Say it ain’t so, Bavaria! The Motoren Werke is finally abandoning their RWD-only stance, and will introduce a FWD compact BMW by 2015.
BMW has famously prided itself on its rearward motivation, but in an effort to give consumers “greater choice,” they are experimenting with all sorts of vehicles and propulsion systems: electric cars, hybrids, diesels, and 12-cylinder engines. And in the shuffle comes this revelation from BMW North America’s CEO Jim O’Donnell: a volume car at the bottom end will be FWD, and still proudly wear the propeller badge.
A contradiction? To enthusiasts, perhaps. But this is an effort for BMW to raise their corporate miles per gallon, and to provide consumers with that all-important choice: it would allow BMW to compete with the Mercedes A-Class, in the premium compact car segment that’s booming in Europe but still seems bizarre to American markets (as BMW 318ti drivers can attest). And if this choice contradicts the existence of the Mini Cooper, then so be it.