When it unveiled the X5 back in the ’90s, BMW broke the tradition of rolling out every Bimmer with a Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) architecture, from Munich. Even though the X5’s power was transferred to all four wheels, it hadn’t lost the dynamics that BMW were famous for. It brought a delicate mix of BMW’s renowned handling with a dash off-road prowess – the perfect recipe. The fact that it wasn’t RWD never really affected the sales of the X5, which later spawned into a series of SUVs that are selling well in the market today.
BMW expects the same transition to happen to its future range of cars, which will sport its front-wheel-drive architecture – internally known as the UKL platform.
UKL is slated to underpin 12 new models that BMW will roll out in the near future, as well as Mini’s range of vehicles. This FWD architecture helps BMW compete in the emerging segment of premium compact vehicles that has spawned cars like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the Audi A3.
Though BMW is breaking tradition once again, it promises that front-wheel-drive setup will not compromise BMW’s dynamics of ride and handling, which it has fine-tuned successfully over the years. We would love to find out whether that promise is kept but, unfortunately, it’s a long wait before BMW releases the first model riding atop the UKL platform.
So what are your thoughts on this platform? Is it right for BMW to adopt it or is it a step too far from the traditional RWD? Let us know in the comments section.