Rumor: BMW and PSA to build new modular front-wheel drive platform

Rumors | December 4th, 2009 by 8

Another month and more rumors of a possible collaboration between BMW and the French group PSA. While the previous reports revolved around future four-cylinder engines, …

Another month and more rumors of a possible collaboration between BMW and the French group PSA. While the previous reports revolved around future four-cylinder engines, this time the british magazine Autocar mentioned a joint venture to design a new small car platform which could be used to create a front-wheel-drive 1 Series.

Before we go even further, we would like to mention that the possibility of using the FWD for future 1 Series models is very slim and most likely the small car platform will be used in the Project i programme.

But to continue the report from Autocar, the article mentions a modular front-wheel-drive platform to be used in the next generation MINI, as well as future Citroen and Peugeot models.

“It’s no secret that we have been seeking to extend our joint venture operations. In the end we decided to build on our successful relationship with Peugeot,” said a BMW source. The decision is scheduled to be made public early next year.


The same source mentions on-going discussions on whether or not BMW should break the tradition and history of rear-wheel-drive car. “For many in this company it is a taboo subject. But we have to be realistic with the targets we have set ourselves for fuel consumption and emissions, and they clearly favour a front-wheel-drive solution for 2018”, said the BMW source.

The next generation 1 Series is due in 2012 and the development and design are well underway, so to clarify, these rumors are around a 2018-2019 1 Series.

[Source: Autocar ]

8 responses to “Rumor: BMW and PSA to build new modular front-wheel drive platform”

  1. Giom says:

    I agree that a FWD 1 series is unlikely. Why else would Project-I exist other than to give BMW a FWD car – probably a hybrid of some sorts. Think about this, if they change the One into FWD for economic purposes, then they’ll have to change the entire family to FWD. This just won’t happen.

  2. :p says:

    I agree, but even with hybrids, Dont end up like Mercedes Benz and its A and B class. Keep a Rear Wheel Drive and AWD and only those.

  3. Giom says:

    True, but hybrids could be all wheel drive. As in the Vision, all wheels get to play along. I just don’t think that the engine would end up in the back if they make it a four seater family car, so, with the engine up front, the front wheels would be turning off it, and electricity would drive the rears.

    Could be fun powersliding with electricity from the back… he he.

  4. paul says:

    I have been a bmw customer for almost 30 years and if in fact bmw went ahead with this fwd business they would loose a loyal customer. I am a bit fed up with this green obsession within bmw people these days…

  5. travelgeek says:

    Don´t expect a joint platform, that would hurt BMW – Peugeot would love it though. There was always a behind the scenes cooperation in terms of technology, like with the start of Diesel engines.

    What is the key technology to the next gen car world? Electrical engines, batteries, the infrastructure for it. That´s a huge effort and car manufactures are looking to share the development costs, so its a must.

    BMW doesn`t need any of the existing Peugeot technology. Front wheel drive? Mini. Compact rear wheel drive? 1 series. Compact SUV all wheel drive? X1.

    • :p says:

      I agree with you. BMW has made its own cars for the last several decades. It has made its own platform and engines. I hope it stays that way

  6. atr_hugo says:

    Actually, before BMW bought Dixi, they had a FWD prototype running. But that was a long time ago, 1927 IIRC.

  7. atr_hugo says:

    One more piece of useless trivia – there was a post WW II prototypew with an internal number of 513. It looked like a Topolino with a 600cc engine. Not much info available on it; it’s mentioned in Halwart Schrader’s, “BMW A History”, but I’ve not seen anything else on it. BMW Dimensions, “BMW SInce 1916” doesn’t mention it either (at least I didn’t find it in there).

    The 513 may have been FWD, but it could have been rear-engined RWD as well.

    The pre-war FWD projects in the 1920s came to naught due to lack of CV joints (there are some real issues using U-joints in an FWD application).

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