BMW will produce a new front-drive model that will slot in underneath the 1 Series in the company’s lineup. According to a report by AutoCar, the news comes direct from BMW chairman Norbert Reithofe.
This new BMW will share its architecture with a the next generation MINI Cooper and will be separate from the upcoming Mega City car. Reithofer commented that both front and all-wheel drive versions of the architecture will be available. In addition, the same architecture could be adapted to rear-wheel drive and used for the next 1 Series as well. This is a bit of a long shot, but the whole idea behind the shared BMW/MINI platform is to reduce production costs by sharing parts across brands.
Reithofer also confirmed that BMW is working on a competitor to the Audi A1, which was just unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, although it is not clear if this new front-drive BMW will be that car’s direct competitor as the MINI Cooper seems to already have that market tied down.
The new “0 Series” could hit the market as early as 2013, with the third-generation new MINI Cooper due out a year later.