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      05-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
Jason
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Cool Autocar rumor: upcoming FWD BMW to be badged 1-series

Autocar is reporting that the upcoming FWD sub 1-series BMW will actually be badged as a 1-series, which means that future 1-series BMWs will come in either RWD (next generation of current 1-series lineup) or FWD option (the additional FWD models that will be added to the 1-series lineup beginning in 2013.

From Autocar
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BMW's radical front-drive baby

14 May 2010


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BMW will abandon decades of tradition and launch its first front-wheel-drive hatchbacks in 2013 as new entry-level models to its range.

The new cars will be based on the next-generation Mini platform and be positioned below the 1-series, which will continue in production as a rear-drive family of hatches and saloons.

BMW's 'small premium' rivals

Surprisingly, the new front-drive hatches are also tipped to carry 1-series badges, giving buyers the choice of BMWs entry level with either front or rear-wheel drive.

Despite carrying the same badges, the two families of models will be distinguished by unique sheetmetal and price positioning; the rear-drive car will be pitched higher in price and quality than its front-drive stablemate.

Despite the clear overlap with the Mini, BMW is not concerned that its own front-wheel drive models will cannibalise sales of the third generation of the British car, due in 2014.

Both brands possess a clear and individual image, a BMW insider told Autocar, pointing to the sales success Volkswagen and Audi have achieved with both the Golf and A3. Our research shows BMW and Mini appeal to different buyers.

Just as VW and Audi appeal to different audiences, BMW will aim its front-drive and rear-drive 1-series at different buyers.

The front-drive model will be designed to attract new customers to the brand. The BMW source said, We want a car that will appeal to non-BMW buyers with a focus on roominess and interior flexibility, yet like our existing entry-level model it will be fun to drive and cheap to run.

The first of the new front-drive BMWs to appear in UK showrooms will be a tall five-door, five-seat hatchback, a rival for the upcoming Audi A2 and next-gen Mercedes A-class. It will offer the sort of interior space and overall practicality not found in the rear-drive 1-series.

The keys to the front-drive cars spaciousness are a transversely mounted engine and gearbox. These have allowed engineers to create an uncharacteristically short bonnet for a BMW. This flows into A-pillars positioned well forward of the front wheel arches.

The altered front-end architecture helps to free up cabin space by moving the bulkhead closer to the front axle than in any existing BMW model.

The driving position also moves forward within the wheelbase, and the seat is positioned higher to give a more commanding view of the road.

While weve yet to get a glimpse of the new cars exterior design - prototypes are not planned to start testing until this time next year - it is already clear that the looks of the first of BMWs front-drive models will be quite different from those of next years second-gen 1-series.

A second model under development at BMWs FIZ R&D centre in Munich is a more sporting variant, conceived to go head to head with the soon-to-be-launched Audi A1.

Clothed in a sleeker body BMW is undecided on whether it will offer both a three and five-door or just a three-door the second of the front-drive models is aimed at typical BMW customers looking for a less expensive alternative to the 1-series.
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      05-14-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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      05-14-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Yes, I heard this rumor from the group about six months ago. SO it seems to be true, next generation of 1 will be fwd. I think it is cool. I like fwd, but unfortunately most of European cars are rwd.
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      05-15-2010, 03:58 AM   #4
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I don't totally buy this. I mean, it's one thing for BMW to have a FWD in development, but to say for certainty at this point exactly how BMW plans to market the thing is quite another. It just makes no sense to call this thing a 1er, while simultaneously offering a more capable and expensive RWD (in other words, completely different) platform as part of the same series.

Another thing, this article is not written with the North American market in mind, and I wouldn't be surprised if BMW kept this car away from us. Euro marques generally keep their lower end cars out of our market to preserve their brand cache (Audi A1, A2; Mercedes A-Class, B-Class, CLC-Class).
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      05-15-2010, 04:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOCKBA View Post
Yes, I heard this rumor from the group about six months ago. SO it seems to be true, next generation of 1 will be fwd. I think it is cool. I like fwd, but unfortunately most of European cars are rwd.
No! Only some of the new 1-er's will be FWD. The top performance models will continue to be RWD! The 120i Turbo(TT 2.0L four) AND 135i will remain RWD.

The 116i's and 118i's will most likely be FWD. These lower sized engines will be coming from PSA, just like MINI's engines.

