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.
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 ]