Why BMW's Switch to Front-Wheel Drive Isn't the End of the World

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by GTPNewsWire, May 29, 2019.

  1. GTPNewsWire

    GTPNewsWire Contributing Writer

    Messages:
    8,446
    Location:
    United States
  2. Tornado

    Tornado

    Messages:
    37,639
  3. mustafur

    mustafur

    Messages:
    7,983
    Location:
    Australia
    Given that it's worse looking then all of it's competition, and doesn't even look as good as the Mini on which it's based Inside and out, no RWD makes this car lose It's Unique Selling Point atleast for me, It needs a Facelift ASAP.

    Sure people who love BMWs and don't care for anything else will still buy it, but is that all a car is? a brand that will be bought because?
     
    Robin, ZGBox and VXR like this.
  4. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    18,639
    What about the BMW Active Tourer? This is also FWD. And it is a passenger car.
     
  5. bremics

    bremics

    Messages:
    1,882
    I'm conflicted on its appearance it doesn't look bad, but it does look like an aftermarket modification of someone trying to turn a Focus into a BMW.

    Either way, I would probably get an Elantra GT instead. Or one of the many hatchback options that tend to be much cheaper and better performing unless there's a performance version I'm unaware of.
     
  6. Famine

    Famine Administrator

    Messages:
    65,393
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    It's an MPV and mentioned in the article (along with four other current FWD BMWs)...
     
  7. phillkillv2

    phillkillv2

    Messages:
    3,116
    It's not the end of the world, but I'm too poor to be buying or leasing new BMWs, so I'll be sticking to the classics.
     
  8. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    18,639
    *Note to myself: read before you post* :dopey:
     
  9. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

    Messages:
    26,004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Take away the kidney grille and it's another one for the pile of generics.
     
    LongbowX and VXR like this.
  10. TexRex

    TexRex Premium

    Messages:
    12,632
    Location:
    United States
    "But I want to drift it."
     
    The Cake likes this.
  11. daan

    daan Moderator

    Messages:
    32,527
    Location:
    Scotland
    looks like Kenneth Williams.
     
  12. FerrariF1GT

    FerrariF1GT

    Messages:
    627
    Location:
    United States
    I really wish that people didn't freak out about this car simply because it's FWD. FWD cars are much less likely to tailspin (well, at least at the hands of an unskilled driver, of which there are more of those than skilled drivers), and they tend to be more economical. This is a good move by BMW.
     
    ZGBox likes this.
  13. Naveek Darkroom

    Naveek Darkroom

    Messages:
    5,239
    Location:
    Canada
    It almost seems odd that the 1 Series hatchback was rear wheel drive at all.
     
    ZGBox likes this.
  14. MatskiMonk

    MatskiMonk Premium

    Messages:
    11,280
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    The kind of 1 series that most people actually drive aren't some kind of tail-happy widow-maker. You have to push it irresponsibly or clumsily hard to get the average 1-er to behave like a RWD tail-hooner, and even then with traction control in its default setting you won't do a 180 if you're a bit to brash with the throttle. The benefits will come in the packaging, not the dynamics.

    Optional BMW M-Performance HDPE tea trays, complete with M logos and carbon fibre accents.... coming soon.

     
    bremics and niky like this.
  15. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,158
    One of the things I find odd is that it's somehow heavier like-for-like than the outgoing model. Not quite sure how BMW's managed that one - other than that Mini UKL platform being perhaps a bit unsophisticated compared to the one the old 1-series used. Extra weird given the latest 3-series has been made lighter than the outgoing model.

    As you say, the loss-of-control thing is a non-issue too. Modern stability and traction control systems pretty much eliminate that, and it's not like the 1-series has ever been set up to be a big drift machine. What's a shame is that you can feel that it's a rear-drive car even in the more basic ones I've driven. It's a fundamental enough difference that you can feel it even if you're not trying to drive everywhere like Tsuchiya.

    Anyway, complaining about it being FWD is burying the lede. It's not the first front-drive BMW, and everyone knows that Minis handle fine (even if they're not perhaps as fun as they used to be). The biggest problem is actually that it's absolutely hideous. People have joked for years that BMW styling was starting to take influence from the Koreans but the reality is an i30 or a Kia Ceed is a more attractive vehicle now.
    It's not that odd. It was BMW's modus operandi for most of its existence, and when the 1-series debuted the range of X models that powered more than just the rear wheels wasn't half as big as it is today.
     
    niky and SlipZtrEm like this.
  16. MatskiMonk

    MatskiMonk Premium

    Messages:
    11,280
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    It'll be noticeable for those that know what they're missing, no doubt. As the article highlights, many won't know, and they won't care... and for those that do... ditch the tiny boot and get a 2-er!

