New BMW MPV spied testing

5 Jul, 2011 5:40pm Paul Bond

These are the latest spy shots of BMW's new front-wheel drive family MPV - codenamed 'FAST'

 

BMW is poised to enter a completely new section of the market with three new front-driven models set to rival the new Mercedes A- and B-Class.    

In our spy photos, hidden beneath the optical paintwork and heavy cladding is the first of these new models from BMW, which will form part of an expanded 1 Series line-up.

Codenamed 'FAST' - which stands for Family Activity Sports Tourer - the new MPV will be a direct rival to the forthcoming Mercedes B-Class, and will aim to match it in terms of both efficiency and spaciousness.

Featuring a classic monobox design, raked windscreen and an extended wheelbase for added practicality, the FAST will mark a huge break from tradition for the brand when it arrives in 2013.

It's part of a wider plan to share FWD chassis technology with the next generation of MINIs - with two other models, including a smaller estate and a city car - also in the pipeline.

Powered by a new range of 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with outputs ranging from a modest 75bhp to a healthy 150bhp, the FAST will also be available with both two and four-wheel drive, just like the B-Class. 

Disqus - noscript

Is someone at BMW taking the proverbial? A 75 BHP version would match the least powerful car BMW has made in decades - the MINI First - which is much smaller and still takes over 13 sec to get to 60 mph.
This is brand dilution on an epic scale - the 'ultimate driving machine' becomes the slowest shopping trolley around.

That looks pretty crap, slow and ugly crap too.

If it's aimed at the "urban" lifestyle, what are the X1-3-5 for, surely not for "Off-Roading"?

And it's front wheel drive! "The Ultimate Driving Machine", my arse. Too many types, too many numbers, not enough soul. Unless it's the Kia Soul of course.

Hey Derk, don't knock the Soul, stylewise it's twice the car this is...

Well, it must be obvious to everybody by now that BMW are rigorously repositioning themselves in the marketplace. It remains to be seen whether this risky move will pay off or not. If it is BMW's intention to compete with mainstream manufacturers in this sector they will need to compromise quality for quantity or they will not compete. The other option is to offer this as a premium product, but this strategy won't be without its risks either as most potential customers will be expecting a RWD platform for a premium markup.

"as most potential customers will be expecting a RWD platform for a premium markup"

How do you figure that out?, most people who drive a 1 series don't relies it's RWD.

AEX 1330
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