Alpina Has No Interest Tuning BMW’s Front-Wheel Drive Models

Alpina says it has no interest messing around with BMW models underpinned by the company’s new front-wheel drive UKL architecture.

This transverse-engine platform was introduced back in 2014 in the Mini Hatch and has gone on to be the basis of front- and all-wheel drive BMWs, including the 2-Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, X1, and X2. The 1-Series was also recently updated with the same architecture.

Also Read: 2020 BMW 1-Series – New A-Class Rival Shows Us All Its Secrets

Talking to Motoring at the recently Australian launch of the B5 Touring, Alpina boss Andreas Bovensiepen said it wouldn’t make financial sense for them to start building pumped-up versions of Munich’s new crop of FWD models.

“No, it’s not our plan. Development costs are very high and [they’re] still going up with the new emissions rules. So for us it’s better to stay with inline [powertrains], the ZF gearbox,” he said. “We like to use one engine in several cars. For example, we have the V8 engine we had in the past, in the 6 Series, in the 5 Series and in the 7 Series. With our diesels we have the same engines in the X3, [and] in the 5 Series, and only the six-cylinder petrol [engine] in the 3 Series and 4 Series.”

One area of particular concern for Alpina is that the front-wheel drive models use Aisin transmissions from Japan rather than those sourced from ZF, meaning the company would have to work with a new gearbox supplier. Moreover, it would be difficult to make a profit in this lower-priced segment of the market, so they prefer to stick to the tried and tested practice of tuning RWD Bimmers that has, so far, served them extremely well.

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  • Dennis James

    Hopefully the new BMW CEO will reverse this stupid “all show and no go” FWD trend. The new 1-series looks childish.

  • Mr. EP9

    Nor should they.

  • europeon

    I really want to know why on earth such a dumb stupid question was asked in the first place.

  • john1168

    Good for Alpina! They probably wouldn’t have sold much for those vehicles anyways. I look at Alpina as a niche/enthusiast brand and people who will buy the 1/2 series won’t care for the upgrade. Heck, I’ll bet MOST of the people who buy the 1/2 series won’t even know or care if their car is front or rear wheel drive. I think they just want a car with a BMW badge on it.

  • Alduin

    Damn even Alpina won’t touch these turds. That shows how much FWD sucks.

    • Thomas Schiffer

      Alpina did not even touch the previous two RWD 1ers.

    • Julien Lachemoi

      They didn’t touch it because it was too costly not because FWD is bad.
      Grow out of your kid opinion.

      • Six_Tymes

        start the insults, you must be a l

        • Julien Lachemoi

          Was “kid” that offensive to you ?

      • Alduin

        I’m not a “kid” you idiot. FWD is stupid unless it’s in an economy car.

        • Thomas Schiffer

          FWD is practical and space efficient. The 1er was dynamically superior, but lost points and appeal where it really mattered; interior space.

          Let us be rational and open-minded here. The overwhelming majority of BMW 1-Series buyers do not care which wheels the engine is powering.

          They did not care about it with the 1st generation, and they did not care about it with the 2nd generation. These are the people who provide BMW with most of their profits. These are customers.

          The only group who cared were the enthusiasts, and they make up a tiny percentage of buyers. And perhaps some of them can learn to live with FWD/AWD in this current 1er.

        • Matt

          You act like a kid. FWD has a lot of advantages, but you wouldn’t know because you live in a country with no good ones.

        • Julien Lachemoi

          I do love people like you, absolutely sure the nonsense they’re posting actually have any sense or value. If FWD was really trash then it wouldn’t be far better in rally and quite a lot of track than RWD.

          I’m not trying to convince anybody they should love FWD but letting stupid statements like that is too much to ask.

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