Is a front-wheel drive BMW a bad idea?

Interesting, Others | January 12th, 2015 by 16
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer xdrive 12 750x500

BMW will not abandon RWD just because they will allegedly make the new 1 Series a front-wheel drive vehicle

Much hubbub has been made recently about the sacrilege that is the rumored upcoming front-wheel drive BMW 1 Series. People are lighting their torches and readying their pitchforks over the concept of a BMW driving its front wheels, even though the Bavarians have already launched an MVP with a front-wheel drive platform, the 2 Series Active Tourer.

I can understand the upset. BMW has long been a sports car company that rested its hat on RWD and one of the last and only automakers to not sell a FWD car. So it may seem like betrayal to the BMW faithful to finally break that tradition.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer xdrive 09 750x499

I’m now going to suggest a crazy idea. I don’t think it’s a bad idea — if done right.

Yes, I know, BMW makes RWD cars and should stick with that. The thing is, they will. BMW will not abandon RWD just because they will allegedly make the new 1 Series a front-wheel drive vehicle. BMW will always use the rear wheels as their primary outlet. But a FWD car can do a lot for BMW.

Right now the VW Golf is one of the hottest cars in the world.

2014 vw golf 4 750x496

It’s considered the best all-around car in the world by many and there’s merits to that claim. So if BMW can make a FWD car that can bring BMW style dynamics with pricing aggressive enough to challenge the Golf, VW will have their hands full. Not too much of a stretch to believe, considering the 2 Series starts at around $32,000, so a 1 Series could very well be priced under $30,000.

If so, BMW can really put a stranglehold on the small FWD car market.

16 responses to “Is a front-wheel drive BMW a bad idea?”

  1. Morten says:

    As a true BMW fan, i think RWD is a part of the BMW DNA – if they use FWD for too many models, i am sory to say i Will consider Mercedes Benz

    • Billy The Hillbilly says:

      Yea, like the FWD A-class. I mean c’mon, it is a part of their DNA, but they shouldn’t lose the opportunity to challenge their competitor just b/c of sticking w/ traditions. Many didn’t like the way BMW went since 2002 w/ their completely new models, ideas and stuff, but now we can clearly see it was necessary in order to keep up w/ their competotors, right? Isn’t it the same w/ this?

      If you wouldn’t buy the 3 or 4 series just b/c they make a few FWD cars and consider their competotors making FWD cars as well and for longer period of time instead, what’s the point then?

      • Chandigarh Boy says:

        I buy BMW 1 Series NOT because I can’t afford a 3 or 5 Series, but because my city (New Delhi) is just too crowded and parking is a pain for big cars. The price difference is negligible between 1 & 3 Series, at-least here in India. The ONLY reason I buy BMW is because of my love for driving & it is a RWD. Being an enthusiast, a lot of people take my recommendations very seriously, what I am trying to say is that those people may make a part of the 80% surveyed who don’t care/know whether its a FWD or RWD, BUT people who recommend (enthusiast like me) BMW & push others for buying it over other brands DO CARE ABOUT RWD!!!

  2. BimmerFan says:

    Morten, you are so right!

    First of all, making a suv model for BMW isn’t right. Just because it isn’t a model what BMW is made for.
    Second, Fwd…..?? Pleace, BMW is a car that always made RWD cars, so stike to you BMW design!
    And last of all. If I see this car I don’t think I’m the first place that it is a BMW if there was any logo on the car!
    Oke that’s not true but it is the wurst BMW car I ever see.
    And I thought that the i3 was the wurst locking car of BMW but they prove that they can make more horrible cars and the BMW 2 active tour is the winner!!

    Stop that holiday BMW and begin to start making real BMW again!!!

    • Billy The Hillbilly says:

      Huh, have you actually read the article?? :-)

      If there was the one and only traditional BMW as we know it, they’d b only making 3, 5, 7, Z and the 6 series occasionally. I mean I love their proud tradition of making the best RWD saloons out there as well, but I also understand it itself won’t pay their bills, neither won’t secure a bigger pie in cars sales nowadays.

