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      01-06-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
SCOTT26
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Driving From The Front

DRIVING FROM THE FRONT

Why a new philosophy for BMW will keep the company at the forefront of the Premium market.

Beginning in 2011 we will see the first results of this strategy within the new BMW 1er Sporthatch and BMW 3er Sedan which will be unveiled just before the end of 2011.
Another new exciting additions for the M-Division include the exciting new 1 series M Coupe and the sixth generation BMW M5.

The Premium market will welcome a new luxury set of BMW 6er Coupe and Convertible. Whilst the first evidence of the Gran coupe will be seen on the streets of Munich.
The new BMW X3 begins it's first year on the market with additional engines in europe along with a new four cylinder petrol turbo which will be announced later in the year. The BMW X1 continues it's success with over 100,000 units sold and top place in the market with an additional M-Sport packet. And the long awaited US launch at the NYIAS in April.
The BMW X6 which recently celebrated it's three years launch in December 2007 will see a slight refresh life cycle improvement.

Although this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In 2011 you will get to hear more regarding BMW's innovative think-tank on sustainable future mobility as BMW begin preparing the world for it's innovative new Sub brand. New innovations Aswell as exciting new Concepts scheduled for Detroit , Geneva , Shanghai and Frankfurt. all to show BMW's leadership of the premium segment.


Nothing to fear from this B.rave N.ew W.orld.

As you know BMW have announced that between now and 2015 they will bring 20 new models to the market covering a vast range of segments.
With the future growth of the small compact city , Premium Compact and Premium Entry segments in the minds of the product planners. BMW will unleash a greater majority of models based on this model matrix to increase it's volumes in the Premium segment. With the Compact /MINI , Premium Compact and Premium Entry classes BMW have invested in their future.
These three segments are the ones that wiill show considerable growth than any other segment. Which is why BMW have invested specifically within these segments over the past few years and why BMW who will be the first manufacturer to showcase this new future strategy, it is BMW once again showing everyone “who is the leader”.

It is true that a variety of models will be created off the new modular structure BMW has invested in to accomodate both the 1er and 3er and the MINI and Compact. But with being modular you can add and subtract , increase length and width and so on. This will help BMW distinguish each model – This is not the VW one platform many models. this is like Meccano you build to your desire or subtract to your required needs.
This helps greatly for the chassis engineers because they can adapt their chassis to the model that will be on top. ” The platform is described as one head with many hats".

Front Wheel drive will not only allow BMW and MINI to co-exist in engineering it will also propell BMW further in meeting emissions target, to which BMW is almost there with our competitors still facing to meet reductions by about 42 and 45% respectively. In Europe the C-segment MPV market is increasing but when looking at the availablity you are left with a Van with windows. For BMW that is an un-tapped market and there is a market for such a BMW but done in a more stylish direction. The FAST Family Activity Sport Tourer is a mixture of Touring , MPV and an X model it is an entirely new concept but it looks great , very innovative aswell as uber stylish.





It's What?, No Really...

When Norbert Reithofer. BMW's chairman of the Board announced that 80% of BMW owners thought that their BMW 1er was front wheel drive , many were astounded at that statement when it was mentioned regarding BMW's shock-announcement of it's intentions into Front wheel drive. As many , the world over believe that the concept of Front Wheel drive in a BMW is not only sacreligious and blasphemy but something that BMW had fought to distinguish their cars from their competitors.
Till the latest winter photographs and videos of people across the world trying to get mobile by either equipping their front wheels with snowchains or trying to clear a path for the front wheels, getting nowhere sometime to hilarious and expected consequences. Norbert Reithofer was therefore justified in his statement.




Looking at BMW Differently...

BMW are not just going Front Wheel Drive to further eclipse their emissions targets. But to provide a profitable strategy by developing a new platform structure , modular in form to accomodate both MINI and BMW.
First of all contrary to media reports and enthusiasts of the BMW brand , Front Wheel Drive is part of a strategy to help the next generation MINI and it's future variants to become more profitable and more cost effective for BMW to produce.

