BMW and front-wheel-drive together sounds like a sacrilege. But it is inevitably happening as the Bavarian carmaker plans an assault of six new vehicles based on its new front-wheel-drive architecture called FAAR (Frontantriebsarchitektur).
The first model to be based on this platform will be the new generation 1 Series. The hatchback was slated to move to a front wheel drive platform after the dismal sales of the first generation. But it was predicted to be the Mini’s UKL platform. There are rumours that the 1 Series could also be offered in a two-door variant apart from the standard four-door body style. The new FAAR platform is also developed keeping in mind the electric powertrain. So expect all the models from the FAAR architecture to have some kind of electrified driveline in future.
The second model would be the first-ever 2 Series Gran Turismo. It will join the new gen 2 Series Active Tourer and 2 Series Gran Turismo as BMW’s dedicated front-wheel driven vehicles. The 2 Series Gran Turismo will follow a niche body style (which BMW is famous for). Meanwhile, the other two vehicles will switch to the FAAR platform from the current UKL underpinnings in 2021.
As mentioned earlier, the FAAR has a provision for the electric powertrain and the fourth vehicle is expected to be an all-electric vehicle which could be a compact crossover set to replace the i3. The iX1 (the name is yet to be confirmed) will be an important member of BMW’s i family.
And the sixth vehicle to make a switch to the new FAAR platform will be the next-gen X1. The crossover SUV has already jumped on to the UKL platform in its current avatar and has been garnering a positive response. So switching to the front’ wheel-driven FAAR platform won’t affect the X1’s reputation but will enjoy the benefit of lower production cost and a roomier cabin.