In the February issue of CAR, the British magazine details the future front-wheel-drive offerings from BMW Group. While we had heard FWD rumors before regarding a BMW-branded subcompact, there will be at least five front-drive BMWs launched between 2013 and 2018 along with as many as seven new or redesigned Minis within the same time period.
According to CAR and a source within BMW, the first BMW-branded front-driver will be the 1 Series GT in 2014. Because of its drivetrain layout, it will achieve greater interior volume than the next-generation, rear-wheel-drive 1 Series hatchback. It shall be related to the next-generation Mini Clubman, which will be longer and feature rear doors on both sides.
CAR reported that the third-generation 1 Series arriving for perhaps 2017 or 2018 is likely to be front-drive as well, since owners of the hatchback in Europe are apparently unconcerned with which wheels power their car, says InsideLine.
We're not sure coupe buyers would agree.Come 2016, CAR says BMW will launch a car code-named FAST, a sort of Mercedes B-Class vehicle that we'd wager doesn't have much of a chance for American importation. On the other hand, the BMW Z2 sounds like a car that could land here in 2016, a small Miata-sized roadster with power kept up front like the 90s-era Lotus Elan.
Given how expensive the Z4 has become and how successful the cheaper Z3 was, the approximately $32,000 Z2 could work despite where its power comes from.The other two front-drive BMWs will likely be the second-generation X1 and that subcompact dubbed "Joy" for now. It shall be available with three and five doors, unlike the third-generation Mini upon which it will be based.
No word on how BMW will handle the tricky situation of a car smaller than the 1 Series. Would you buy a 0 Series? 0.5 Series? 50% Series?As for Mini, that third-generation Mini Cooper should arrive by 2013 (with three-cylinder engines in Europe), followed by the convertible and Clubman two years later. The "big" Mini news from CAR, however, is the plans for a Mini-Mini -- a microhatch roughly the size of the 10-foot original Issigonis Mini.
Hopefully that makes it across the pond, and ditto for the Mini Activity Tourer which will probably have a sort of VW Microbus vibe. These could come by 2016 followed the next year by the second-generation Countryman and the year after by the next-generation Mini Coupe and Roadster.