New FWD model or models will come in at least 3 body styles and will be introduced before 2013. BMW says the new sub-compact range will have an initial global yearly volume of 100,000 units.
BMW will sell a compact, front-wheel drive model below the 1-Series in the U.S. market, according to a report by Automotive News.
BMW had previously announced that it will build a front-wheel drive model smaller than the 1-Series to be sold under the BMW badge to compete against the likes of the Audi A1 in Europe and other global markets. It would be built on a platform shared with MINI able to produce both front and all-wheel drive vehicles. Now, the Bavarian brand has confirmed that the new class of car(s) will also make it stateside.
BMW has hinted in past that the new front-wheel drive architecture will be used for more than a single model and the report refers to a "family of cars" with front-wheel drive that will be sold in the United States. BMW will not specify if they intend to launch a variety of models or a single model sold in different body styles.
"It will be a relatively big segment because we have several body styles," Ian Robertson, sales and marketing chief at BMW AG, told Auto News in an interview at the Paris motor show.
BMW has labeled this new class of vehicle the UKL.
The new front-wheel drive BMW/s will come with 4-cylinder engines in at least 3 body-style variants and will have an initial global volume of around 100,000 units. The models will be introduced before the arrival of the mega-city electric car in 2013, Robertson said.
BMW has previously released a survey in which 80 percent of 1-Series owners believed the car to be a front-wheel drive. The BMW brand is still strictly a rear-wheel drive product.