BMW fans’ least favorite subject comes back to focus. BMW front-wheel drive vehicles are less than two years away and the subject is already beginning to be quite controversial. Under a branded subcompact class, the Munich-based automaker will launch its first front-drive vehicles sometimes in 2013.
The magazine mentions at least five front-drive BMWs will be accompanied by seven new or redesigned MINIs.
According to CAR and their source within BMW, the first BMW-branded front-driver will be the 1 Series GT, slightly different than our previous reports. Our sources indicate the first BMW front-wheel drive as being BMW Compact, a car that sits in the 1 Series family segment, but it is not built on a rear-wheel drive platform.
BMW Z2 Concept Rendering by InsideLine
Same magazine speculates that the front-wheel drive BMW will be related to the next-generation MINI Clubman, which will be longer and feature rear doors on both sides. To go even further with some unfounded speculations, CAR reported that the third-generation 1 Series arriving for perhaps 2017 or 2018 is likely to be front-drive as well. In our opinion, this statement is far from the truth.
BMW FAST comes to focus as well. Short for Family Activity Sport Tourer, the front-wheel drive vehicle is seen as a more sporty orientated synergy between a Touring MPV and an X model, a sort of Mercedes B-Class vehicle.
Next in the rumors pipeline, the entry-level roadster BMW Z2. CAR says 2016 as a launch date and will compete against Mazda Miata for example.
So far almost everything aligns with our inside information as well. But CAR takes it another step further into the unknown or the speculative world. Second generation X1 to move to front-wheel drive? Highly unlikely. The current model is offered with both xDrive and rear-wheel drive configuration and looking at the demographic of the car, we are not sold on the idea of a front-wheel drive entry-level X-like vehicle.
BMW “Joy”. Apparently a subcomcast vehicle that will be available in three and five doors configuration.
Now onto the MINI brand. The third-generation MINI Cooper should arrive by 2013, followed by the convertible and Clubman two years later. The CAR news revolve though around a “mini” MINI, a small hatch that measures 10-foot in length. Next, MINI Activity Tourer, design details unknown, but launch date set for 2016. Around the same time, the second generation MINI Countryman and MINI Coupe Roadster will join the front-wheel drive fleet.
While MINI front-wheel drive news are nothing new and still a trademark for the Oxford-based company, the appearance of several FWD BMWs will certainly create additional controversy and questions around the core values of the Ultimate Driving Machine.