Purists still find it hard to believe that BMW plans a range of front-wheel-drive vehicles, the first-ever for the brand. But it's true -- and more details are emerging.
Our German sister publication Automobilwoche says the entry-level range will debut in 2013, starting with a lineup consisting of three- and five-door cars, a small crossover, a roadster and a compact van. They'll be based on a new modular architecture shared with BMW's Mini brand.
Automobilwoche also offered a few styling details. For instance, the crossover version won't have BMW's famed Hofmeister kink in its rear seat windows or feature a continuous shoulder line, another departure from BMW tradition.
BMW needs the small cars to meet new federal fuel economy and European C02 standards. The new family will be powered by a turbocharged 2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that debuts next year and BMW's current 2-liter diesel. They may also get the new 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines that are under development.
It's not clear whether BMW will bring all derivatives to the United States. Only the coupe and convertible versions of the 1 series, BMW's current entry-level range, are sold here.