What's Wrong With This Picture: The First Front-Drive BMW Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

So… does this look like a BMW to you? Blame the camo if you must, but this forthcoming BMW-branded “0-Series” looks like it’s shaping up to appear as mundane as anything BMW has ever slapped a roundel on. Which makes sense, I suppose, given that it’s going to be the most mundane BMW-branded car yet built, constructed as it is on the next-gen MINI’s transverse, front-drive platform. Even BMW’s forthcoming i3 sports a freakier, funkier high-roof baby hatch look… and despite our initial fears, it’s apparently rear-drive as well. On the other hand, we’ve been here before with Mercedes… and they pulled a surprisingly sexy design out of a humble, front-drive mule. Here’s hoping BMW can pull off some equally adept styling magic, otherwise we’re looking at the BMW Cimmaron right here…

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Herb Herb on Jun 02, 2011

    Surprise! It seems that I already own one of those. It's called a "Peugeot 207 SW" (Google for pics, if you want). Same drive train as the Mini Cooper, BTW. Hopefully for BMW, car buffs like Jeremy Clarkson like the 0-series better than the Peugeot ("Did you know that SW doesn’t stand for anything? Peugeot admitted this. So let’s have a go ourselves. I’m going for ‘Silly Wagon'", or "A slightly awkward styling exercise it may be, but the Peugeot 207 SW is nonetheless a deeply practical and affordable proposition. Its only real failing may just be that not many people actually want it." Let's wait how sexy the design of the new Mercedes really will be. I remain skeptic. There is not much you can do, if you want to combine usability with affordability and a sporty design, I'm afraid.

    • Bryce Chessum Bryce Chessum on Jun 02, 2011

      Yeah BMW had to go to somebody who knows how to make a diesel front driver that works

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 02, 2011

    How is it different from Golf? I know grill will be split somehow hopefully not Chevy way but can they out perform Golf? Hey Peugeot 207 SW is a European Mazda 3 clone. the same smiley face.

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Jun 02, 2011

    You guys are looking at this completely the wrong way. BMW returning to its true "roots". Not so much a downsized 1 series, more of an up-sized Isetta with an extra wheel.

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Jun 05, 2011

      The first BMW cars were Austin 7s built under license. I guess buying the wreckage of Rover was really when they returned to their roots. My problem with a FWD BMW is that the only remaining reason to buy a BMW is because of the shortage of RWD options. One might as well get a good car instead of a BMW that doesn't even have RWD going for it.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jun 05, 2011

    A BMW Fit? Or more like a shrunken 5 Series GT. Aunt Edna's younger cousin. Blah they should have gone more 1 series traditonal or retor 2002.