BMW will be developing 10 to 12 compact models using its new front-wheel-drive architecture, the UKL, according to Ian Robertson, board member for sales and marketing. BMW unveiled the UKL platform on the Concept Active Tourer at the 2012 Paris auto show. The high-seating Concept Active Tourer indicates a crossover based on a future 1 series.
Future BMW and Mini vehicles will be underpinned by the platform, with the next-generation Mini Cooper due in 2014 being the most likely first candidate. Robertson suggested that the BMW’s front-wheel-drive vehicles could be coming at about the same time. Robertson said that one of the advantages of using UKL is that the carmaker could launch several products almost simultaneously since they are doing the engineering at once.
According to Robertson, executives at BMW believe that the premium small car market will become the fastest growing segment. Robertson remarked that the UKL platform offers additional interior space, allowing BMW to build vehicles that could attract a broad profile of customers, “from young families to people entering the later phase of life."