Weeks away from BMW’s first front-wheel drive vehicle

Rumors | August 6th, 2012 by 25
1-series-fwd

Back in February, we reported exclusively that BMW’s first front-wheel drive vehicle will make its debut this fall at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. First …

Back in February, we reported exclusively that BMW’s first front-wheel drive vehicle will make its debut this fall at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. First previewed in concept form, the BMW Compactive Sports Tourer will be the first of many front-wheel drive vehicles to come from BMW and will officially launch on the market in 2014.

The 1er FWD will be pit against similar offerings from Mercedes-Benz.

From a design point of view, the BMW Compactive Sport Tourer has a tall ride height in order to accommodate the interior packaging of this type of car. To retain BMW’s dynamic DNA, the car features a sloping roof with a large glasshouse. At the front, the CST features the classic design elements of a BMW: double headlights and a smaller but taller than usual kidney grille.

Weeks away from BMWs first front wheel drive vehicle

Rendering by AutoBild

The dynamic lines with convex and concave shapes are present on the CST as well with the single purpose of reminding that even a FWD BMW retains its athletic abilities.

The 1 Series Gran Turismo will be powered by three and four-cylinder turbo engines and will sport the new front-wheel drive platform architecture. A Hybrid and xDrive version will be offered as well. Similar powerplants will also be used in the next generation of MINI vehicles. One of them is the MINI Traveler.

The new small petrol engine shares its 500cc individual cylinder capacity and other key elements with BMW’s classic 3.0-litre straight six petrol unit. We will have a look at these new engines in just a few weeks.

Weeks away from BMWs first front wheel drive vehicle

Stay tuned in September for more exclusive news around the new family of BMW vehicles.

Weeks away from BMWs first front wheel drive vehicle

A sketch of the alledged BMW Compactive Sports Tourer

  • pimeto

    That thing on the renders looks like Skoda…

    • Otto

      More of a MB B class actually.

  • Maarten

    It is a sad day for BMW. I can’t believe that this is going to be a success.

    • King

      I hope there is lots of booing when they take the covers off! A perfect example of brand destruction by new management’s short term view to financial gains! What a SHAME!

  • Phil

    This thing has as much BMW-DNA as an old shrimp creeping on its reef. Nothing against shrimps, but…
    I still hope that this is all a very bad joke.

  • RacecarBMW

    Everyone relax.

    It’s not like they are taking the M3 or even the 3 series and making it FWD they are bringing in a new model. What so wrong about that. This new model will definitely bring in lots of cash for BMW. I mean how many non enthusiasts BMW owners even care or know the major differences between FWD and RWD? Why does BMW get a lot of hate for this stuff?

    I mean you can still have fast sporty cars and people mover type cars under one brand. As a matter of fact name one other major brand that makes only sporty type cars? I can only think of Porsche.

    Mercedes makes fwd people cars and fast cars and no one complains, Nissan makes the GTR and the Versa. Does that make the GTR any worse just because its made under the same brand as the Versa? All car manufactures have few fast sporty cars and then many people mover type cars. BMW (and Porsche) are the only brands I can think of that have been focused mainly on the fast and fun cars.

    And like I said earlier why all the hate when BMW does something different? BMW was CONSIDERING a V6 in the next M3 and everyone went apeshit (excuse my language). People started saying how V6 engines only belong in family cars and a soulless crap cars. Well guess what. The NSX was a V6, The 370z was a V6, The Lancia Stratos was a V6, The GTR is a V6. No one complains. Audi is full of V6 cars. Heck speaking about Audi most of their cars are fwd or awd.

    What about turbos? Sure M cars are known for high revving engines but come on so many high performance cars use turbos and how many of you have tried the S63 engine? If there is one thing I know about BMW it’s that if they do something it’s going to be good the S63 is one of the best turbo engines I have ever driven. Seriously. I mean I own a 2002 BMW M3 and I love it and I love NA engines and all that but S63 is crazy I drove the X5M and the new M5 and in both cars the engine drives like nothing else. I seriously welcome the turbo BMW future. Seeing as how they managed to make such an amazing turbocharged engine then I will go so far as to say if BMW ever does make a V6 its going to be the best V6 ever and when the FWD cars comes along I have a feeling its going to drive like no other FWD car. Everyone just relax and give it a chance.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Great answer! You nailed many of the points we’ve been trying to make for months, if not years.