Initial strategies in the beginning had lead to talks with PSA , Fiat and of course Daimler where the beginnings of a proposed MINI and Smart sharing programme disintegrated when BMW decided to go it alone.





No Reasons to Panic

When I say Front wheel Drive BMW the panic sets in and goes against BMW's core marketing message: Image , Dynamics and Rear Wheel Drive.
Some journalists have pointed out that the new 1er is Front Wheel Drive and so is the 3er and so will this eventually and so on.
The new BMW 1er which will be seen in a few months time remains Rear Wheel Drive, The new BMW 3er which will debut in November also remains Rear Wheel Drive.

What the Front Wheel Drive BMW consist of however is a range of small concepts designed to appeal to a growing demographic in the demand for more compact premium concepts.

A New World of Difference: The Concepts.

BMW Compact
BMW Compactive Sport Gran Tourer
BMW F.amily A.ctivity S.ports T.ourer


First of all will see the new BMW Compact. BMW's interpretation of a Front Wheel Drive city car or a MINI. You will have typical BMW design elements but reinterpreted to give a new impression of a totally different idea of a BMW. In order for the concept to appeal it has to be eye-catching and stand out amongst it's competitors.

A Sexy Kind of Blasphemy.

The overall shape of the car differs completely from the typical MINI or conventional 3dr hatch format , the closest intention on the market today is possibly the Honda CR-Z but not directly.
In order to really sell home the concept. BMW wants the car to really strike out not just from the MINI but also it's competition.

The designers have gone for an edgier three-dimensional appearance in it's explanation it forgoes the use of lines to enhance wheelarches and now becomes more Three-Dimension as it is now stamped so you can see the widening of the rear quarter.

One idea intended to signify the new direction for BMW is expanded design cues talked about previously such as an enclosed normal glasshouse that is pushed inwards allowing the metal around the rear to enclose the glasshouse allowing a line that curves around the rear window forming the typical BMW kink impression in metal instead of the glass that swipes strikingly through the doors to the front wing.
The A-Pillars follow the direction shown with the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept and continue down into the front wing leaving a typical BMW wheel at each corner look , triangular shaped lights sit upon each corner of the rear. The roof is towards the rear a typical BMW sloping roof.

With the typical BMW double round headlights stepped with one slightly below the other another idea is the inclusion of indicator signals directly underneath the angel eyes.
The front of the car gets a smaller twin kidney grille again more three-dimensional as the front of the car allows the grille to be pushed further back.

The stand-out stylish design has been chosen to really signify the new direction , a regular typical hatch would not be a major selling point to deliver the concept.

The BMW Compactive Gran Sport Tourer - Fullfills the need for a segment BMW have not yet targeted mainly the multi-purpose vehicle segment which is expected to see sales rises from 45% per year. BMW plan a two prong attack but will not offer a typical MPV concept in which some look like Vans with additional windows.
what BMW intend to offer is a raised Five Dr hatch-Tourer concept with a raised driving position , stretched wheelbase with room for five made possible by positioning the engine transversely and removing the transmission tunnel.
It will not be a Five Dr variant of the compact. It will inherit a very unique design.
[/FONT

The BMW F.amily A.ctivity S.port T.ourer is seen as a more Sporty orientated synergy of a Touring MPV and an X model. Again it will be uniquely designed , look sporty.
Like the Mega City Vehicle , the car will feature rear-hinged doors for access to the cabin The concept has proved successful in presentations that BMW have commenced work on a 3er F.A.S.T. But will be Rear/All Wheel Drive.



Can the BMW Compact and MINI co-exist ?

The key to this is a brand new compact platform shared with the MINI that if the first outcome is successful then BMW might consider a further range of models to support it's new segment.
This new Platform which has been engineered to support the MINI and BMW 1001 Compact will be used within each Brands variants. MINI of course will be the first to expand and after an establishment period has indicated that BMW's concept was a success then BMW's design teams have on the table a range of additional concepts for the expansion. Another key to the cost effectiveness of the car is that engines will also be shared as well manual,automatic and electric drivetrains. Engines will also be shared ranging from three and Four cylinders in both petrol and diesel format.

