Rumor: BMW May Launch 13 Front-Drive Cars Within 5 Years

Featured Posts, Rumors | February 8th, 2011 by 25
Z2Concept takahashi edmundsinsideline 750x500

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 …

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 news today come from InsideLine quoting UK magazine CAR which mentions that additional FWD vehicles will join the BMW Group fleet between 2013 and 2018.

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.

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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.

Read our article on the future front-wheel drive vehicles from BMW

25 responses to “Rumor: BMW May Launch 13 Front-Drive Cars Within 5 Years”

  1. viper says:

    what a bunch of BULL.
    btw I predict serious failure of bmw by the year 2020.
    the days of good ol’ bmw are long gone.
    they make ridiculous fwd car concepts and there will be hundreds of the damn things and UUGLY ones too…..
    greetings to Other cars…..they know who they are.

  2. alen says:

    Oh, viper… you’re back with your antibmw campaign. Seems like you are 24/7 on bmwblog clicking on refresh every 30 sec… You really have a big complex called BMW, and that’s a big restriction in your mind…

    Please name a single BMW that you think is a great car?

  3. T says:

    I would wait and see because first impressions count and when you see how BMW have introduced Front wheel drive in this super sexy little compact there will be no concern from it’s customer base whether it is rear or front driven when they see how it all works from a design stand-point – I believe this car will be very popular , it’s a BMW it does not conform to the rules and it’s intention is to strike attention with a specific customer base. From the striking individual look of the front , to the delicate modern sculpture on the body to that shallow rear glass screen surrounded by sharp trianglular L-shaped rearlights, it does what a BMW does best with design it makes it it’s own. The same goes for the GT and FAST – They are BMW’s interpretations of existing leading market concepts again showing why do you have to conform if you want space ?, flexibility? to an existing euro-box concept. GT and FAST are about how we use our car .
    The BMW compact and GT will be launched simultaneously , the compact at the beginning of 2014 and the GT towards the end of 2014.

  4. Laszlo says:

    well it is be a concern with the customers. Why do you think most sexy little roadsters failed yet the Miata keeps going on strong ? RWD and solid build quality.

    But this report is 50 BullShiite for sure. The new 1 series will be a RWD vehicle, thats already confirmed. The 1GT is based on the 1 so thats RWD as well. The small roadster might be a FWD but that will fail to achieve what the Miata did as there will be no real enthusiast buying group, racing series, etc.

    This article also mixed the Mini with BMW. They are under the same umbrella with different architecture and prestige level. Mini is and will be always FWD.
    So don’t say that BMW will introduce 13 FWD cars in a next 5 years when 11 out of that is a Mini.

    But I agree that the JOY or whatever they call the little electric city vehicle will be FWD. Even that crap looking concept mini-diesel electric thingy will be either FWD or AWD.

    Lets hope that the 3 5 7 and some Z models will remain RWD.

  5. Okeribok says:

    I can’t imagine switching to fwd is good for bmw. Why now? What has changed about fwd vs rwd? Does it have to do with “the ultimate driving experience” or fahrvergnugen?
    Plus: fwd miata mx5 competitor? Really?

  6. Hugo Becker says:

    For those wondering how the 1er can be both RWD and FWD (different configurations from the same basic platform) you may want to see this article BMWblog did awhile back:

  7. tweer says:

    and cue the hoards of “real drivers” bemoaning BMW from abandoning the RWD concept yawn.

  8. wazon8 says:

    Did C-class become FWD, because FWD A-class appeared? No, right? Why do some of you suspect that BMW will only extend range of FWD to models from upper class? That’s kind of hysterical behaviour. In past BMW made FWD Issetta. Did it make from 3-er or 2002 FWD car? No.

    @tweer: “real drivers” are not idiots to expect a lot from… vehicles dedicated to city and driving in traffic-jam.

  9. Clinton says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. I think some of you are reading this wrong.

    BMW IS NOT ABANDONING RWD!!! They are just adding FWD to their product line. Don’t like FWD, guess what, BMW is still and will forever build RWD. Don’t like FWD, good, buy the RWD, they are still available.

    Call me a fanboy, I’ve always said, no matter what BMW builds, funky crossovers, econo boxes, pickup trucks, minivans, or a scooter, it will be the best in that respective class in terms of driving dynamics.

    This is not going to be a failure!! EVERY car company is tapping into new markets, Ferrari is going to build hybrids, Hyundai is building luxury cars. If you don’t move with the times, you will be defeated.

    Back in 1998, a small sports car company switched from aircooled engine to water cooled. All the purists cried foul, proclaimed they will never buy their beloved brand again. Same thing happened a few years later when that car company introduced a SUV. Guess what, no only that car company still has a cult following, it gained more customers and fans ten fold.

