BMW moves to front
GET ready for a change of pace at BMW as it announces up to 12 new frontwheel drive models.
The once-staunch rear-wheel-drive car maker says it will use its new front-drive platform for future BMW models — including the Concept Active Tourer on display at this week’s Paris Motor Show — and for the new Mini.
The new Mini Cooper, which is expected in early 2014, will be the first to use the shared platform, which is called UKL.
Speaking at the Paris show, BMW board member Ian Robertson indicated a range of front-drive models with the BMW badge could arrive together in 2014.
‘‘One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once,’’ Robertson says.
In reference to the Concept Active Tourer, he says: ‘‘This is the first car that we are showing.’’
BMW is on record as saying the premium small car market will become the fastest growing segment because it offered flexibility in design, spaciousness and a compact footprint.
‘‘We will attract a broad profile of customers, from young families to people entering the later phase of life,’’ Robertson says.
‘‘You get a lot of flexibility.’’