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BMW 0 Series to be Based on Next Generation MINI?

Car Magazine is reporting that BMW will leverage the new MINI platform (itself based on the modular 1 Series platform) for a smaller BMW. The big news for BMW enthusiasts is that Car is reporting this new car will be front wheel drive – a first for BMW and something that goes against the core brand values up until now. The Untere Kompaktklasse (German for lower compact class) will slot between the MINI and the 1 Series and will be marketed with efficiency as it’s main attribute. Likely featuring BMW’s new range of 3 and 4 cylinder engines, the 0 Series will help the BMW Group meet new CO2 and MPG requirements both in the US and Europe. While BMW will be counting on MINI to help as well, the thought is that some customers would prefer a small premium product from the BMW brand. For these people the 0 Series will offer all the technology found in other small BMWs in a smaller more efficient package. According to sources driving dynamics will more closely mirror what we see in the current MINI range.

According to Car, this smaller BMW will form the basis of 2 and 4 door hatchback models as well as a two door roadster. We’d also assume that BMW would be using this model as the basis of at least one electric or hybrid model as part of its Project i.

What does this mean for the MINI? A lot really. First off this is the fruits of BMW’s decision to go it alone with future MINI development (at least that we know of at this time). BMW decided earlier this year to take advantage of economies of scale with the next MINI’s development by sharing components with future BMW products. This should give MINI more technology and a higher degree of development time and cost for the new model.

Look for the 0 Series to debut generally around the time the 3rd generation

The first photo is courtesy of Jalopnik. The Car Magazine story that much of this information comes from isn’t yet online. However you can buy the magazine at book stores now.

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Written By: Gabe

  • PocoToro

    If I wanted a FWD BMW I’d just buy a MINI. A FWD car bigger than the MINI and smaller than the 1 Series would be better sold as a MINI/MAXI

  • cct1

    Thing is, we all know the MINI is made by BMW, but the majority of folks out there don’t. A more mainstream looking small car with a BMW badge will attract a new group of folks. Sure, there will be some cross shopping with the MINI, and perhaps even with the 1 series hatch in europe, but I suspect when it’s all said and done each car will appeal to a different type of buyer.

    I wonder how much outcry there will be from the BMW crowd about brand dilution, and going with an even more entry level type of vehicle that’s a significant departure from what BMW has done in the past. But if BMW is going to make it financially, this does make a certain amount of sense…

  • bnystedt

    I’m assuming this won’t be for US consumption. The 1-Series has been enough of a flop in these here parts. I live in a fairly affluent place in CA and I know what cars are popular by how many I see. I see very few 1-Series cars. I honestly see about 10 MINIs to every 1 1-Series. Heck, I’m one of three MINIs on my street. The 3-Series still reigns supreme. The weird thing is that I’m seeing more Volvo C30s recently. Unexpected but a pleasure to behold.

  • Rocketboy_x

    Ok, so how is there room between the MINI and the 1 series?

  • James Irmiger

    Ok, I really dig the bunny’s tagline (despite the fact I own a MINI). Funny and ironic considering this bit of news.

    “That’s why we don’t have front wheel drive” LOL!

  • JonPD

    Think the platform sharing between the companies makes sense. Kinda odd though as there really isn’t that much room between the 1 series and the Mini. I also wonder how perspective BMW owners would feel about a FWD BMW, I personally find it distasteful. I am sure BMW would provide a good product I do wonder however how this would change the BMW brand image.

  • Huckleberry

    I totally agree with cct1 I think this is a good thing as long as they don’t start making too many models. Do a few things great instead of a lot of things decent. I think that’s part of the death of US manufacturers, they had so many different types of cars but none of them were really any good.

  • RJ

    Thing is…..ask many current, non-enthusiast BMW owners if their BMWs are rear wheel drive or FWD, and I bet many wouldn’t be able to tell you. Same thing…ask what kind of engine their 3er has, and I bet you might get the answer…”It’s a V6″.