In distinguishing both cars visually another key factor for BMW is the driving characteristics and how the engineers will go to lengths to make sure that both MINI and the BMW Compact offer an individual driving experience that distinguishes both cars.
The MINI of course will retain it's typical MINI Go-Kart trademark handling whilst BMW will be looking for a more dynamic approach , both levels of dynamics for both cars are attainable.

The BMW Front Wheel Drive Family will not be transferred to the core BMW family – that will remain RWD. I have seen the Family and they are nothing like what you expect such a car to be , Adrian Van Hooydunk has seen to that they emulate a very different persona and offer the new direction a striking modern appearance.

One thing I should mention though is that they all maintain a “premium” image. Throughout the FWD process premium is still associated with the concepts BMW will introduce.
The Audi A1 which is based on the VW Polo shows what happens when you chase for growth without thinking about the product. The Polo is not only less expensive than the A1 it also drives and rides better and the German media have made that point. Both BMW and MINI can co-exist and that is why BMW will not make the same mistake – Premium has to be individual from mainstream or it does not work with the customer.


Why the need for a Premium Front wheel drive Concept from BMW?

The recent recession taught us that customers are willing to downsize to other segments if there vehicles offer the same luxuries and features as traditional luxury concepts. The prime example being MINI where in some markets for MINI sales were actually rising it was only to further examination that a higher majority of these cars were being built with nearly every option available maximising profits for MINI and showing that customers were willing to move to more efficient vehicles but with the same level of comforts and luxuries.

The online enthusiast board reaction has been to overwhelm the negatives of the BMW philosophy but some overlook one very important ideal - BMW already do Front Wheel Drive and do it well , a car that has seen off new impressive competition such as the Fiat 500 and Audi A1 when it comes to make a Front Wheel drive car that handles , has a great image and offers the customer a perfect choice of flexibility. It is called the MINI.

So many people seem to forget that.
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      01-07-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Nice to hear...

...I would be the first to switch to another brand if BMW ditch the RWD on the 1 and 3 series.

A Mini is great fun; but RWD is even more fun to drive.
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      01-07-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Nice to hear...

...I would be the first to switch to another brand if BMW ditch the RWD on the 1 and 3 series.

A Mini is great fun; but RWD is even more fun to drive.
ill be second.
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      01-07-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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Both the 1-Series and 3-Series are most definitly staying RWD. In fact, both cars are well into development testing phases now.. too late to switch to FWD now
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      01-08-2011, 12:54 AM   #5
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Who wrote this? This is so terribly written.
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      01-08-2011, 03:30 AM   #6
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ill be second.
I'll be third!
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      01-08-2011, 04:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
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DRIVING FROM THE FRONT

The BMW X6 which recently celebrated it's three years launch in December 2007 will see a slight refresh life cycle improvement.
Thanks Scott26, that is one great article!

Can you please elaborate a bit more on above? When will the x6 slight refresh life cycle improvement happen, still in 2011? If so, which quarter?
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      01-08-2011, 04:52 AM   #8
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All I hear is profit, profit, and profit.
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      01-08-2011, 05:03 AM   #9
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All I hear is profit, profit, and profit.
As long as they take that profit and give it to the Mdivison then carry on!
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      01-08-2011, 05:51 AM   #10
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I dont care less. Only the small city cars will have front wheeldrive. So whut.
The higher end cars will always be rear wheel. no need to panic.
They need to sell more cars audi is breathing in their neck. its al about $$$
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      01-08-2011, 06:29 AM   #11
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All I hear is profit, profit, and profit.
They have no choice. Its not owned by the government you know. And thinking profit will keep them from becoming chinese like volvo, Rover and others.

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      01-08-2011, 08:43 AM   #12
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To be honest, I still don't feel entirely comfortable about a FWD BMW.

I think the best way to describe how I feel about it is if I had a son and he came out to be gay. I would initially be very disappointed but ultimately still love him all the same.

But every day forward I would always secretly wish he wasn't.