    It's okay... nothing special. My favourite in the class purely looks wise is the Focus. I'd suggest that people have 'not-so' joked for years that the 1-er is an ugly car - the initial reactions have never been great, I'm personally not seeing the reaction this time around as any different. And, even as a BMW fan, I'd struggle to believe anyone that thinks the F20, in standard fleet guise, POV spec, or non M-Performance trim, is better looking than all of the competition.

    ... for a trip down memory lane, https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/bmw-f20-1-series-revealed-ummm-yeah.206904/
     
  17. VXR

    VXR

    Messages:
    9,006
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I like the X2, the FWD-based X1 is OK. This one though, this is a real howler.
     
    Wiegert likes this.
  18. MatskiMonk

    MatskiMonk Premium

    Messages:
    11,280
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    If we're talking about looks;

    1) How can you like the X2?

    2) How can you like the X2 and not this?
     
  19. ZGBox

    ZGBox

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Italy
    The styling is quite divisive, but eh, every 1-series weren't that well recieved at launch for their design (even though I always loved how the F20 looks);
    and here's an unpopular opinion (I think): the fact with being FWD is good because i don't think the majority of people who buys them really care about not being able to drift it or something, and just want a BMW hatchback.
     
  20. Naveek Darkroom

    Naveek Darkroom

    Messages:
    5,239
    Location:
    Canada
    So the 1 Series is front wheel drive now. That's fine. That's in line with the X1 which already switched to front wheel drive. Hopefully this means the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer should be realigned with the 1 Series lineup. Cause BMW's use of the number 2 is confusing. The 2 Series coupe/convertible clearly replace the old 1 Series coupes but the Active/Gran Tourer are clearly more in line with the 1 Series now that that car is front drive. And then there's whatever the X2 is for.
     
    TexRex and Wolfe like this.
  21. MaxAttack

    MaxAttack

    Messages:
    379
    Angry birds pig.
     
  22. TexRex

    TexRex Premium

    Messages:
    12,632
    Location:
    United States
    BMW: "What was the 3-series 2dr is now the 4-series because the 5-series is a 4dr and the 6-series is a 2dr. It makes sense."

    Onlooker: "2-series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer."

    BMW: "Oops."
     
  23. Naveek Darkroom

    Naveek Darkroom

    Messages:
    5,239
    Location:
    Canada
    Exactly my point.
     
  24. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,158
    I think I'm pretty consistent in my views then - my posts in there suggest I didn't think it looked as good as the one it replaced (it didn't), that it'd look better as a coupe (it did) and that the initial images were probably a bit unflattering to it (they were).

    What I didn't appreciate at the time but is much clearer now is that the car still had great proportions because of its drivetrain layout, though given the second-gen X1 also suffers from this compared to the first-gen car (funny how some recent BMWs have made previously "ugly" ones look a darn sight better...) this could have been predicted.

    What I also didn't appreciate is that I'd actually end up preferring the way the launch model looked to the post-LCI car, as while the latter "fixed" the front end, for me it also messed up the rear, and generally made the car a little more bland.

    Maybe these early images will be unflattering to the new 1er too... though I suspect this time around its problems are far deeper than unflattering press pics. I've seen the facelifted 7, the X7 and a few other recent BMWs in the metal too, at shows and/or on the road, and there's something seriously wrong going on with BMW design at the moment. Drivetrain layout is neither here nor there in comparison.

    All that said... when we posted our news piece on the car on Twitter, we did have people responding saying it looked great. Which goes to show that some people will fall for any old crap as long as there's a BMW badge on the nose and an M Technik kit and some 19-inch wheels slathered over it.
     
  25. mustafur

    mustafur

    Messages:
    7,983
    Location:
    Australia
    The funny thing about that is most people where complaining about the back of the F20 not the front: 1557310702.1267_UgysAp_n.jpg

    The point with this car is that Ugly and FWD is worse then Ugly and RWD.

    The Rear isn't bad apart from looking like a Focus, but the front is probably the worst BMW have ever done on a car before.
     
    VXR likes this.
  26. VXR

    VXR

    Messages:
    9,006
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Simply because the X2 carries this look off with better balance from the lower detailing of the crossover aesthetics. I also like the E9 aping roundels on the d pillar and the yellow colour is vibrant. The M Sport spec ruins it, however.
     
  27. ZGBox

    ZGBox

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Italy
    I don't get why BMW loves to make a grille that massive, it doesn't flow very well with the styling
     
  28. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    18,639
  29. Supaboost

    Supaboost

    Messages:
    115
    Car might make sense for europe, but NA people just want a badge on something suv"ish.