  3. Tinky-Winky says:

    Design hasn’t been BMW’s strongest point for some time and for me RWD has been pretty much the only thing that would make me prefer their cars over other manufacturers. I the current 1-series was already FWD I would choose VW Golf over it. Now BMW is turning the smallest and most fun models into FWD. I would care less if the big and bulky 7-series was FWD but I really hate that it will happen to the 1-series.

  4. Giom says:

    Good thing BMW isn’t run by their fans. Then we’d all sit here wondering why this once great company has gone down. In stead, this (still) great company is flourishing because of bean counters. Tradition is a business killer! So, get over yourselves and enjoy the fact that BMW will still be with us for a long time.

    • TheBingoBalls says:

      +1. Well said. As an enthusiast, it’s so easy to be narrowed minded about external factors, as long as the company you love makes what you want, you’re happy. This was exactly the case BlackBerry and we all know how that ended up. If you can’t understand why BMW is doing what they’re doing today, you just don’t have a clue. Even Porsche is slowly starting to move away. First it was Cayenne, then it was the Panamera and now it’s the Macan. It’s a little different for Porsche because they are a smaller company allowing them to focus on one thing and helps that they’re part of a massive company. Same thing can’t be said about BMW where everything they do, they need to do themselves with their resources.

  5. realtrevor says:

    FWD won’t equal lower retail price, all the savings made on creating the crappy FWD will be pocketed by BMW. A class is FWD, but it’s the most expensive hathback. With regards to the space savings or packaging of a FWD, on a 28i, 30i, 35i an xDrive will be added which negates the whole notion of FWD.

    • Chandigarh Boy says:

      I buy BMW 1 Series NOT because I can’t afford a 3 or 5 Series, but because my city (New Delhi) is just too crowded and parking is a pain for big cars. The price difference is negligible between 1 & 3 Series, at-least here in India. The ONLY reason I buy BMW is because of my love for driving & it is a RWD. Being an enthusiast, a lot of people take my recommendations very seriously, what I am trying to say is that those people may make a part of the 80% surveyed who don’t care/know whether its a FWD or RWD, BUT people who recommend (enthusiast like me) BMW & push others for buying it over other brands DO CARE ABOUT RWD.

  6. Kiril Toshev says:

    FWD is a not a bad idea ! It is the worst idea of all of the cars history.

    • Chandigarh Boy says:

      I buy BMW 1 Series NOT because I can’t afford a 3 or 5 Series, but because my city (New Delhi) is just too crowded and parking is a pain for big cars. The price difference is negligible between 1 & 3 Series, at-least here in India. The ONLY reason I buy BMW is because of my love for driving & it is a RWD. Being an enthusiast, a lot of people take my recommendations very seriously, what I am trying to say is that those people may make a part of the 80% surveyed who don’t care/know whether its a FWD or RWD, BUT people who recommend (enthusiast like me & you) BMW & push others for buying it over other brands DO CARE ABOUT RWD!!

  7. george.. says:

    very very very very bad idea…

    • Chandigarh Boy says:

      I buy BMW 1 Series NOT because I can’t afford a 3 or 5 Series, but because my city (New Delhi) is just too crowded and parking is a pain for big cars. The price difference is negligible between 1 & 3 Series, at-least here in India. The ONLY reason I buy BMW is because of my love for driving & it is a RWD. Being an enthusiast, a lot of people take my recommendations very seriously, what I am trying to say is that those people may make a part of the 80% surveyed who don’t care/know whether its a FWD or RWD, BUT people who recommend (enthusiast like me & you) BMW & push others for buying it over other brands DO CARE ABOUT RWD!!

  8. Chandigarh Boy says:

    What a Shame BMW!

  9. Chandigarh Boy says:

    I buy BMW 1 Series NOT because I can’t afford a 3 or 5 Series, but because my city (New Delhi) is just too crowded and parking is a pain for big cars. The price difference is negligible between 1 & 3 Series, at-least here in India. The ONLY reason I buy BMW is because of my love for driving & it is a RWD. Being an enthusiast, a lot of people take my recommendations very seriously, what I am trying to say is that those people may make a part of the 80% you surveyed who don’t care/know whether its a FWD or RWD, BUT people who recommend (enthusiast like me) BMW & push others for buying it over other brands DO CARE ABOUT RWD.

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