    • bob says:

      FYI, the 986 predates 1998. “…ten fold” is simply not true.

      BMW AG & Porsche AG are two separate enterprises… BMW’s product strategy is in response to regulatory issues. Porsche’s expanding lineup is due to long-standing capitalization & family-friendly issues.

      • Clinton says:

        Ten fold, figure of speech man, figure of speech. Porsche did have unpresedant growth in the mid 90s to the mid y2k. But i agree. BMW and Porsche’s product line expansions are different. I used Pcars as an example simply because both brands arguably have the most stubborn, puristy, customers. I for one, am a porschephile, 964 3.6t owner, and have no interest owning a water cooled pcar, but I understand a need for one. At the same time, I have no issue with FWD BMWs, I have no interest in them, but I understand the need for one. But I see a lot of Porschephiles and Bimmerphiles simply shut the doors on new ideas.

        • bob says:

          “Ten fold, figure of speech man, figure of speech.”

          No, it’s called exaggeration; and, whether it was deliberate or disingenuous, you got caught.

          “Porsche did have unpresedant growth in the mid 90s to the mid y2k.”


          In any event, what were the exact sales figures?

          • Clinton says:

            Got caught in what?

            North American Sales Figures, source from an old press release I have from Porsche NA. In the decade between 93 and 2003, Porsche 8X their sales figures. If you want to dwell on a word game, that’s fine. Twice the sales or ten times the sales or not, Porsche dug themselves out of the hole and came out on top. Not just in sales, but in fan base, recognition, & credibility. That is valued as any volume bonus and profit. Ten fold.

            Porsche did everything right, while implementing radical changes in product line, manufacturing process and culture. Though every car company is different, everyone ought to take a look at Porsche’s playbook during that period. Who knows, a FWD BMW, a hybrid Ferrari, or a luxury Hyundai might work out OK.

            Units Sold
            1984 19,611
            1985 25,306
            1986 30,471
            1987 23,632
            1988 15,737
            1989 9,479
            1990 9,140
            1991 4,388
            1992 4,131
            1993 3,713
            1994 5,820
            1995 6,078*
            1996 7,524*
            1997 13,731*
            1998 18,189*
            1999 21,915*
            2000 23,698*
            2001 24,143*
            2002 25,411*
            2003 30,028*
            2004 33,289*

          • bob says:

            Here are PCNA’s actual results for the US market:

            2010 – 25,320
            2009 – 19,696
            2008 – 26,035
            2007 – 34,693
            2006 – 34,227
            2005 – 31,933
            2004 – 31,473
            2003 – 28,416
            2002 – 21,318

            Conveniently stopping at 2004 tells a different story, doesn’t it? One that isn’t all that robust. FYI, your numbers with an “*” include Canada.

            The problem with the initial premise, and subsequent analysis, is that it ignores the key fundamental that had previously affected the Germans. During the late ’80s / early ’90s the Germans saw their sales in the US collapse. The auto media still refers to this period as a “yuppie backlash”. There was a backlash alright; but, against the rapidly falling value of the USD against the Deutsche Mark…more so than any societal epiphany.

            Therefore, the reason why PCNA’s figures from this century look good is mainly because the figures from the last century were so bad.

            IMO, regarding this subject matter, a better comparo with BMW AG would be Alfa Romeo. During the mid ’70s both companies sold approx. the same number of units worldwide — ~175K – 180K, IIRC; but, look at them now. Alfa Romeo has played an ongoing role in an Italian 3-ring circus — with sales remaining roughly the same, while BMW has indeed stayed at the forefront of industry times — its sales have come much, much closer to increasing *tenfold*.

  10. bob says:

    This rendering is dopey.

  11. Peter says:

    FWD on a BMW will mean the end of this company. Stop the madness!

  12. Ali Yassen says:

    i can’t stand the way u are moving on
    you are BMW the greatest car ever !!!
    really u wanna make FWD
    so if u’ll do this you should loose your individuality and uniqueness
    so what a disaster
    think about it again please bimmer

  13. Artmic says:

    BMW has lost its mind.
    but i guess idiot consumers will slop up the BMW crap and grin like total idiots…… .

  14. Clinton says:


    I guess you work in legal dept and check the accuracy, relevance, word choice, selling and grammar. The numbers don’t matter, I know that, and that’s not even the point, it just that you kept nitpicking on it. I knew the numbers included Canadian sales numbers, that is why it says North American sales. I don’t have time to do the research and write these posts like a press release. I’ve been in the business since the mid 90’s. Porsche’s exec’s were rockstars back then. If you don’t think Porsche’s up swing was examplary, then whatever…
    Next time I need to put something together for my clients, I’d be sure to include Alfa as a focal point.

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