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Report: BMW working on new FWD model below 1 Series

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Filed under: Hatchback, BMW, Luxury

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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.

However, the unsurprising introduction of a new premium sub-compact won't just be limited to BMW - Reithofer told Autocar that, "We will be extending the BMW and Mini brands into the small car segment with new models and variants." The exec also took pains to differentiate the new Bimmer from the upcoming Mega City EV, saying that this new model is being developed for both front- and all-wheel drive applications, and that the new urban runabout is a separate endeavor.

Combined with the next Mini, due out as early as 2013, the automaker wants to become more than a bit player in the compact class, and in order to keep volumes of scale in check, the new FWD BMW is likely to be built alongside its Mini counterpart in Oxford.

Plans for a revamped 1 Series are also in the works, but the automaker hasn't determined whether the next 1er will be rear- or front-wheel drive. Regardless, the introduction of BMW's first FWD model signals a significant shift, but as long as the brand's patented driving dynamics are present and accounted for, it's hardly the end of the world.

[source: Autocar]

Report: BMW working on new FWD model below 1 Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Mar 2010 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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149878-c_montgomery_burns.jpg

Tha-aaaaat's ittttttt, BMW; keep duct taping more toast together- that single pat of butter will cover all of them, no problem.

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This is a sad day. What this means to me is the ecomentalists and government greenies are getting their way and winning the war on speed and performance. More and more, performance cars are dying and the econoboxes are taking over. I don't want to drive an econobox.

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The idea of the BMW badge on a FWD compact is disgusting to me, they lose much credibility if they do this. Leave the FWD compacts to Mini.

It's not an issue with Audi, since their origins (at least back to the '70s) are with FWD.

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This is a sad day. What this means to me is the ecomentalists and government greenies are getting their way and winning the war on speed and performance. More and more, performance cars are dying and the econoboxes are taking over. I don't want to drive an econobox.

That is not the problem for BMW. BMW is struggling to keep the perceived prices high and trying to gain volume at the same time. What would it do? Go lower and try to get volume while charging of the ying-yang for their products. Sharing Mini's cost while developing its own FWD is economical.

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That is not the problem for BMW. BMW is struggling to keep the perceived prices high and trying to gain volume at the same time. What would it do? Go lower and try to get volume while charging of the ying-yang for their products. Sharing Mini's cost while developing its own FWD is economical.

If BMW does it, everyone will start to do it. Everyone loves to copy BMW. Soon we'll have the 140 hp fwd, Cadillac Astra, some Lincoln version of the Fiesta, Mercedes A-class on our shores, and an Infiniti Versa. Sad, sad, sad.

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If BMW does it, everyone will start to do it. Everyone loves to copy BMW. Soon we'll have the 140 hp fwd, Cadillac Astra, some Lincoln version of the Fiesta, Mercedes A-class on our shores, and an Infiniti Versa. Sad, sad, sad.

Well, Lexus is going to be doing one with the 200Ch something. If they are as well executed as the Mini, then maybe there is a place for premium compacts or subcompacts in the US...FWD compacts and subcompacts don't have to be cheap, dreary gray plastic interior sh*tboxes. Though I find the idea of a FWD BMW offensive, I'm trying to find the upside in this...

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isn't Aston Martin doing a version of the Toyota iQ?

yet, strangely, Toyota and Subaru have a light RWD performance coupe coming to market one of these days.......and BMW can't?

that's almost a joke to say that. The Germans don't know how to make light cars. Its not even close to possible for the Germans to make a car that isn't heavier than it really needs to be (not that that is really a big problem for me, just for FE)

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If BMW does it, everyone will start to do it. Everyone loves to copy BMW. Soon we'll have the 140 hp fwd, Cadillac Astra, some Lincoln version of the Fiesta, Mercedes A-class on our shores, and an Infiniti Versa. Sad, sad, sad.

We might, depending upon how the market reacts with sales numbers.

Well, Lexus is going to be doing one with the 200Ch something. If they are as well executed as the Mini, then maybe there is a place for premium compacts or subcompacts in the US...FWD compacts and subcompacts don't have to be cheap, dreary gray plastic interior sh*tboxes. Though I find the idea of a FWD BMW offensive, I'm trying to find the upside in this...

A newly developing market for competitive, yet relatively inexpensive vehicles?

isn't Aston Martin doing a version of the Toyota iQ?

yet, strangely, Toyota and Subaru have a light RWD performance coupe coming to market one of these days.......and BMW can't?

that's almost a joke to say that. The Germans don't know how to make light cars. Its not even close to possible for the Germans to make a car that isn't heavier than it really needs to be (not that that is really a big problem for me, just for FE)

Hmm, must have something to do with some idea that there might be people willing to buy them anyway. Weird. Though, in these times, an automaker like BMW can seem to afford to just pull a new vehicle out of their butt and cross their fingers, or stick their nose in the air expecting that someone will buy it.

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