BMW 1 Series May Keep Rear-Wheel-Drive Version Without Postponing FWD Car

2018 BMW 1 Series Facelift 1 photo
Photo: CarPix
BMW’s 1 Series is the last compact hatchback that is available with rear-wheel-drive.
It comes with RWD in the standard configuration, but all-wheel-drive can be ordered on some versions. As you all know by now, BMW plans to make a dramatic shift in this line-up, which would lead to a front-wheel-drive 1 Series.

The AWD system will continue to be offered, possibly more “often” than it is today, but the engines will be transversely mounted.

The Bavarian brand has long gone through the hassle of launching the first car in its history with front-wheel-drive, which came in the form of the 2 Series Active Tourer.

It was also the first MPV from the blue-and-white roundel, and it was followed by the 2 Series Gran Tourer. After the market had got used to the pair, the second generation of the X1 received the UKL platform, and some of its versions came with FWD as well.

With that part history in mind, along with an older study which showed that many clients of the previous generation 1 Series believed that their car were front-driven, BMW began pondering about this configuration for a future model. The situation we are describing in this paragraph happened a few years ago, but the FWD 1 Series has not materialized yet.

Instead, BMW is in the final stages of testing for the second facelift of the 1 Series, which is supposed to be a swan song for the current generation. It is expected to be replaced by a FWD-based model that will reach the market as an MY2019 vehicle.

However, launching a facelift to keep things fresh in the lineup for a little over a year might be overkill. Instead, BMW might be up to something else. There’s a chance that the Bavarians are “testing the water” to see how consumers and journalists will receive the FWD 1 Series, and if the RWD model will be surpassed in sales by it.

This may be just speculation, but launching a facelift that will stay on the market for about a year when a car has decent sales (we have not heard any complaints) raises this kind of questions.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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