Rumormill: BMW working on range of front-wheel-drive concepts
January 7, 2011
by Zach Bowman
When BMW began making noise about bringing front-wheel drive to the table, purists, enthusiasts and fans of the brand immediately busted out the pitchforks and torches. Visions of front-wheel drive 3 Series and 1 Series models were almost enough to induce frenzy (not that a huge number of owners would know the difference...), but if the latest word from BMW Blog is to be believed, the company's front-wheel drive efforts will be contained to a handful of all-new models.
The news comes courtesy of a BMW insider posting on German Car Forum. Supposedly, the main impetus behind delving into a FWD platform isn't to increase the company's average fuel economy as some have guessed. Instead, BMW is looking to make the Mini brand more profitable by sharing platforms with other models under the Roundel.
Those include a new compact BMW roughly the size of a Cooper, as well as an MPV that the insider calls a Compact Gran Sport Tourer. Additionally, there may be room for a crossover-sized front-wheel drive beast as well. Interestingly enough, the report says that the new BMW compact will have proportions similar to those of the Honda CR-Z.
At this point, it's difficult to say whether or not the source from German Car Forum has their facts straight or not, but so far, this is the most detailed glimpse we've gotten into what BMW is up to with its FWD program.