In what would have been once been shocking news, BMW and Mercedes are in talks to co-develop vehicle platforms. And yes, if you were paying attention you might have seen this coming. Over the last 12 months BMW and Mercedes have announced co-development of advanced driver assistance systems and mobility services. Now things are potentially getting much more interesting. What could this mean for MINI? A lot.
According to Autonews and Auto Bild Daimler and BMW are in talks to potentially share engineering costs for everything from larger MINIs to mid-snized BMWs. The brands would be looking for the agreement to save approximately 7 billion dollars in future development.
This generation of cars would be after the upcoming generation of front wheel drive FAAR and rear wheel drive CLAR based cars near their end of life. In other words it’s not the replacement of the current Countryman but potentially the one after that in the late 2020s. Because of the timing they would be conceived as electric first but also be designed to accommodate ICE powertrains should the market dictate that.
Could these rivals truly share platforms – the very DNA of their brands? The UKL2 platform currently underpins the Countryman and Clubman – critical parts of the MINI brand. Could sharing what comes next dilute MINI’s dynamic advantages? And is this another potential step in the ultimate convergence of these two German companies? With the upheaval of the industry norms underway it would seem anything is possible.