BMW Moves Closer to Front-Wheel Drive

BMW 2 Series

I have to wonder if BMW is still the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” The company dropped its legendary tagline in 2006, brought it back in 2012, and uses it sparingly today.

Maybe the company knows it’s becoming just “another driving machine.”

BMW has always been known as a performance-oriented luxury brand with the perfect balance between handling and power. The automaker has traditionally used a rear-wheel-drive setup on all of its vehicles, save for its full-time all-wheel-drive models.

Rear-wheel drive just makes sense given BMWs’ large engines, long hoods, and short rear decks. Power going to the rear wheels enhances every aspect of the driving experience.

But what happens when the engines get smaller and the cars shrink? Rear-wheel drive stops making sense. Welcome to the new generation of BMW.

Continue reading >>>

The New BMW: A MINI with a Spit Shine?

Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

There are two kinds of people who buy BMWs:

People who appreciate the dynamics of a true rear-wheel-drive performance machine. People who like the BMW logo.

As BMW embarks on a new era of vehicle production, it hopes it can please both types of people without alienating the first. Type 2 people really don’t care which wheels are propelling the car forward, while Type 1 people believe anything that’s front-wheel drive is undeserving of the BMW logo. After all, BMW owns MINI, so it can scratch that FWD itch, right?

For a while, BMW carefully walked the line while admitting some vague future plans for a FWD car, but now it seems the German automaker will pull out all the stops and bring at least 6 cars to market that are powered by the same wheels that steer.

Continue reading >>>

BMW Going Full Frontal

2014 BMW Z4 roadster

Full frontal is rarely a good thing. It messes with people’s heads and adds a dynamic that just doesn’t translate to effective performance.

I’m talking, of course, about front-wheel drive.

It’s the most common type of drivetrain on the market today, but I attribute that to the fact that most cars are appliances, and the front-engine, front-drive format typically provides the most economical and versatile driving setup for most people.

The truly great cars, though, are rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and BMW build cars that don’t use FWD. Well, for now. BMW is about to fall off that list.

Continue reading >>>