3 and X5 are fine, they are rear drive, the X5 has a 550 hp V8 option. An SUV on a 5-series platform is better than one on a Fusion or Camry platform.

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