The chairman of BMW Norbert Reithofer has established that the company stays committed to opening a smaller, more reasonably priced luxury crossover to go with next year's 5-series GT. The latest smaller BMW Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) will be patterned on the modified 3-series, set for 2010.
As such, it will shore up more the growing ranks of versions patterned on the 3-series platform, slotting into the range between the Touring and the subsequent X3. Like the 5-series-based BMW PAS, the 3-series crossover is equipped with RWD as typical, but FWD will be provided as an option.
Intended to provide a bit higher seating position than the BMW 3-series Touring, the 5-passenger vehicle should also take on its larger brother's two-piece liftback for more adaptability. To aid streamline manufacture, the powerplants are probably to be drawn from the rest of the BMW 3-series lineup, with a future range of turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines coupled with typical manual or optional dual-clutch gearboxes.
BMW early last year topped work on a venture to design a large SUV that would have offered the company a competitor for the Range Rover.It placed the blame on the collapse in sales of SUV in North America for the judgment. BMW has also delayed its intentions for a future 8-series patterned on the CS concept, even though there is a possibility this vehicle will still reach production in the future.
When he was queried if the worldwide financial downturn had affected plans for the 3-series GT, Reithofer said, "We haven't cancelled the development project for a crossover off the 3-series because it is considered a volume builder with which we can earn good money."
The first rubber-stamped plans by BMW f for the smaller PAS over a year and a half ago, but a certain production schedule has yet to be set. Reithofer has been busy analyzing proposals to create the latest vehicle at the Spartanburg factory of BMW in the US state of Carolina, or the firm's South Africa Rosslyn plant, the source of most of 3-series saloons veneded in the UK. The 3-series GT will be available for sale in 2011. The price is expected to be about £27,000 in the UK, at current prices.