BMW to develop up to 12 compact models using UKL platform

Article by Anita Panait, on October 3, 2012

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."

The new BMW Active Tourer Concept is essentially a study on how a dynamic design could combine compact dimensions, versatility and functionality. Donning harmonious proportions that expose its sporty elegance, the new BMW Active Tourer Concept is finished in High Reflection Silver exclusive exterior paint, which combines a high gloss polish on the surface and brushed velvet matt on the undersurface.

This new exclusive exterior paint finish results to a visually wonderful interaction between the gloss and matt finishes, which in turn creates a stunning interplay between light and shade. Additional applications could also be found at the front, side and rear of the new BMW Active Tourer Concept.

It is quite easy to tell that the new BMW Active Tourer Concept is a BMW, especially on the front. The obverse section of the concept dons BMW’s signature front-tilted radiator grille, twin headlamps and the multi-faceted front apron. Above the headlights are LED positioning lights acting like eyebrows stretched into the side panels, while below them are two large outer air inlets that highlight the width of the concept.

The sides of the new BMW Active Tourer Concept expose an elongated silhouette with a wedge shape – a design that makes the BMW Active Tourer Concept seemingly moving even though it is not. This is complemented by the study’s long wheelbase as well as short front and short overhangs -- a design that also helps create a generous interior room. The profile of the new BMW Active Tourer Concept is also distinguished by its large 20-inch wheels, large front and rear doors, integrated door openers, contrasted side sills with rising shadow line and a raised roof line. Moreover, the new BMW Active Tourer Concept is designed to make it easier for occupants to enter or exit the cabin.

Topics: bmw, platform

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