Mike Stevens | Oct 28, 2010

That BMW is developing a new range of front-wheel-drive models is nothing new, but one thing still to be established is what the new series will be named.

As with many manufacturers, BMW's preference for numbered names occasionally sees the brand all-but painted into a corner - the upcoming 1 Series M could have continued the naming conventions of the M3, M5 and M6 if not for the original M1 supercar.

Nonetheless, if reports out of the US this week are to be believed, BMW may have rigged up a fix for its latest badge predicament.

According to US magazine Car & Driver, the German carmaker is set to shake up the lower end of its line-up, launching a new 2 Series range that would stand as the entry point into the company's rear-wheel-drive range.

With the 2 Series essentially taking over as a replacement for the current 1 Series, BMW's new series of front-wheel-drive cars would step in to take its place; and its name.

Adding credence to this possibility is news that BMW has recently filed trademark applications for the names 228, 230, 235 and M2.

A front-wheel-drive car powered by BMW's 3.0 litre turbo six-cylinder seems unlikely, suggesting the 2 Series will be built on the company's next-generation small-car rear-wheel-drive platform.

BMW CEO Nobert Reithofer has also confirmed in the past that the next-generation 1 Series is not guaranteed to feature a RWD layout.

“There will be front-wheel-drive BMWs in the smaller vehicle classes in the future,” Mr Reithofer said at BMW's annual financial results press conference earlier this year.

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