In meeting its aggressive goal of selling 2 million vehicles worldwide, BMW Group is embarking on a program to consolidate its rear drive offerings on one platform supporting 30 models and a front-drive architecture for 15 more. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, BMW's development director Herbert Diess offered some insight on these moves he believes will help the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce to lower overall production costs

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The new 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first -- and for a while the only --front-drive BMW-badged model on the new platform. However, Diess does not rule out its modular platform, a version of which also underpins the new-gen 2014 Mini Hardtop, seeing use in other future BMWs. Although nothing has been confirmed, speculation exists that the firm's next FWD model could be the next-gen X1 crossover SUV. As for its rear-drive program, Diess says it will be simplified from the current large/small duo to a single but highly flexible platform architecture that can serve as the foundation for all of its subsequent rear-drive and xDrive vehicles.  

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The final critical key to success in BMW's future centers on the introduction of its new line of modular 1.5-liter/3-cylinder and 2.0-liter/4-cylinder engines, which also are seeing their first application in the new Mini Hardtop.  Designed from the start to accommodate both transverse and longitudinal fitments, they feature a common 500cc/cylinder size that can be scaled up to serve as a pattern for the next generation of its larger 3.0-liter inline-six engines.   

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