Besides... the above car is NOT the new ONE, but the new Zero series. What BMW will build to compete with Audi's A1 series out now. BMW has not yet named this series, just refered to it(or shall I say the car mags) as the MegaCity or Zero Series cars.
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      05-15-2010, 06:56 AM   #6
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Yes, that is what I've heard as well. It was refered to as a series of more commuter oriented models underneath the current 1-series but possibly an extension of the 1.
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      05-15-2010, 09:55 AM   #7
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The new Motors don't come from PSA. I don't know why people always thing that these are PSA motors.....
BMW and PSA just work together in buying parts for these motors to keep price low. The manufacturing of the motor is done in each company separate and in a different way. They only share parts of the motor.
Also.. I think if building a FWD BMW is ok because this prevents BMW to start like other companies and share platforms with other brands. Even Mercedes starts now sharing platforms with Renault... (even if its for the lower series..).
Finally it seems that BMW will be the only OneHand premium brand over there...
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      05-15-2010, 10:10 AM   #8
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it's not a horrible thing.

if it increases BMW's profits, it means more money to continue on with the sportier cars as well.
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      05-15-2010, 10:56 AM   #9
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Boo.

Porsche here I come...
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      05-15-2010, 11:16 AM   #10
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That thing is gross on many levels. It looks like the bastard lovechild of a Z4 and a Fiat.
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      05-15-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyd View Post
Boo.

Porsche here I come...
Did you know Porsche is going to build a car based on VW Golf? A 40.000 € Golf because it has Porsche badge.
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      05-15-2010, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
I don't totally buy this. I mean, it's one thing for BMW to have a FWD in development, but to say for certainty at this point exactly how BMW plans to market the thing is quite another. It just makes no sense to call this thing a 1er, while simultaneously offering a more capable and expensive RWD (in other words, completely different) platform as part of the same series.

Another thing, this article is not written with the North American market in mind, and I wouldn't be surprised if BMW kept this car away from us. Euro marques generally keep their lower end cars out of our market to preserve their brand cache (Audi A1, A2; Mercedes A-Class, B-Class, CLC-Class).

I agree on both points. This makes no sense whatsoever.


Of course, a lot of the stuff BMW is doing lately makes no sense to me.
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      05-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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I also agree that they will not be changing the 1 series to FWD. If they did... we have a collector car on our hands. First and best.

FWD on a BMW is about as big of a compromise in being a "real BMW" as you can get. Much moreso than when they came out with their "SAVs". They might as well make Yugos, if they are going to dumb down the brand to producing cheap FWD cars..
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      05-15-2010, 11:37 AM   #14
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that is a really bad rendering
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      05-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #15
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      05-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #16
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I have info about this:
The 1 Series will never, at least till next generation be a FWD. Here it is the question of Audi A1 rival, based on Mini, but with BMW badge. This one shall be FWD. The problem is the naming (as usually in BMW), as it can not be called BMW 0 Series. So they are thinking of calling it 100-One (1001) just like the 2002. The other car is a sort of Smart rival. That one could be RWD if the engine is in the back.
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      05-15-2010, 12:52 PM   #17
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They also are thinking about the name Isetta either for the MegaCityVehicle or the FWD BMW
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      05-15-2010, 01:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylon View Post
That thing is gross on many levels. It looks like the bastard lovechild of a Z4 and a Fiat.
hehe i agree
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      05-15-2010, 02:47 PM   #19
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      05-15-2010, 03:36 PM   #20
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Hopefully, Autocar is wrong. Regardless of the merits and shortcomings of FWD, it makes little sense to invest into development and marketing of a new 1-series, and then, once a group of followers has been created, to change the new series so fundamentally. Some of the recent activity at BMW resembles the developments at GM during the decade preceding its decline.
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      05-15-2010, 04:06 PM   #21
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Something like 60% of BMW drivers think their car is FWD.

FWD is cheaper and the majority of customers wouldn't know the difference.
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      05-15-2010, 04:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Something like 60% of BMW drivers think their car is FWD.

FWD is cheaper and the majority of customers wouldn't know the difference.
That supposed study sounds like a crock of shit to me. My mother doesn't care anything at all about cars, and even she knows the difference between FWD and RWD.

The timing of it was also very fishy, with these stories of a FWD BMW following right behind it. My guess is it's a complete fabrication by upper management to smooth things over with shareholders.

BMW is headed down a bad path right now IMO. They're giving up on the core values that built the brand into what it is today, and the designs have gone from being tasteful and understaded to overbearing and outright offensive in some cases. Reputation will only carry a company so far, and they seem to be intent on destroying that completely in the next five years.
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