Future BMW X1 and Mini countryman to share platforms


The next generation BMW X1 comes sometime around 2015, it will be based on front - wheel drive architecture, sharing its platform with the Mini Countryman. This is not new news stories and editorials have been parsing BMW's FWD plan for more than a year, and in 2011 April, CEO Ian Robertson announced there could be six to nine latest BMW and Mini models as part of a "compact car family" based on a common platform. 

A report in Auto car about the switch adds a few more particulars, though. In addition to the cost profits from this arrangement, the next X1 will lose its six-cylinder engines but provide more room. The transverse-mounted engines preclude the six-pot unless BMW redesigns it, so strategies are for nothing any bigger than four cylinders and possibly the 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder power plant slated for the 1 Series GT. A Haldex clutch will carry on to provide AWD facility and the upshot with the smaller engine bay and firewall moved ahead is more room for passengers and cargo. 

The stage is referred to as "UKL," for Unter Klasse (Under Class), and its place in the product portfolio is it seems that more complex than simply saying it will form the basis for small Mini and BMW models: stories suggest it has been built with the suppleness to underpin the next generation 1 Series as well as the next generation 3 Series. No, that does not mean the advent of a front-wheel drive 3 Series, since the UKL stage was reportedly designed with features like a movable firewall support enabling transverse and longitudinal engines as well as FWD, AWD and RWD power trains. It does, however, mean the ads showing "This is why we don't make front-wheel drive cars" will most likely never surface again.
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