Most buyers didn’t know their car was RWD anyway
“We have to bring a competitive car to the market and we would like to have a bigger car inside, but the same shape on the outside,” says BMW’s driving dynamics boss, Peter Langen. “So we have to move from rear- to front-wheel drive.”
Thus BMW applied all its learnings from Mini’s vast range – as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer and the X1 and X2 – to make what it reckons will be the standout car in its class for handling, despite a switch to what the purists might degradingly call ‘wrong-wheel drive’.
“We first talked about going front-wheel drive in 2013,” adds Holger Stauch, head of the 1 Series project. “We thought about the expectation for the small cars, and we will get new customers from the extra compartment space we have opened up. Most customers can’t differentiate between front- and rear-drive anyway.”