News_Stig

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FWD.  BMW.  Tourer. SUV.      and breathe.

 

 

I could not bring myself to type those words in 1 sentence.  Not that your average punter will notice the difference in driven wheels in 99% of situations.

 

 

The new BMW 2-series Active Tourer MPV has been spotted undisguised.

 

This 225i model was caught during an official photoshoot. This is the first front-wheel-drive BMW in the company's history.

 

The model is likely to go on sale at the beginning of 2014 as a five-seat model, with the seven-seat version also going on sale by the end of next year. Its styling remains true to the Active Tourer concept seen in Tokyo earlier this year.

 

A BMW insider told Autocar this would be "the most functional BMW ever" and that choosing a front-wheel-drive format didn't mean compromises. "It's clearly a premium product," he said "and it has been designed with dynamism and athleticism in mind. It is still a BMW." 

 

While much of the engine lineup is still unknown, sources suggest BMW could utilise a three-cylinder turbocharged unit to power some of the range.

 

In additon, the 235i model will use a 231 bhp unit, which should allow it to reach 62mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 146 mph. CO2 emissions should be less than 140g/km, while the car should return more than 39.2 mpg.

 

Inside, the 2-series Active Tourer will have elevated seating with easy access and plenty of space. The rear seats will be split 40:20:40, while the boot should offer around 400 litres of space with the rear seats up, rising to 1200 litres with them down. Both the rear row of seats and the front passenger seat will be able to fold forward, increasing loadable space even more. As seen in these spy shots, a large panoramic roof will also be an option.

 

The move opens up new target groups for BMW, and will allow the brand to push for new customers. Europe is expected to account for two thirds of customer sales, but interest for the model in Asia and the US is also strong.

 

 

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post-9259-0-81056900-1387198805_thumb.jp

 

post-9259-0-60682300-1387198835_thumb.jp

 

 

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I think that looks really good!  Much better than the 2 series anyway.  I think the 2 series looks bloody awful.

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So it's not actually an MPV at all, and even when they stick the extra seats in the boot, they'll only be big enough for stunted growth children.

Shame, I'm bored of Fords and the only other option for a proper MPV with a sensible engine is VAG, which means i'd have to buy another Ford.

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Agree with Mook, first instinct is it's a BMW-ised B class.

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Very precise niche market research. They've worked out the only people it'll appeal to are Audi drivers who can't drive and are scared of RWD.

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What is the rationale for the switch to FWD?

 

I'm not sure a 2+2 people carrier will go down too well

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What is the rationale for the switch to FWD?

 

Cheaper to manufacture, so higher margins, because they can sell it for a premium price because it's a BMW.

 

They're not daft :)

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I'm not sure a 2+2 people carrier will go down too well

 

In the same way that a 2+2 SUV won't go down well when they launch the X6?  Oh, hang on... :P

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What is the rationale for the switch to FWD?

 

Packaging.  All a question of fitting the oily bits into the space.  It's what happens when the comfort of the passengers is put ahead of the experience for the driver.

 

It overcomes the issues around BMWs that Tipex has mentioned, which mean they can't be used for cab work.

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I wouldn't be surprised to see FWD creeping more and more into BMWs model range now, small RWD cars don't make sense, so I would be expecting 3/4 series and below to become fwd in perhaps 2 or 3 models time, or certainly the lower powered models.

 

Petrol heads bleat on and on about RWD, but the reality is, front or rear wheel drive makes absolutely no difference to 99.9% of the motoring public for 99.9% of the time, and the benefits of less parts, lower weight, lower c02 and greater interior space far outweigh the 'driver involvement' element.

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It's FWD because it shares a platform with one of the fücking massive 'MINIs' we have these days.

 

Shame they've done this - I was hoping for a Merc. CLA rivalling 2-series Gran Coupe rather than a funny MPV-esque thing.

 

On the other hand, if they'd built that on the RWD platform, I'd have given it some serious consideration when my hatch is due for replacement.

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A trade mark can be revoked if it is used in a misleading manner.  

 

Who wants to pay me to have a pop at MINI?

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Amazing.  BMW release a FWD car and all of a sudden they're going to move the entire range to FWD.  Brilliant Tipex, brilliant.:roflmao:

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Now now MrMe, he didn't say that.  

 

Well, not quite anyway :)

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No, I said I expect them to move the smaller cars in the range to FWD for the reasons I mentioned above, which is absolutely nothing like what you seem to have read into it MrMe.

 

Can you see any reason why they wouldn't? do you really think that many of their customers give a monkeys which wheels drive the car? I can't see your average sales rep losing much sleep over his company 3 series being FWD, so long as he can take the 318/20d badges off.

