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BMW UKL platform to underpin up to 12 models - report

 BMW UKL platform to underpin up to 12 models - report
BMW Concept Active Tourer 13.9.2012

Company is betting big on front-wheel drive

BMW's UKL platform has critics dreading an onslaught of front-wheel drive models, but the company insists it won't be all that bad.

BMW's product manager for front-wheel drive vehicles told Automotive News, "In the '90s we broke with tradition when we began selling SUVs along with our sedans. Customers realized they could get the driving dynamics BMW is renowned for from an SUV. We will see the same transition happening with front-wheel drive."

Frank Niederlaender's sentiments were echoed by BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson who revealed he sees great potential in front-wheel drive vehicles. According to Robertson "One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once."

In the next eight to ten years, BMW expects to offer up to 12 different models that are based on the UKL platform. We already know about a couple of them - including the BMW 1-Series GT and MINI Cooper / Cooper five-door - but Klaus Draeger, BMW's head of purchasing, hinted the company could launch a front-wheel hatchback, a larger hatchback and a small SUV.

Published Nov 21, 2012 4:10 pm By Michael Gauthier
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Comments (15)

 KheirFrancis KheirFrancis
finally a 1 series 5 door door hatch, cant wait.
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November 29, 2012 3:19 am
 GRAVE GRAVE
Audi has FWD in their line up including the base A6 and A8 hybrid
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November 25, 2012 10:24 am
 fqlynx2011 fqlynx2011
1st) "Customers realized they could get the driving dynamics BMW is renowned for from an SUV". You're kidding me right, rubbish on the road and off. For a company, that owned Land Rover, that is rubbish. 2nd) Profit, really? I own my BMW because of it's style and engineering. Why on earth would I buy an overpriced BMW fwd car, when there are far better, cheaper alternatives. BMW have this all wrong... a BMW is bought for it's drive, their previous styles and exclusivity which made the brand. Guess what, as BMW start to sell more and more fwd cars, that exclusivity will be lost, ergo BMW will no longer have the snob factor and they'll loose business. I would never buy an SUV from BMW... Land Rover are simply better. As such, I would never buy the models BMW intends to launch... other manufacturers have more experience and are cheaper. What I want from BMW is the Ultimate Driving Machine... not the above. And before any comments on "oh BMW are business, etc"... in this business image, realibility and loyal customers are everyhting. Can anyone see a 5 series GT owner spending anywhere near the money an E30 owner would to main the car? Doubt it. Before anyone shuns the older models... don't forget they made the image and the brand BMW that we know today. But yeah, let's forget the old receipe, what did that ever achieve?!
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November 22, 2012 3:39 pm
 BOOGIE_WOOGIE BOOGIE_WOOGIE
@tazcubed: I don't know about you but BMW has grown and been a huge success these past few years, contrary to what you spouting right now. Other's opinions on here are hard to respect when all they blab on about is "tradition, tradition, tradition". Alot of people on here do not see the smart business decisions BMW is making to stave off the threat of Audi and VW. BMW need to expand their business, this is no longer an option but compulsory for them to do so. BMW has never forced FWD on us. These lower end models are all going to be created to boost profits. See DTM's excellent post (above). The mainstay's of 3, 5 and 7 will retain the traditional RWD ethos as will the M models. Why some cannot make room for entry level FWD cars alongside the traditional RWD's in BMW's stable is beyond me. Sometimes i get the feeling people just want to whine for the sake of whining. I welcome the FWD family if it means the profits generated is going to improve on the core 3,5 and 7 series family.
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November 22, 2012 11:32 am
 Ivo_205 Ivo_205
Every FWD car I have driven with "adequate" power (130 HP, 350NM) had torque issues while flooring it in a corner. Not sure about this move.
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November 22, 2012 11:31 am
 DTM DTM
What needs to be understood is that BMW are foremost a business. Yes, its sad that the tradition will be broken but FWD small cars will be a lot more cost effective. What really is the question is what BMW will do with this increase in profitability? If it is to retain their distinct edge as the leader in driving dynamics, BRING IT ON!
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November 22, 2012 8:54 am
 Han Solo Han Solo
Nooooooo...
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November 22, 2012 4:01 am
 motorfan28 motorfan28
They should stick with the tradition of RWD for any BMW badged car and give the FWD to their sub-brands. Why fix something that is really good when it ain't broke
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November 22, 2012 12:04 am
 out4ride out4ride
BMW taking lessons from VW. It's all about making money for them now and screwing heritage.
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November 21, 2012 9:55 pm
 Ratt Ratt
SUVs are a different story, maybe not a tradition but they can look powerful and they're not FWD, this Opel Meriva is FDW, so BMW's product manager is full of crap, just say it we are losing our soul.
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November 21, 2012 5:06 pm