The new Mini Hatch is the first of 11 new BMW and Mini models to use the new UKL1 front- and all-wheel-drive platform, a BMW executive has confirmed. BMW’s board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, said the new Mini will be followed early next year by BMW’s first MPV, previewed by the Active Tourer concept.
“The Active Tourer will be the first front-wheel drive BMW, the first to use a three-cylinder engine and you’ll see it at a motor show early next year,” Robertson told AutoExpress. He added the production version of the Active Tourer will be very similar to the study. “You’ve seen the concept, and the actual car is extremely close,” the exec added.
While the Active Tourer will be the first ever production front-wheel-drive car for the BMW brand, Robertson said the company is already experienced in FWD cars, as it sells 300,000 Minis a year, as well as in small cars in general, selling 200,000 1-Series models annually.
Robertson said as many as eight model lines of the new Mini will launch in the following years, including three and five-door hatchbacks, as well as replacements for the Cabriolet, Clubman, Countryman and Paceman. Mini will also launch a sporty MX-5 rival that will replace the Roadster and Coupe models, plus two models for China: an MPV and a saloon.
As for FWD BMWs, there will be 5-seat and 7-seat versions of the 2-Series Active Tourer, a small SUV positioned below the X1 that will compete with the upcoming Audi Q1, and possibly a supermini to go against the Audi A1.
By Dan Mihalascu