US: BMW leaves out its new front wheel drive models image

The German automaker, the largest premium carmaker in the world, has opted to leave out of the US market – the globe’s biggest for luxury models – its new front wheel drive models, the 2 Series minivans.

According to a spokesperson for the Munich-based company, the new 2 Series variants, which have allowed BMW to explore a previously untapped territory for the brand, are simply too small for the US market. The 2 Series Active Tourer – a five place minivan – and its larger sibling – the 2 Series Gran Tourer are the company’s first foray into the world of front wheel drive powertrains, using a common architecture developed to underpin its compact offerings and models form the Mini brand. BMW considers the Gran Tourer, which is 179 inches (4547 mm) long and the smaller Active Tourer at 171 inches (4343 mm) long to be too small for US buyers of minivans with either five or seven seats. The decision mirrors similar takes of rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz. For example, the latter – which has been offering the B-Class minivan for years on the European market – has refrained from bringing many compact offerings on the US market – aside from the CLA coupe-like sedan and new GLA crossover.

BMW will continue to offer the X1 model, which is 175.5 inches (4458 mm) long, as the smallest crossover model in the US range, serving as the basis for a SUV lineup that also has the X3, X4, X5 and X6 models. The German automaker will also bring a new generation for the X1 based on the new powertrain shared with Mini models and as a front-wheel drive (and all-wheel drive) model later on this year.

Via Automotive News Europe