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Wow.  I'm not even going to respond in full.
 

Transparent sums up what you've just written.

Edited by NewNiceMrMe

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When the 1 series first came out many people were questioning why a small car needed to be RWD. It's not the biggest car in the world and loses space due to tunnel and diff etc. Of course they made some very good performance versions but does every model need a performance one?

 

In the past we've have the choice of FWD, RWD and AWD. There's been the Audi Vs BMW thing and like it or not it has given us the choice and hence we've been able to buy what we want.

 

With Audi increasing the RWD bias over a number of life cycles and BMW offering more AWD and now FWD, I really hope they don't both start producing the same as each other as that will take away the broad spectrum of choice we have.

 

If management at BMW are chasing all the pennies then FWD is the way to go and for a lot of people* out there it will make feck all difference but give a cheaper car with more space and arguably safer handling characteristics.

 

* - like the ones putting snow socks on the front wheels of their 1 series!  :rolleyes:

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Can you see any reason why they wouldn't? 

 

First, I agree with you 100% that most BMW customers and potential customers couldn't tell the difference between FWD and RWD even if it were handed to them on a massive understeery plate.  I know this to be the case, because (a) I couldn't, 17 years ago when I acquired my first BMW, and (b) I recently spent a good while trying to explain to an Audi driver why she very nearly didn't make it round a corner that she once went flying into without braking and then tried to power her FWD thing around.  From those two examples, I am entitled to make sweeping statements because, as we know, this is the Internet.  In fact, with two examples I'm somewhat over-entitled, but never mind.

 

However, I can see a reason why they wouldn't, and it is to do with one of our favourite subjects - branding.  One of the reasons I wanted a BMW all those years ago even though I didn't actually appreciate that they were RWD, or that it made a difference, was that I knew that they seemed to be appreciated by "proper" drivers who knew what they were doing.  I didn't know why, I just knew that they did.  And that alone was enough for me.  

 

Now, if BMW were to convert all their range to FWD then the drivers who currently explain that Audis are horrible understeery things that no real driver would ever buy (apologies to all of you that did...) and that BMWs are the thing to buy because they blah blah something or other drive yawn wheels oh god is he still at it steering or power not both yawn kill me now will instead start rubbishing BMW as well.  And so the spell breaks - people in general no longer desire a BMW because the people who know how to drive a car will no longer be singing their praises.  

 

There'll be a honeymoon, of course - Mercedes managed it when people stopped praising them for making bulletproof cars that never broke down, and they've recovered just in time.  But eventually, the special thing about BMW will evaporate and only Audi, Kia and Hyundai stand to win from that. 

 

What BMW will do, if they're clever, is to let FWD seep into the very bottom models that the aspirant purchasers buy, leaving lots of nice RWD cars for the cognescenti who define the brand.  Something cheap and not performance-oriented, like an MPV, say.  The A-class springs to mind as an example.  But it's risky.

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I'm glad BMW sorted the 1-series with the 2nd generation car - I have a preference for RWD (but I'm not one of those adenoidal idiots who claim FWD is 'wrong wheel drive' and insist that nothing short of a 5lt V8 is worth having)... having been introduced to it by my Alfa 75.

 

The first 1 was a good concept, but awful execution, but the 2nd gen. is spot on - they've even managed to get the packaging largely in line with the FWD competition. (Although they do look a bit comedy in profile, as the nose is so long).

 

I really hope they don't shift to a FWD 1-series platform because Tipex thinks people wouldn't notice the difference, as that would take the only real alternative choice out of the family hatch / small company car market.

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Wow. I'm not even going to respond in full.

Transparent sums up what you've just written.

Eh? Sorry but you've completely lost me?

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What you have to remember, is that we, the people who do known the difference and appreciate it, are that 0.1% of BMWs customers.

Patently, your last paragraph sums up exactly what i'm trying to say, FWD will creep in on the lower end models, not the halo cars such as the M3, not the 5 series either, but imo, the 3 series (and maybe the 4 series which is really a 3 series, I think) and lower (in BMW model nomenclature).

As for the branding argument, I don't buy that for many reasons, not least of which is that RWD doesn't feature in their branding any more, particularly in this country since the advent of X-Drive, and obviously this new FWD BMW, it wasn't that long ago BMW told us all their cars are RWD, and always would be.

Twinspark, I'm not saying I want it to happen, jesus no, i'm just saying what I think will ultimately happen.

Some of you appear to think that i'm god, and because i've said what I think will happen, it will, I bloody well hope i'm wrong, and I nearly was once.

Edited by Tipex

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