Current 1 Series hatch shown.
Current 1 Series hatch shown.

Front-wheel drive BMW is imminent

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 11, 2012

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With the exception of a few four-wheel drive vehicles, BMWs have always been driven through the rear wheels. And those enthusiasts amongst us who appreciate the handling balance and unbothered steering this brings assumed that this would always be the case.

Yet research conducted a few years ago actually came up with some surprising results. It showed that 80 percent of BMW 1 Series buyers thought their car was front-wheel drive.

It would appear then, that BMW buyers in that category care more about the badge status than the actual driving dynamics and since front-wheel drive vehicles are cheaper to build and tend to be more space-efficient, it's only natural that BMW would consider building one.

Enter the 1 Series GT which, according to Autocar, is set to appear as a concept car at the Paris Motor show in late September this year.

It will preview a production model that's set for release towards the end of 2014 and which will reportedly be based on an enlarged version of the next Mini's platform.

As its GT badge suggests, the 1 GT will have an MPV-like design in which the car has a more cab-forward configuration and a taller body. Good for practicality, not so good for driving indulgence.

In another step away from tradition, it's rumoured that entry-level versions of the new Beemer will be powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

Going head-to-head with the new Mercedes B-Class, it'll be the 'mom's taxi' of BMWs and according to various sources, it won't be the last front-wheel drive vehicle to come from BMW.

Let's hope that BMW's designers can at least get the design right on this one so that it doesn't end up looking like that ungainly hulk that is the 5 Series GT.

How do you feel about a front-wheel drive BMW?

Would you buy one?

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