Cars Coming Soon->A Fistful of Volkswagens and 13 FWD BMWs

BMW X1

BMW X1

BMW will introduce at least five front-wheel-drive vehicles between 2013 and 2018, and as many as seven FWD MINI vehicles in the same time period.

For a company with such a long heritage of rear-wheel-drive performance machines, that’s some serious front-driven madness.

From BMW, the U.S. can expect a 2014 front-wheel-drive 1 Series GT, a Z2, an X1, and a subcompact that is currently dubbed “Joy” that would be smaller than the 1 Series.

MINI will have the next-generation Clubman, Cooper, a Cooper convertible, a “microhatch” called the MINI Mini, and the Mini Activity Tourer (a MINI van?) that Edmunds says may have a VW Microbus vibe. We might also look forward to the addition of the MINI Coupe, Roadster, Countryman, and Paceman.

Thirteen small, FWD vehicles from BMW seems quite excessive to me, and its hard to imagine how they’d all be successful.

Maybe the Germans know something we don’t, though, because fellow Deutschland dweller Volkswagen plans on introducing up to seven concepts at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Where are all these development dollars coming from?

It seems VW Group has ample cash to invest in developing new cars, with some $71 billion set aside from 2011 to 2015 for vehicle development and to boost production at its plants.

Automotive News says:

VW Group design boss Walter de’ Silva recently told Automotive News Europe that the concept onslaught in Geneva will include models for the Seat, Skoda and VW brands, “plus one – if not two – for Audi.”

We don’t have specifics for what all these concepts could be, but do expect to see the 260-mpg VW XL1 there.

If nothing else, this is a massive show of strength from VW, which plans to overtake GM and Toyota to become the world’s top-selling automaker by 2018. With such a huge development budget, though, we wouldn’t be one bit surprised to learn that all seven concepts are production ready.

Can BMW successfully sell so many small, FWD vehicles? Will VW achieve its goal of world domination?

-tgriffith

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