This will be BMW’s first conventional car with front-wheel drive, which is also marketed in Europe. Maybe that’s why they’re starting to show you how good it is before the show.
At BMW, apparently, the front-wheel drive issue was overwhelmed, but the example of the Mini, and perhaps the success of the first-wheel-driven Mercedess, helped to make the management of the company slowly believe that most of the customers didn’t buy BMW because the back drive in spite of it.
The front-wheel drive is not a novelty at BMW: since 2014, it has been possible to get the Active Tourer 2, the X1 since 2015, and the X2 since 2017, all based on the UKL platform, cross-built, at most means a four-cylinder engine and a front or four-wheel drive. However, only one conventional car has been presented, with a similar technical content: sedan 1, which is only available in China. This year, however, the third generation of the Series 1 will arrive, also on the basis of UKL – this is what BMW is starting to show.
They emphasize, for example, that in designing the new one, everything was done to eliminate underrepresentation – to put it simply, the tendency of nasal discharge. For this purpose, the anti-slip solution ARB, which was originally developed for the i3, will be used here to prevent the car from rolling out with the wheels running despite the excessive starting torque. The system is said to be part of the engine electronics, so it can intervene directly without unnecessary loss of performance.
The advantage of front-wheel drive, besides its low cost, is the possibility of good space utilization: the new one is supposed to have 3.3 inches more foot space, 1.9 inches more head space and 20 liters larger boot.
They also tried to reassure those who were worried about the lack of performance. The top version, the M135i Xdrive, is supposed to get a 306-horsepower turbo engine, all-wheel drive, so it’s definitely not going to be slow. Of course, the six cylinders have to be abandoned, but slowly to other manufacturers as well, if they build a non-three-cylinder engine in a medium-sized or smaller model.
As far as form is concerned, it is still quite effective in hiding it, but it can still be discovered in style with X2. The car’s silhouette also seems to be sporty enough – it is unlikely that the form would alert the customers of Series 1.
The new entry model is scheduled to be presented in June and is likely to be launched at the end of summer or at the latest in early autumn.