What Is BMW Thinking Making FWD Vehicles?

Editorial

Doesn't it already have a sub-brand for that?

For better or for worse, BMW is committed to making cars with RWD. While enthusiasts appreciate BMW's commitment, sticking with RWD may turn away a large portion of buyers who want something affordable and FWD. With that in mind, we think BMW should either create or buy another brand in order to sell cars that would slot under its own brand with small, affordable FWD models. Wait! BMW did this 20 years ago! Back in 1994, BMW acquired the Rover group and sold the greater part of it in 2000.

However, the German luxury maker did hold onto one brand, Mini. The decision turned out to be a pretty good one and Mini has done very well under BMW's ownership. We thought that this would satisfy BMW's lack of FWD models, but recently it seems that the Mini brand wasn't enough. The first FWD model was the 2 Series Active Tourer, and the X1 followed soon after. The next generation 1 Series will be based on the X1's platform and the BMW even wants a smaller model that is rumored to be called the 0 Series. Did BMW just forget about Mini completely? We are confused, and with good reason.

You Might Also Like
10 Chevrolet Models That Disappeared Forever
10 Chevrolet Models That Disappeared Forever
Let's Talk About The Nurburgring Lap Time Obsession
Let's Talk About The Nurburgring Lap Time Obsession

We know that other luxury companies like Audi and Mercedes have compact models with FWD, but we always thought that BMW didn't want to compete in that segment. Having a "cheap" FWD would ruin the brand prestige that BMW has built up over the years. Creating the Mini division was supposed to fill the void in the BMW lineup, but we think that BMW is about to start getting into some mucky territory. Unlike BMW, Mercedes doesn't have a small car brand, unless you want to count the much cheaper Smart brand. No one would really cross shop a Smart with a CLA. With BMW, smaller FWD models might make people think twice about buying a Mini, or make people turn to the less expensive Mini variant.

These small BMW models will share a lot of things with Mini, like a platform and likely some engines as well. If the cars are essentially the same underneath, both brands may start to suffer from some brand confusion. Mini has tried to branch out into unique models like the Paceman and Countryman, and people criticized the brand for being too big. We can't say for sure if BMW is doing the right thing here, but we are starting to wonder where Mini's place will be in BMW's future.

9
PHOTOS