We all know that BMW is getting ready to adopt a front-wheel drive layout for its smaller models. Here we also includ certain versions of the next generation of the 1-Series. The German brand decision has already sparked a lot of discussions whether its front-wheel drive products will remain true to the brand’s “ultimate driving machine” motto or an insult to the company’s heritage.
Although we expected like this to happen not very soon, it seems that the day we will see the first front-wheel drive BMW is much closer than we thought. According to Autocar magazine, the 1-Series GT, which is said to be a more practical version featuring a high-rising tail like the 5-Series GT, will be the first BMW to adopt front-wheel drive. Its launch is scheduled for 2014.
BMW FWD 1-Series GT will be based on the BMW Group’s new UKL1 platform, which will first be used on the next-gen Mini, due in late 2012, and in 2018 by the third generation of the 1-Series range. This brand-new platform will use MacPherson struts and the traditional Z-axle multilink rear suspension, while four-wheel drive will probably be an option, opening the road for a small crossover that will sit under the X3 in BMW’s range.
BMW Group has really big plans for the UKL1, as it will be the base for as many as 20 BMW and Mini models. Klaus Draeger, BMW’s head of development, estimated that the Munich-based automaker could manufacture as much as 600,000-800,000 FWD cars annually without the need to cooperate with another manufacturer.
This isn’t sure for now, but if the report proves accurate, the only models in the 1-Series lineup to stick with RWD will most likely be the Coupe and Convertible and possibly a small four-door sedan.
Tags: 2014 convertibles with fwd , BMW 1 series GT 2014 , bmw 2014 1 series , new 2014 bmw fwd , White 2014 bmw 1 GT