    Soooo…..I would guess that many potential BMW ’0′ series owners couldn’t care less if it’s RWD or FWD…as long as it has the spinning propeller up front.

  • that.guy

    Couldn’t we just get the 1-series hatchback?

  • lavardera

    With the modular platform was supposed to support FWD and RWD. Since they were planning on making the Z-2 RWD, there is no reason that an 0 series could not follow that.

  • RJ

    The Z2 would make sense as a trad RWD sports car. From a packaging perspective, a small 0 series might make better sense as FWD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1610114987 Shawn Dillon

    …the BMW 0 Series will do well. It’s the perfect car for those who love everything about the MINI Brand,but…

    …love the status of owning a BMW Brand More…

    Trust Me,I should know. I have actually met people who have stated this to Me,ever since I bought,”SADE”,new,back on Dec. 20,2002.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653192548 Aurel Savin

    Oh for the love of God. Isn’t a BMW something people should strive to own? Not some $20k car that anyone can? 0 series indeed!

  • RJ

    I bought a 96 318ti brand new. That was the entry-level E36, stickered right at 27k with options…but the base 318ti came in right under $20k, IIRC. It was my first BMW, and was a great little Bimmer. Still has quite a cult following…light weight…’round 2600 lbs…quick, frugal on gas, fun to drive. Why not let people buy a low to mid 20s BMW?

  • JMills

    Hmmm….don’t know what to think about this. I understand it’s the reality of time we live in. The automakers have to meet economy standards. Still why not just split the difference and make it awd, then make the awd layout an option on the MINI, or standard with the JCW model.

  • Veggivet

    So when will BMW come out with their -1, -2, and -3 series?

  • Mk1

    BMW’s super-size-it model creep over the years, in Europe has slowly impacted its market share, where smaller is the name of the game. The 0 series looks like their solution, go back to a bit of their roots, with a smaller more affordable Bimmer, to better compete in that arena, and further assist their fuel-efficiency/tax manufacturer/model ratio in the EU. I doubt it will ever be sold in the U.S.

  • RJ

    Veggivet – excellent idea on the BMW -1, -2, and -3 series!! I hope you’re in marketing….excellent idea!!! I’d patent it, if I were you!

    To Mk1 – the US is getting many smaller cars recently – Fit, Yaris, soon to be new Fiesta, etc…I think a ’0′ series would find a market in the States.

  • IT WRKS

    Bad Idea. It’s bad enough that MINI is compared to the current crop of lesser expensive BMW vehicles but to create a MINI’ized BMW model is a terrible idea. Aren’t we supposed to be a or the “Premium Small Car?”

  • lavardera

    It is a small package, but I still think they could do it with RWD. That would distinguish the car for enthusiasts – a real throwback to the 2002 and the 700 even.

    You can’t argue the package is too small. You could put that same argument on the 1 series – the 3 too.

  • Mk1

    I agree RJ (and I’d like to see the 0 in the U.S.) but the Fit, Yaris, (and soon Fiesta) make money for the manufactures on shear volume. They don’t even break even on those models until they hit a million units in sales. That kind of mass-market has never been BMW’s forte.

  • RJ

    Mk1 – good point in terms of unit volume needed to hit break even. However, hitting the mandated MPG figure in the US may be an overriding concern that would take precedence over the revenue gained by offering a ’0′ series. Heck, BMW can make up the difference in 7er sales!!!

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  • IT WRKS

    If this would supposedly share parts with MINI there would be economies of scale met so the volume would potentially be spread across the two brands and different variants built on this platform or use of shared parts. Therefore you can keep the volume at a point where you do not flood the market but at the same time cover enough of the market to make a profit.

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  • Mk1

    I like your thinking JR, but if if that was the case with BMW, we’d be able to buy the MINI One (60 mpg) in the U.S.

  • RJ

    Mk1 – ah yes…another excellent point…..you are correct….odd that the more fuel efficient MINIs aren’t available here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=157700491 Ronald Campbell

    I think we would all be more happy about this BMW if we could get the MINI One or D in the states. FWD is okay on a MINI, but not on a BMW?