      • RacecarBMW

        Thank you. I really wish people would stop and think. It’s not like the world is over and BMW is going to stop producing everything and focus just on FWD cars. I’m going to be looking forward to this car and see what they do with it. I love all the new cars BMW are making this and the i8 and other rumored i cars are really interesting I don’t see whats wrong with BMW trying out different types of cars. Sure they aren’t “pure” or whatever garbage people say. But its not like BMW can’t make “pure” cars. Look at the 1M. Bmw is satisfying such a wide range of consumers. It’s seriously amazing how they manage to do it.

        And I know the X5M and X6M get a lot of hate too. But guess what I have never driven an SUV as fun as the X5M. And why does it get that much hate? What about the ML63 AMG? or the Cayenne Turbo? Even the Range Rover? Some people just love to hate on BMW.

        • King

          I just want to let you know that the majority of people who comment negatively on BMW’s FWD strategy actually love BMW so much that they care about the brand destruction, a brand that they have known and admired for decades now turning around and doing things that are against its traditions and believes.

          And no, it is not about whether BMW knows how to make pure cars or not, it is about whether each car with a BMW badge on it is pure or not. A name, like a badge is a promise. It is a sign of what the company and its products stand for and new management is about to trash decades of hard work from all current and past employees to build up a brand with such exceptional and superior products with such strong public support that made it the No. 1 Premium car company in the world today.

          There is nothing that can be said that would sufficiently justify management’s short term greed and in doing so sacrificing the company’s long term prospects by impairing the brand that took decades to build!

          • RacecarBMW

            Just because the new car is going to be FWD doesn’t mean its not pure. BMW isn’t badge engineering this car.

            For ME RWD is the best. But that is for ME, maybe it applies to you as well. But Definitely not to GTI owners or Cooper owners. Have you driven a FWD car that isn’t toyota? They can be really fun.

            This is like the X5 all over again. I remember when it was first announced everyone had there doubts. Look at it now.

            And if like you said recent BMWs have had many issues than the problem isn’t the FWD but BMW and regardless if they make this FWD car or not those are separate issues.

  • S54

    I have absolutely no worries about the new FWD 1 Series ( …… whatever it turns out to be called ). Why? Its based on the next MINI which is going to be around 100-150KG lighter than the current one, which is one of the best driving hatches, period. It will have small, incredibly efficient, torquey and powerful engines ( relative to its 1.5 L capacity obviously ). It will greatly boost BMW sales ( BMW are very proud of the fact that they’re the worlds best-selling premium car manufacturer and to not want to relinquish that title to ever-more competitive Audi ) , and it will be safe and well-built. I
    dont even mind that much that its FWD. The packaging benefits are immense, it makes it lighter and 99% of prospective owners wont even now what RWD stands for. And BMW have already shown they can make a FWD car handle with the MINI hatches. I even have a feeling it will be better than the F20….. now all they have to nail is the looks. Fingers crossed!

    • King

      80% of the drivers of the 1 Series do not know they are driving a RWD car:
      So does this mean that you can give them something inferior and against your believe just because they don’t know. Customers trust that you know what is best for them and that you will give them the best, even if thy don’t know what is required to make the best. This is what BMW is known for the past few decades. If this is the corporate culture that is in BMW today, I shallow to think what extent these new BMWs have cost cut in areas that are not visible to the customers! And the CEO has NO SHAME in loudly stating that he has failed to market one of the most differentiating factors of the 1 Series to its customers! WHAT A SHAME.
      “No body has told me a Mini is not fun to drive” So are we comparing Mini’s with BMWs now. My question to you is, is the driving quality (and fun) of a Mini better than BMW? I don’t think so. Once again, trashing BMW’s inherent believes and years of tradition to get some short term gains. By ths way, Mini is not even considered premium in many markets!
      So no, your argument does not hold well. This is very clearly a hit to the BMW brand and an impairment of the trust that consumers have built up towards the BMW brand. No one is stopping BMW from forming another brand where they can introduce as many shitty FWD cars they want, but they know that with a BMW badge on it, it sells faster in the short term, until the brand is diluted in a few years time, at which point current management is no longer there. WHAT A PITY AND SHAME!

