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BMW CEO reconfirms future FWD vehicle

News | March 17th, 2010 by 42
rendering megacity BMW

A report by Automotive News Europe confirms our previous statement: BMW will indeed build a new front-wheel entry-level vehicle. Confirmed today by BMW CEO, Dr. …

A report by Automotive News Europe confirms our previous statement: BMW will indeed build a new front-wheel entry-level vehicle.

Confirmed today by BMW CEO, Dr. Norbert Reithofer during the Annual Accounts Press Conference, the FWD vehicle and a four-wheel-drive vehicle architecture will underpin a new range of entry-level BMW cars as well as next-generation Mini models.

Klaus Draeger, Head of Research and Development, said that the new FWD vehicle will debut in 2014 with the arrival of the third-generation Mini hatchback. While not confirmed, we’re incline to believe that these new vehicles are tied to the previously confirmed MegaCity vehicle.

BMW CEO reconfirms future FWD vehicle

MegaCity Vehicle rendering illustrated above

Draeger said the new architecture will enable BMW to produce a range of vehicles that are between 3800mm and 4300mm long. This will put the new entry-level BMW in the same segment as the Volkswagen’s Fox, Polo, Golf, Beetle and Scirocco.

The new front-wheel-drive models will fit below the 1 Series models. While not officially confirmed, Automotive News quotes a source that mentions the new architecture will underpin up to 20 different BMW and MINI models.

The pressing question: Why a FWD BMW?

Reithofer said today: “We expect the premium small car segment to grow by 4-6 percent annually until 2020″. Also, by 2012, BMW will have to adhere the more strict emission regulations. Two valid reasons that influenced BMW decision to move forward with a front-wheel drive model.

With the previous rumors now confirmed in an official setup, we expect to learn more about the new architecture in the near future.

[Source: AutoNews ]

  • Zane

    Booooooo!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740122109 John Thoresen

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

  • Bryce

    So much for the “Ultimate Driving Machine”

  • BMWM6

    now half of BMW drivers will have there cars called ricers

    esoecially the young drivers that know nothing about cars will buy the fwd mw because its cheap

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

      So having a FWD car means you’re a ricer? Really?

      There are plenty of drivers that know nothing about cars who have BMWs. Get over it.

      • BMWM6

        thats not what i meant

        Im sure you have seen those teenagers driving honda civics with enough lights to blind you. These drivers need a cheap car yet want to make it look fast.

        If they can get there hands on this BMW then its probably going to get ‘riced up” because bmw already has an image of fast cars.

        • Laszlo

          and your point is… ?

          I don’t see anything wrong with it. The heck this is the PLAN. BMW wants to sell cars to young people who is looking for cheap cars. Don’t you understand what the statement said ? This is the whole idea.
          Well if they will rice it, fine. Many many BMW are riced and pimped out today and will be more going that way. Do you think that the new bungle line was created for the purist old fashioned BMW owner ?
          This is where a car enthusiast must be a financial person. BMW is in a business of making MONEY not just cars. If the cars will not make a profit they won’t make them. With the FWD small cars they will also balance out the emission on the monsters like the V12 7 series, the M5, M6, X6M, X5M etc. all the emission nightmares and gas guzzlers. It will make a huge profit according to this guy, as the market will grow 4-6% each year. The rest of the market will be lucky to be stable.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

            Exactly. Any car brand will have people who choose poor modification choices and “rice” their cars. There is no carmaker that is immune to this as long as human beings buy their cars.

            Like I said before, get over it. Your brand image perception is far from what is realistic.

    • Mellechmann

      It doesn’t make sense. Grow up please, and like Alivn already said twice. GET OVER IT. Damn..

  • SaidSo

    Good one Alving….good one.

  • Giom

    Come on guys, enough of the dramatics allready!

    In stead of taking away anything from the BMW brand, it will be adding to the existing line-up. The boo’s and the noooo’s are only in your heads. The great cars BMW is making today will still be made in the future.

    One thing is for sure… everything BMW does now, is to ensure their future. I don’t think they need to prove themselfs. Certainly not the the short sighted.

  • viper

    thats bullshit..I was never a fan of A class , when I meant follow the leader I thought of like build a 4door coupe , or a 5meter coupe or a 5meter suv or a supercar , not this city car fwd crap.this just lowers my opinion of bmw even further

  • okeribok

    Bit early for april fools and Germans are not known for their sense of humor. So it had better be rear wheel steering and have six gears reverse and one forward, or I yell mini!

