Sexy Blasphemy! Will BMW Go FWD?

January 10th, 2011

Coming soon: a FWD 3 Series?

Dead birds are falling from the sky. Solar flares are growing in intensity. The Seahawks beat the Saints in a playoff game.

Are these the prophesied signs from the Mayans that the world’s end is near? Maybe. The most telling sign, though, may be this:

There are rumors that BMW will build front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Can you believe it!? When the Ultimate Driving Machine goes FWD, surely the destruction of the rest of the world can’t be far behind.

When BMW began squawking about front-wheel drive, brand purists busted out the pitchforks and fretted about such things as a FWD 3 Series. While I seriously wonder if the average BMW driver would even be able to tell the difference, it turns out any FWD efforts might be contained to a handful of all-new models.

That’s the rumor, anyway, reported by BMW Blog. According to them, the main reasoning for developing a FWD platform is to:

provide a profitable strategy by developing a new platform structure, modular in form to accommodate both MINI and BMW.

There could be three concepts on the way, the first of which would be a compact BMW roughly the size of a MINI Cooper but with proportions similar to those of the Honda CR-Z. BMW Blog called the design of these new concepts a “sexy kind of blasphemy.” I have no idea what that means, but it actually sounds pretty cool.

As long as the sacred 3, 5 and 7 Series cars are left alone, I don’t see a problem with BMW offering entry FWD models. It might dilute the “Ultimate Driving Machine” perception of the brand slightly, but I don’t think the majority of buyers will notice or even care. As a recent survey found out, 80 percent of BMW 1 Series drivers think their car is FWD.

Assuming that most BMW owners are people attracted by brand marketing and not true enthusiasts, most have no idea which wheels drive their cars and, frankly, couldn’t care less.

Should BMW make FWD vehicles?

-tgriffith

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