  • Bryan Reed

    I can see why people have a problem with this new FWD car. look at honda, they dropped the S2000 and the NSX’s revival is slim to none. these were 2 very good sports cars and are cherished by their respective owners. both dead and gone. the only sporty honda you can get is a FWD Civic Si or if they do a Si of the accord but that’ll take away from the Si heritage. many companies abandoned the RWD platform after making front drive cars. BMW will make the new FWD car the premier entry level car to boost sales to the general public who can’t afford a $40,000+ bimmer. this will not change the overall BMW experience. the classic formula will remain but its a new day for the Bavarians. besides, no one said you have to buy it anyway.

    • RacecarBMW

      Exactly its not like BMW is going to abandon the M3. They are just adding another model.

  • King

    RacecarBMW: BMW is known for building excellent quality RWD cars and they are known for building cars that handle extremely well without any compromise. The main differentiating factor between BMW and Audi for the past few decades has been the fact that uses VW cars, i.e. FWD setup while BMW has always been focused on getting what they believed to be the perfect setup for a well balanced car: RWD and at no point did they sacrifice this for any short term gains.

    This is no longer the case with new management at the BMW Group. They come in and try to please the shareholder to boost the share price so they can earn bigger remuneration. They announce cost cutting strategies left, right and center to the point where they even cut marketing and advertisements, let alone the production costs of vehicles to get some short term profits. The result? BMW Group posted record high number of vehicle recalls for safety defects every year in the past three years, Audi marketing gained the upper hand while BMW was cost cutting, allowing cars such as the R8 (which also pulls up the Audi brand) to be viewed as a majestic vehicle in the public’s eyes.

    This FWD to be introduced by BMW is a slap on their own faces. It is an insult to BMW’s long standing brand image and tradition, all because of some inconsiderate selfish executives who try to get short term gains. Yes, generating cash is important, yes, you are running a business. But don’t ever forget what type of business you are running and how BMW got to the BMW, being the Number 1 premium car company is the world today. Not by cost cutting, not by building something they don’t believe in. But rather building something that is exceptional, true to their believes, without compromise! This is how you gain the public’s trust, this is how you become number 1!

    Frankly, if management wants to run a cost cutting business like they currently are with all these strategies, they should all go and work for Tata!

    FWD, what a joke! Audi must be laughing in their faces. At least have the decency to not put a BMW badge on these FWD cars that you are making, but no, BMW badge will sell more cars, won’t it? Management is in for the short term, who cares about 10 years from now when the effects of brand dilution kicks in and BMW vehicles no longer have points of differentiation, they’ve already retired and left BMW!

    As for these record sales announcements. Please, please wake up. A 4% growth IS A DISGRACE! It is shocking when Audi is posting growth in the high double digits and you only achieved a disgusting 4% with models such as the 3 Series and 6 Series! PATHETIC! BMW is consistently losing market share to Audi. I.e. they are not competitive at all. And the CEO did warn that they will lose the no.1 spot in a very short time by saying that they are not willing to sell cars at any cost in the latest AGM! And no, this is not due to the fact that you charge higher prices as the different is not statistically significant, but rather you are losing appeal to the market due to your strategies implemented, which is not in touch with what the market needs!

    “BMW does not need an image boost” What kind of a person says that for the reason for not launching a super car? It shows absolute ignorance and arrogance!

    Here are some of the reasons noted as being stated by BMW management for this FWD trash that we will be seeing:

    80% of the drivers of the 1 Series do not know they are driving a RWD car:
    So does this mean that you can give them something inferior and against your believe just because they don’t know. Customers trust that you know what is best for them and that you will give them the best, even if thy don’t know what is required to make the best. This is what BMW is known for the past few decades. If this is the corporate culture that is in BMW today, I shallow to think what extent these new BMWs have cost cut in areas that are not visible to the customers! And the CEO has NO SHAME in loudly stating that he has failed to market one of the most differentiating factors of the 1 Series to its customers! WHAT A SHAME.

