The big bypass
BMW embraces front-drive and snubs Sydney’s motor show
new wares to push, this year’s Sydney edition of the show would proceed without it.
And with fellow Bavarian brand Audi not taking part, the German prestige stage will be left to Mercedes-Benz.
‘‘ It is a great pity and it’s a decision we’ve not taken lightly, especially as this year is the 40th anniversary of theM division,’’ Scott says. ‘‘ It is simply a question of budget and deciding we are unable to allocate it to the show.’’
MeanwhileBMWwill unveil its front-wheel-drive compact concept vehicle. It is certain to have commonality with the next generation ofBMW’s Mini range, the Cooper variant of which has been spied testing in Europe.
Though long mooted, it is one sure to be decried by purists for whom the blue and white badge remains (SUVs excepted) a bastion of rearwheel-drive.
‘‘ We are going to be seeing a number concept sitting in that compact segment,’’ Scott says. ‘‘ But it is no secret we will be going to front-wheel-drive, though only within the confines of that class.’’
The Compact Activity Tourer, or CAT, has been routinely referred to as a 1 Series GT. Scott is adamant that it is separate development withinBMW’s growing affordable hatchback range. The coupe and convertible variants are expected next year.
It is certain, however, that— like the next Mini, due here in 2014— the part-BMW, parthatchback CAT will use 1 Series underpinnings, whether in front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive.
Camouflaged: AMini Cooper prototype, spotted by Carparazzi around Munich, hints at the Tourer