By Larmour Tan
I am awfully sorry BMW, but all your efforts to try and convince yourselves that those who bought your 1-series are avid driving enthusiasts have failed. BMW had built the 1-series with the intention of spreading their gospel of the 'ultimate driving machine' and part of that picture they painted was the fact that rear wheel drive would be part of the recipe to build such a machine. However, it has now been revealed in a statement made by BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer during a telephone interview session with journalists that 80% of the people who bought the 1-series thought that it was a front wheel drive. For those of you reading this, if you are part of the 80% that have been mentioned above, I have the civic duty to inform you that the BMW 1-series is a Rear Wheel Drive.
I mean honestly, I would expect the people who are buying the 1-series to read the brochure that informs them of the specifications of the car. Or perhaps to make the effort to go through the owner's manual after they have purchased the car. I guess, in a way, this is an unfortunate news. I think this is the reason BMW do not go around with the 'ultimate driving machine' statement anymore. If you look at their website, it now states 'Sheer Driving Pleasure' or 'Joy is Driving'. Nowhere does it state that BMW makes the ultimate driving machines anymore. I suppose this is justly so as no one actually buys BMWs to drive anymore. These people actually don't even care about 'sheer driving pleasure' or 'joy is driving'. They buy BMWs for the badge and ironically, even BMW knows about this.
They know this as they're producing gargantuan SUV-coupes like the X6M or the X5M. These are two vehicles for people who just want the 'M' badge but don't actually like driving really fast. I say this because no matter how fast or powerful an SUV is, the car with the same engine and drive train, would be able to out handle any performance SUVs regardless of the situation. Then they sell the entry level 1-series to people who are just looking for a BMW and do not actually ask which wheels drive the car in the first place. Apparently, it looks like the actual fast driving enthusiasts aren't driving BMWs anymore.
And that folks is why BMW has recently announced during that same telephone interview that they intend to build front wheel drive BMWs by 2014. It is not that they have decided to join the front wheel drive bandwagon. It's just that to 1-series owners, or future BMW entry level owners, what wheels drive the car is immaterial. They just want in on the brand. Maybe BMW should change their taglines to 'FWD? RWD? AWD? Who cares? It's a BMW' or 'Joy of owning the Ultimate Badge'.
This is, beyond a doubt, another sad day for true blue driving enthusiasts.