WHILE BMW has already confirmed that the first of its Megacity electric vehicles (EV) will debut sometime in 2012 or 2013, more recent reports have seen BMW boss Norbert Reithofer speak openly of a front-wheel-drive future.
Reports out of Europe this week claim that 2013 will see BMW launch a new MINI-based front-wheel-drive range in 2013, alongside its EV line-up. Oddly, British magazine Autocar claims that the FWD models will wear 1 Series badging, and will be sold alongside rear-wheel-drive models rather than replacing them.
The FWD models will reportedly be offered at a lower price point, and according to an unnamed BMW insider, the possibility of the new models cannibalising MINI sales isn't a concern.
“Our research shows BMW and Mini appeal to different buyers,” the BMW source told Autocar.
As shown in our renderings (above and below), an ultra-small citycar - possibly named Isetta after the company's successful post-WW2 'microcar' - would give BMW a rival to the Audi A1 and Mercedes-Benz's new A-Class line-up.
Development costs could be cut by sharing the small platform with the next-generation MINI range, stretching it for five-door models and providing a better basis for small roadster models.
If built, the small new BMW could draw power from both four and three-cylinder engines.
Of course, with no official word on a new front-wheel-drive addition to the 1 Series line-up, a healthy appreciation for speculation is required with this one.