Watch the new BMW 1-Series GT being tested on the Nurburgring Nordschleife!
BMW will offer the upcoming 1 Series GT with two different wheelbases. The two models will offer buyers a choice between a five and a seven-seat configuration.The increased length will offer additional rear space for passengers. Both models are built on the front-wheel drive, one that will be used by many upcoming BMW models.
The FWD platform, also known internally as UKL (an acronym for the German words ‘unter klasse’, or ‘entry level’ in English) was introduced last year at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in the form of the Concept Active Tourer.
The very same platform will underpin the next generation MINI in 2014, as well as other BMW models, including the new 1 Series which will debut in 2018 and the second generation X1.
One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once,” says Ian Robertson, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing.
The premium small market is a significant bet that BMW is placing on. The segment is expected to grow faster than any other one in the upcoming years. The development cost of the new FWD architecture will be spread across multiple models and brands, allowing the company to offer a competitive price for their products.
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.
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.
First model will debut in 2014.