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  • Sean

    Such an exercise in brand dilution brings my BMW enthusiasm to a standstill. Frankly this is what MINI is for and the distinctions are valueble. The Isetta/Project i should be a distinct product as well.

  • http://www.fes-auto.com Dr Obnxs

    There’s something else at play here. I think the car will come to the US (if made) and here’s why. Up until now BMW has just cut the EPA a check for not making fleet mileage numbers. The EPA is saying that practice will end (we’ll see if they follow through). For makers like BMW and Mercedes, that means smaller engine options, and smaller car options. (To me this is great! I would have loved to get the 1 series 5 door hatch here, and this mandate will make that more likely.)

    I also think it makes good marketing sense. Get more buyers to be BMW brand loyalists at a lower price point, and grow what one sells them as thier wealth grows. Now to start into a BMW means that you have a pretty good job if you’re young…

    Also, FWD or RWD, I’d vote for FWD otherwise there will be little cabin space, the tunnel would be large for both the driveshaft and the exhaust. But time will tell, for now this is just vaporware.

    Matt

  • D.Ilse

    I still love my 95 318ti Club Sport(one of the few, 200made in Oct/Nov ’95)

    but this I don’t know, I would rather have the Benz A/B Class here with a good diesel motor. vs a rebadged Mini made for yuppies.

  • D.Ilse

    if MPG were the issue, we could/SHOULD have gotten the 120d or 123d models.

    At the moment I am more interested in what the Mk.VI Tdi will look like,options and price than this future fluke. Plus BMW_NA is notorious for not supporting anything that’s outside the Lux-O-box and performance image…and less in the current gens(e9X) of the performance image.

  • lavardera

    Interior space compromised because of the drive shaft? Not so. Gertrag built a test of concept 4wd R53 that put the drive shaft and exhaust down the existing tunnel in the Mini. For crying out loud, this is not 1969 detroit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1498955032 Chris Tuveson

    Although that is true (and that car was fast, very fast, despite the added weight), it was also deemed to expensive to mass produce. I suspect for fuel economy, and cost of production factors, it would make more sense for this to be FWD. That would also further separate it from the 1 series, which I think would be desirable on BMW’s part….

  • lavardera

    The size and the cost would separate it from the 1 series. You are talking a B class vs C class size car. I’ve no idea what they will do, but using RWD would keep it firmly in the BMW family, and clearly not in the Mini family. A FWD car is just going to get everybody upset. As upset as, say, a Mini SUV maybe?

  • http://www.fes-auto.com Dr Obnxs

    Lavarda, they built 2 (or 4) cars total I think. That’s far from a fully engineered production effort.

    And as far as what car family it belongs to, that will be done by styling. Over the next 5-10 years, all the brands are going to morph. Porsche is doing a hybrid of the SUV and the Panamerica. BMW will do a lot to change what they are now into what they need to be in the future. The US is going to have car size shrink. For those that aren’t into the long history of BMW, for the newbies what makes a BMW is the bragging rights and the grill/badge. Many owners don’t really care what’s under the sheet metal. (Last week, I was getting a new low beam bulb at an auto parts store. It’s next to one of those fast in fast out allignement shops. They had a 750i and Z3 3.0 up on lifts getting serviced. Those owners obviously don’t really care about things automotive, as is true for many who buy BMWs and Mercedes.)

    Matt

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1365900163 Dave Pevsner

    it’s funny that they decide to make a 0-series based off of mini parts, because i used to joke about badging my mini as a 016ci to make people more aware of all of the BMW sitting under the skin of the car, to go along with the ///M badge on my steering wheel. now i can do that without being called a poser.

    and i’m all for a BMW that handles like a mini but doesn’t wear a disguise. the mini’s handling is awesome, and people who insist on owning “real” badged BMWs are going to love it once they try it.

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  • http://www.bmwclubforum.com BMW

    Hiii Couldn’t we just get the 1-series hatchback?

    joseph BMW


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