BMW will soon bring an end to its legacy of rear-and four-wheel drive automobiles. At the Geneva Motor Show, chairman Norbert Reithofer announced that the German carmaker will introduce a front-wheel drive entry-level car as part of a wide production plan. The new model has yet to be named, but will be priced and positioned below the company’s entry-level 1-Series.
The new BMW model is the product of a part sharing and cost saving plan with the MINI brand. The front-wheel drive car will share the same drivetrain as the next-generation MINI Cooper. The latest iteration of the MINI Cooper isn’t due out for another 4 years, but there are hints that BMW could roll out this latest model as early as 2013 in an effort to snatch the title as the number 1 premium small-car brand.
Part of BMW’s motivation for the front-wheel drive car is to compete with the Audi 1 and Smart forfour (produced by Mercedes Benz). Both cars are the latest entries into the premium small-car market by BMW’s biggest rivals. The car is also speculated to become part of the production platform for the 1-Series, though Reithofer has said that any plans for crossover are undecided at the moment.