BMW to Start Building Front-Wheel-Drive Models


In the next 12 months, BMW will release a new model built off of the UKL1 platform.  The UKL1 platform is also the same platform is used for Mini Cooper models and a slew of upcoming compact BMW models.  The UKL1 platform is designed to accept a transversely mounted three or four cylinder engine, and will only offer front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layouts.  BMW is developing the UKL1 platform jointly with the second generation Mini Countryman and Clubman.  The Mini and BMW models will utilize the same drive-lines, electrical systems, and chassis components.

The first model to utilize the UKL platform is second generation X1.  The X1 model will also spawn a new 2-series and X2.  The X1 is BMW’s entry-level crossover vehicle with a five-door five-seat layout.  The X2 model is expected to be a three-door four-seat model akin to a smaller X6.  The X2 is expected to be released in June of 2015.

The new X1 and X2 will have a transversely mounted engine and will offer either front- or all-wheel drive. Due to the new chassis BMW was able to shorten the hood, move the windscreen forward, and give the roof-line a slope rearward.

Engine choices will include turbocharged three and four-cylinder direct-injection gas and common-rail diesels. The engines range from 1.5l and will go up to 2.0 liters.  Transmission choices will range from a 6-spd manual as the standard choice, and either a 5 or 7-speed unit for the optional automatics.

Expected pricing should be close to the current X1 price, which starts around $30,000.  We will provide more information closer to launch.