BMW CEO: “There will be front-wheel drive BMWs”

At a BMW press conference, Dr. Norbert Reithofer has dropped a dab-of-oppo-less bomb of an unorthodox Bavarian future. Mein Gott!

Buried in a longer speech about BMW’s plans for the next decade, almost as an afterthough following his update on Mini’s successes, this is the full text of Reithofer’s vision:

In the future, we will generate growth both in the large model segments and in the compact and sub-compact model segments. We will launch more MINI and BMW models and variants—also in the small car segment. This segment is expected to grow further. And we will take advantage of this opportunity. We are exploring the possibility of developing a joint architecture for the front and four-wheel drive systems of these cars. In other words: There will be front-wheel drive BMWs in the smaller vehicle classes in the future. We all know that the cost structure in the small car segment is different from that of the larger model classes. We intend to grow profitably in this segment as well.

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It makes a lot of sense, of course, as small cars do benefit from clever application of front-wheel drive (witness, ahem, the original Mini of Sir Alec). But it takes a fantastic leap of faith for the mind to mesh this with the image of the modern BMW, built around the idea of rear-wheel (and to a lesser extent, all-wheel) drive for almost half a century now.

On the other hand, that BMW ad on top about not using front-wheel drive is nothing but rabbit slander through optical distortion. Rabbits are rear-wheel drive. BMW’s creative agency should have used hyenas.

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In other news, Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini are engaged in the mother of all snowball fights in hell.

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Photo Credit: BMW AG (rabbit ad), Máté Petrány (Dr. Reithofer), AP Photo/George Osodi, Sterrich

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