And so, the era of front-wheel drive BMW vehicles will be previewed this year. It is starting off small, and hopefully, it stays that way. Autocar reports that BMW is readying the 1-Series Gran Turismo for a concept debut at the Paris Motor Show. The production debut is said to follow in 2014. Under the hood will be a 1.4-liter turbocharged three-cylinder. Why isn’t it just called a MINI beats us.
BMW has focused on the MINI brand due to its ability to boost sales in the premium small car sector. In fact, the 2014 MINI is rumored to have a five-door hatchback variation similar to the GT. In the United States and around the world, we expect the five-door to grow the brand thanks to added practicality. Originally, MINI was considered by BMW as a way to compete in this segment without compromising the BMW brand. Why couldn’t they just leave it at that?
Apparently, the sales available in the entry-level segment versus Mercedes-Benz (A- and B-Class) are just too big to ignore. BMW has a larger brand appeal than MINI. Thus, the 1-Series Gran Turismo is born, and it will share a platform with the next-generation MINI. The good thing is that FWD appears to be contained in the GT model.
The best news we’ve heard recently regarding BMW has been that a small, rear-wheel-drive 1-Series sedan is being developed. As a real BMW, that makes the introduction of a front-wheel-drive BMW a bit less painful. Historically, Mercedes-Benz has kept the A-Class and B-Class to the European market. It appears that the A-Class may be sold here, though, along with the CSC (or CLA) small front-wheel-drive sedan being confirmed. It’s likely that the 1-Series GT will be brought over here to compete. Hopefully, we’ll get a four-cylinder…