  • AceMcLoud

    Anybody who’s ever driven a Mini shouldn’t be too worried about the driving characteristics of a small FWD car by BMW ;-)
    Of course they wont make the next M3 FWD, so cool down everyone ;-)

    • wazon8

      You’re right. MINI is not so bad, but why make a BMW’s rival for MINI? Isn’t MINI small premium car owned by BMW? Why then don’t allow MINI to do the work in small cars segment.

    • Auday

      driving a Mini makes me think “oh god what if this car is a RWD?!”. Mini has a tight steering wheel stiff suspension and light chassis, all that makes it a great car. But it losses alot because of the FWD, the torque steering, the under steer, weight distribution ….etc.

      I would say if BMW wants to make a BMW version of Mini, they should make it RWD, and even if it adds 200 lbs or a bit more it would still be a great car!

  • wazon8

    I am deeply disappointed.

    • wazon8

      I wish they considered small RWD once again. In this segment that would be something really unique as 1-er is compact cars segment. RWD would surely be attractive for many drivers. I would go with it as city car. And don’t worry much about the place inside, everybody knows that such small cars can be relatively comfort only for two persons and that two additional persons can survive up to 30 min at back seat without complaints.

  • John

    Now their navigation is really lost :( I still remember the proud ads about the 1-series being the only RWD-car in it’s class! I can still remember the proud articles about RWD being one of the unique selling points of BMW. And now they try to sell us this? It’s just hypocracy! This is at least the third disappointment in a row :(

    I’m so glad i’m driving a young car, but i’m seriously looking for a new brand to replace my Bimmer :( FWD on a BMW, it’s almost like cursing in the church :(

  • Finlaw

    FWD BMW? It is sacrilege. Could not they resurrect the names Wolseley and Reilly and use FWD on them.

  • XC

    It is plain and simple heresy. There are cars that are MEANT to be RWD. It’s like Ford announcing they will make a FWD Mustang! Sacrilege! BMW really has to think this twice, they should make this new megacity car under a different brand, MINI or perhaps resucitate Isetta or even Dixi would do! Still, people will buy it because it would still be a BMW, but not quite, BECAUSE BMWs are RWD! I sadly have to agree with viper (!) It lowers my opinion of BMW.

    • XC

      And I love BMWs…Wow, we BMW fans expecting a new M1 supercar and instead we get this… Damn world economic crisis…

      • XC

        And they want to compete against Volkswagen’s Fox, Polo, Golf, Beetle and Scirocco? With a BMW? Gee…

        • XC

          It’s like announcing that the 2011 Formula 1 cars will be FWD! OMG! I’m so disappointed :(

          • XC

            But alas, it is common sense at its best. I may end up buying one of this for my son when he grows up. Sigh…

  • Daniel H.

    Someone kick this managment out. They are ruining the image of BMW. BMW is not a brand for everyone. Its for those who want to drive and have fun. They are going to make a BMW simply another common car on the road if they decide to produce this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

      As much as I understand your pain, every corporation that has shareholders will be doing something like this. If it gets those suits more money on their monthly paychecks, they don’t mind. It’s all about profits and BMW is trying to tap into as many markets as they can, hence the X-series and this soon to be FWD vehicle.

      • XC

        The point is, they USED to mind. That is why BMW got its reputation.

  • CalebC

    I have no issue with BMW designing and building a FWD car. In fact I’m confident they could do a great job with it, perhaps even making the best handling most drivable FWD out there. What I *do* take issue with is releasing such a car under the BMW moniker. RWD is a source of pride for me and many others and is part of the brand’s DNA. I understand change is inevitable; not all Porsches are Rear Engine, Air Cooled, Flat Sixes…

    …but they should be. Maybe this change is inevitable; all change is. I was just hoping this change would not come until after I had died.

  • brassneck

    was there such an outcry with the announcement of the first 4X4 BMW?

    • bob

      Yes.

  • viper

    I heard bmw is making a car with six wheels , that should be tha shit!

  • Otto

    Shame. BMW is now after volume rather than margin. This move seems like a big mistake. Not to mention the image damage : a BMW is either a RWD or AWD, but shall never be a FWD.

  • Doug

    I don’t get the controversy. Doesn’t Mini already use FWD? What’s the big deal? They’re not talking about making the 1-series FWD. What about the Isetta, isn’t tthat brand coming back?

    • Auday

      Isetta was a RWD. BMW never ever built a FWD before (maybe internally for some confidential experiments, but nothing released).

  • SaidSo

    Disappointing indeed.

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  • Mose121

    Yay!  Let’s build a model just so we can get around government regulations and not because it’s what we should be building.  Yay!

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