BMW Inspired By Mercedes: 7 FWD Models To Be Launched In Coming Years
|   Sunday, September 14, 2014
BMW is planning a strong offensive with front-wheel drive models. On the list we have the next generation BMW X1 and 1 Series but we also see the BMW Z2 small roadster there.

Threatened by the success of Mercedes models with front-wheel drive and pushed by the desire to retain their crown in the premium segment, those at BMW plan a strong offensive. It will be based on seven models with front-wheel drive, developed on the UKL modular platform.
The architecture was already used for the models: the new generation Mini and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

BMW will adapt to market requirements and prepare products that abandon the traditional rear drive. First on the list will be a seven-seater version of the current BMW Series 2 Active Tourer. The interior space will give the name of the new model, about which there is information saying it will be called BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer. Its debut is expected at the end of this year.

Also on the list of front-wheel drive models, there is the new generation X1 crossover programmed for next year. It will sit at the base of a coupe, named X2 and ready to follow the X1 in 2016 or 2017.
So far, we have 3 models with front-wheel drive, and here is the fourth one: the BMW 1 Series.

The next generation hatchback gets the UKL platform, leaving behind the tradition and impressive road holding abilities of the present model. The next generation is expected to arrive no sooner than 2018.

The other models contained in the list are still kept in secret. Several sources speak of a small roadster positioned below the Z4, and called Z2. This model will provide front-wheel drive to the standard versions, and four-wheel drive, xDrive, for higher, more powerful versions.

Mercedes' CLA success could lead to a BMW 1 Series sedan, a model about which there has been talk lately. It would be presented in 2017 and will bring the range an affordable premium sedan for those who want one.

"We can count on total BMW Group sales up to 2020 will be around 40 per cent coming out of the small and compact segment, which means 40 per cent will be the UKL setup. We can have all kinds of front-wheel drive concepts, whether it's a hatch or a tourer. We're assessing [them all] but that doesn't mean we will do all of them" stated Kai Lichte, BMW corporate and government affairs spokesman.

However, BMW will not be bringing front-wheel drive on its performance models.
"Performance will still be related to rear-wheel drive," Lichte said back in July. "For example there wouldn't be an M version or even an M performance version of a front-wheel drive. That will either be related to all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive."

Switching from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive will be an important factor for those who cherish BMW tradition, but the company is confident most drivers will not notice the switch.
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