Good analogy? No matter how awesome BMW makes their FWD cars we will always want them to be RWD.
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      01-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #13
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Scott, Your posts regularly ruin my day...
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      01-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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Scott, Your posts regularly ruin my day...
+1
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      01-08-2011, 10:28 AM   #15
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ill be second.
But where will we go? This is the way of the world right now. soon enough Audi will ditch Quattro, BMW rear wheel drive and we'll all be stuck in FWD boxes.

Reminds me of how daft articles 10 years ago talking of a 4x4 Porsche or a diesel Porsche sounded and now you can buy a derv Cayenne and not only has the market accepted it but has embraced it. They are all over the UK!
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      01-08-2011, 11:45 AM   #16
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To be honest, I still don't feel entirely comfortable about a FWD BMW.

I think the best way to describe how I feel about it is if I had a son and he came out to be gay. I would initially be very disappointed but ultimately still love him all the same.

But every day forward I would always secretly wish he wasn't.

Good analogy? No matter how awesome BMW makes their FWD cars we will always want them to be RWD.
sorry to hear bout your son Leo...
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      01-08-2011, 12:24 PM   #17
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I'll be third!
4th place for me
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      01-08-2011, 02:45 PM   #18
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BMW, Your Research is flawed. The 1001 will be a failure.
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      01-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #19
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All I hear is profit, profit, and profit.
Yeah, you are right..

"BMW makes record breaking losses, VW Audi buy controlling share, 3 series to use Passat platform, M to become trim level beneath S-Line.."

Yeah, that would be a faaaarrrrr better headline wouldn't it?


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Originally Posted by JB135MDCT
BMW, Your Research is flawed. The 1001 will be a failure.
Gee, I wish I knew more than a 50 Billion Euro company..




Seriously, the Epic lack of people to see the bigger picture is scary. People have the right to think whatever they want, but that doesn't make whatever they think right... if somebody can show me evidence that a FWD BMW is going to make the next 6 series a worse car, then I may change my mind..

... you may wonder why I bought up the next 6-er in relation to a FWD BMW since the two have nothing to do with each other.. well.. THAT'S MY POINT!.. I't knee-jerk, reactionary bullsh*t... seriously, you'll only buy from manufacturers that don't make FWD cars.... errrrmmm... thats going to narrow your selection somewhat...

Last edited by Matski; 01-08-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Clarity
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      01-08-2011, 05:14 PM   #20
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DRIVING FROM THE FRONT

The BMW Compactive Gran Sport Tourer - Fullfills the need for a segment BMW have not yet targeted mainly the multi-purpose vehicle segment which is expected to see sales rises from 45% per year. BMW plan a two prong attack but will not offer a typical MPV concept in which some look like Vans with additional windows.
what BMW intend to offer is a raised Five Dr hatch-Tourer concept with a raised driving position , stretched wheelbase with room for five made possible by positioning the engine transversely and removing the transmission tunnel.
It will not be a Five Dr variant of the compact. It will inherit a very unique design.
[/FONT

The BMW F.amily A.ctivity S.port T.ourer is seen as a more Sporty orientated synergy of a Touring MPV and an X model. Again it will be uniquely designed , look sporty.
Like the Mega City Vehicle , the car will feature rear-hinged doors for access to the cabin The concept has proved successful in presentations that BMW have commenced work on a 3er F.A.S.T. But will be Rear/All Wheel Drive.
I'm really interested in these two concepts, however if you can't fit 3 child seats across the back with isofix then it's a non starter for me, if BMW had the balls the build a BMW Ford Smax I'd be a happy dad.
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      01-08-2011, 05:17 PM   #21
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[b]

Nothing to fear from this B.rave N.ew W.orld.
I see BMW is changing BNW. I prefer the old one
SCOTT I don't care, hell I didn't read the article
If I wanna add some mpg I'd buy a civic.
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BMW have tapped into this by mirroring typical BMW dynamics and steering communication within the new UKL cars.
You mean massive body roll, a steering system that is not connected to the front wheels, and the engine note played through the speaker system?!?!?!?!
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      01-08-2011, 08:46 PM   #22
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Scott, Your posts regularly ruin my day...
haha +1
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