    “No body has told me a Mini is not fun to drive” So are we comparing Mini’s with BMWs now. My question to you is, is the driving quality (and fun) of a Mini better than BMW? I don’t think so. Once again, trashing BMW’s inherent believes and years of tradition to get some short term gains. By ths way, Mini is not even considered premium in many markets!

    So no, your argument does not hold well. This is very clearly a hit to the BMW brand and an impairment of the trust that consumers have built up towards the BMW brand. No one is sopping BMW from forming another brand where they can introduce as many shitty FWD cars they want, but they know that with a BMW badge on it, it sells faster in the short term, until the brand is diluted in a few years time, at which point current management is no longer there. WHAT A PITY AND SHAME!

    • RacecarBMW

      I highly respect the opinions and facts that you said above but I have a few things to say. Like I said above why does this criticism only apply to BMW? I know how prestigious people see the BMW brand to be, but nowadays we can say “it’s not wrong if everyone does it”. It really isn’t I know its hard to grasp. Look at the Cygnet. That is a Toyota rebadged as an Aston Martin. BMW is pulling crap like that. They are going to build a new car sure its going to be based a bit off of the Mini but its still going to be built like a BMW and engineered like a BMW. It might not drive like a rwd BMW but I’m sure its going to drive much better than any other fwd car. I’m positive BMW is going to set the bar high with this car. Fwd cars aren’t exactly horrible they are just different and appeal to different people.

      Remember this car is going to be much cheaper than the current 1 series. This will open a new market for younger guys that can’t afford the bigger and “better” BMW’s. Sure they aren’t getting the real BMW experience but nonetheless its going to be a BMW. And I don’t mean just a badge. I’m sure this car will be engineered in every way that all other BMWs are engineered I’m sure that BMW is going to go to great lengths to make it a fwd that’s much better than anything on the market.

      • King

        RacerBMW:

        1. The mere fact that others do it does not mean that BMW should follow. There is only 1 no. 1 premium car company in the world and that is BMW. Stick to what BMW stands for.

        2. I don’t know if you realise that your argument is based on the hope that they are going to make put in the effort and quality controls in place to make sure this thing is better than others in the market and I have given you numerous solid examples where BMW has recently come short of expectations, cutting corners and costs. Therefore, I highly doubt, from their new strategy and recent displays of an impaired corporate culture in an integrity point of view that the introduction of FWD cars would be any different. The mere fact that they are introducing this thing proves it.

        3. So you are saying FWD cars are acceptable? Not to the BMW brand that I have come to know and admire! Yes, they are different, IN AN INFERIOR WAY. How am I or any others who have supported BMW and the general public accept BMW blatantly offering us INFERIOR products after decades of marketing AGAINST it??? Again, new management being greedy, messing up the brand!

        4. Let’s wait and see if it will be “much cheaper” as you say. I highly doubt it. If they make it much cheaper, they would be accused of offering inferior products. So even if it is cheap to build, it will be expensive on selling. Isn’t that why they insist on slapping a BMW badge on this FWD trash in the first place? To command a premium!

        5. Don’t forget that a name is a promise, the employees, customers and management should be proud to be pinning on the BMW badge on each BMW at the end of the production line, driving in cars with the BMW badge because that signifies decades of success based on traditions and values of excellence, quality and engineering perfection. It is based on decades of knowledge of best practices and ways to make a car perfect in every class and FWD will destroy all that!

  • Otto

    As a BMW executive said a couple of years ago, 4 out of 5 German 1 Series owners thought they were driving a FWD car, so why bother manufacturing a RWD?
    Now we expect the same survey soon about the 3 Series, so BMW could finally release a FWD 3 Series.
    As a reminder, BMW buyers have a lower IQ than Audi buyers, hence the golden X5, 5 Series and so on.

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  • Joh

    An interesting approach, but I’m surprised BMW are coming out with FWD models under their own banner, when their MINI models already (and successfully) cater for the small/medium sized FWD market.

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