Autobild reports next-gen BMW 1 Series and 2 Series will be front-wheel drive

Rumors | November 24th, 2015 by 48
BMW Concept Compact Sedan images 20 750x500

The latest edition of the Autobild reports on the next-generation BMW 1 Series Hatchback and 2 Series making the the switch from a rear-wheel drive …

The latest edition of the Autobild reports on the next-generation BMW 1 Series Hatchback and 2 Series making the the switch from a rear-wheel drive architecture to the new UKL front-wheel drive.

Earlier this year, Klaus Fröhlich is a member of the Board of Management for BMW AG, Development, said a decision on the platform of choice for the two family of cars will be made by the end of 2015. “The 1 Series is about conquest sales, so it has to be a true BMW, Fröhlich said. “We don’t have to decide until the end of this year.”

BMW Concept Compact Sedan images 18 750x531

BMW Concept Compact Sedan

But according to unnamed sources cited by Autobild, the decision has been made. While the 1 Series hatchback having its power sent to the front-wheels is somewhat of a logical step, the plan to move the successful and fun-to-drive 2 Series Coupe and Convertible to the same platform is highly controversial. Back in June, Fröhlich – according to Auto Motor und Sport – was advocating for the next iteration of the 2 Series sports models to be built on the company’s next-generation rear-wheel drive architecture which also supports the future 3,5,6 and 7 Series models. Initially called “35up”, the new RWD architecture was later relabeled as CLAR, short for Cluster Architecture.

READ THIS: Will a front-wheel drive BMW ever be accepted by fans?

Whether and why BMW has changed their mind is a big unknown at the moment, but the idea will likely be met with backlash from the BMW community.

BMW is already preparing a 1 Series Sedan based on the new front-wheel drive platform and the design exercise presented in China last week is more than appealing. Will it be equally fun to drive as a RWD BMW? The same platform – which underpins MINIs – would allow BMW to give enthusiasts a small, fun car for very low prices. Using this new platform could allow BMW to offer a true entry-level enthusiast’s car. But most enthusiasts wouldn’t want such a car due to its front-wheel drive nature. Will that stigma ever go away? Will BMW ever be able to produce a FWD-based performance car, or continue to make any FWD-based cars, without taking flak from enthusiasts?

Lots of questions with no answers – for now. And for now, let’s take these news with a big grain of salt.

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