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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:45   #1
mikeh501
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When will BMW import 4WD 3/5 series?

Those who have been to north America can't have missed the fact you see numerous "X" designation 3 and 5 series saloons and estates, which are 4wd models. Now obviously we don't have as much adverse weather as some parts of the US but given the last two winters you'd have thought BMW UK would be thinking seriously about it.

So would you buy a 4WD non-suv BMW? You think they will ever distribute them? Or should BMW leave that niche to audi? Seems to me they fill every other niche so why not this one?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:49   #2
dsb
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I would not actively look for one but if it was in the spec i wanted i would not discount it for being 4wd.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:52   #3
[TW]Fox
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No, i would not want a 4WD BMW. They are slower than the RWD versions, less economical, and I don't need a 4WD vehicle.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:54   #4
mikeh501
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No, i would not want a 4WD BMW. They are slower than the RWD versions, less economical, and I don't need a 4WD vehicle.
Fai enuff, but I'm sure others would. Any insight on why BMW haven't previously brought them in?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:56   #5
Morba
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Because there is no need for them.


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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:58   #6
[TW]Fox
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Fai enuff, but I'm sure others would. Any insight on why BMW haven't previously brought them in?
Because projected demand in the UK was absolutely zero following 7-8 years of mild winters. I suspect projected demand is now a tad higher thanks to the knee-jerk squad (honestly, they'd be better off with winter tyres if they honestly think they'll get snow all winter), but still probably not enough for it to be worthwhile.

Remember, they don't currently produce them in RHD.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:58   #7
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Because there is no need for them.
There doesn't need to be a "need". Whether or not there is a "want" for them is more likely the deciding factor.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:00   #8
NickXX
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I think they are going to start importing them - PMKeates will know.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:01   #9
EddScott
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Did BMW never sell iX models in the UK? I have seen an E30 325iX Touring but it might have been LHD.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:03   #10
[TW]Fox
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Yes they did - but only in very limited numbers. IIRC the E34 525iX was the last.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:06   #11
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Did BMW never sell iX models in the UK? I have seen an E30 325iX Touring but it might have been LHD.
Yep. If memory serves they sold a E30 325iX and the E34 525iX in the late 80s, I think as Tourings (estates). As Fox says the replacements were not offered in RHD due to less than sensible sales figures.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:06   #12
[TW]Fox
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I think Wicksta was saying that even in Germany they are far from common and the majority are RWD.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:13   #13
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I have seen a few dotted around France and Italy:

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:14   #14
mikeh501
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I think the demand would be more than zero though fox, and also likely to cannibalise sales of x3/x5 etc, and some incremental sales from the likes of audi and subaru maybe.

Seems to me that BMW build a car for nearly every possible niche and some you don't even think are niches until BMW create them, like the 5GT, so why not offer the 4wd 3/5 series I wonder. Patently they have the money so why not just offer them. I assume they are good?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:17   #15
DarrenM343
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Problem with many modern 4WD cars is that they fit wide high performance tyres which actually makes 4WD cars not a great choice for winter. Also there is the loss of MPG to consider. if people want 4WD, might as well go all out and buy one of the increasing X range (X1, X3, X5, X6)

IMO, RWD + manufacturer recommended winter tyres(correct sizes for winter) should handle anything our climate throws at it. 4WD + wide high performance tyres may give some peope a falsesense of security, "oh, it's 4WD and it's snowing, we can drive normally".

A RWD car fitted with winter tyres will cope with snow better than a sporty 4WD fitted with performance summer tyres and will be miles better under braking! So comparing BMW models, a BMW 3 series fitted with winters will cope better than an X5 on OEM tyres.

I know people in Norway bombing around in old BMW's during the winter and don't have any issues (with correct tyres fitted for the season of course). In fact they prefer RWD in winter. However, they get snow often so hone their skills 4+ months EVERY year. Overhere people don't know how to drive in such conditions, partly because we just don't get these conditions often. And yes I'm one of them but am learning .

Last edited by DarrenM343; 19th Dec 2010 at 21:36.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:20   #16
[TW]Fox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeh501 View Post
I think the demand would be more than zero though fox,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox
I suspect projected demand is now a tad higher
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:21   #17
Morba
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There doesn't need to be a "need". Whether or not there is a "want" for them is more likely the deciding factor.
Completely, but is there really a want for them? Might be a bit more given 2 bad winters so far, but generally not, otherwise they would have jumped on it


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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:24   #18
mikeh501
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Originally Posted by DarrenM343 View Post
Problem with many modern 4WD cars is that they fit wide high performance tyres which actually makes 4WD cars not a great choice for winter. Also there is the loss of MPG to consider. if people want 4WD, might as well go all out and buy one of the increasing X range (X1, X3, X5, X6)

IMO, RWD + winter tyres should handle anything our climate throws at it. 4WD + wide high performance tyres may give some peope a fall sense of security (oh, it's 4WD and it's snowing, we can drive normally).

A RWD car fitted with winter tyres will cope with snow better than a sporty 4WD fitted with performance summer tyres and will be miles better under braking! So comparing BMW models, a BMW 3 series fitted with winters will cope better than an X5 on OEM tyres.
Yeah but people are lazy so only the tiniest minority is going to stick winter tyres on. Also think your wrong on the 4wd front, it makes a huge huge difference summer tyres or not. It's made a difference between being snowed in or getting to work on numerous occasions the last 2 years for me.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:26   #19
[TW]Fox
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Look at Audi. Most people buy the Quattro variant only when its the only choice.

There are more FWD A6's than Quattro ones..
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:26   #20
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Yea i must say that 4 wheel drive on performance tyres has seen me out and about without too much problem and the snow was bad here.

Its all well and good going on about winter tyres but no one bothers, so that does **** RWD a bit dosent it.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:29   #21
mikeh501
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Look at Audi. Most people buy the Quattro variant only when its the only choice.

There are more FWD A6's than Quattro ones..
Id guess your correct but it could be other factors, like the cheaper models all being Fwd, and those sell proportionally more than the more expensive models which are predominantly 4wd. Hard to pick apart the buyers choice by sales alone I think.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:30   #22
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Losses on modern 4WD powertrains aren't too bad these days but admittedly you're still paying a 3-5mpg premium for it.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:39   #23
DarrenM343
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Also think your wrong on the 4wd front, it makes a huge huge difference summer tyres or not. It's made a difference between being snowed in or getting to work on numerous occasions the last 2 years for me.
No, not wrong. Don't get me wrong, 4WD on summer tyres better than a similar RWD car on summer tyres in snow. Under braking though, not much at all if anything. But what I'm saying is RWD + winter tyres is better than 4WD on summer tyres by quite a margin and is better balanced (when considering the much improved braking abilities winter tyres will give). However, fit winter tyres to the 4WD car then of course things are reversed again.

have to also remember 4wd gives traction improvements, I think going round a bend off the throttle a 4wd car will lose traction easily also with the wrong tyres on and same for braking.

I think (and this is just my opinion),a 4wd car with big wheels and sporty rubber could be more dangerous than a RWD car. At least the rwd car will get stuck, the 4wd car driver with no snow driving experience will believe because their car is 4WD it will be unstopable. So they use the 4wd traction to get moving....... just before they hit the brakes and slide right into the rear of someone or spin off into the kitty litter . Personally I would not buy a 4wd car just for winter believing witner tyres are not needed. However if I wanted the ultimate grip then sure, I'd get a 4WD car but still fit winter tyres.

And yep, I'm using winter tyres on a RWD 340BHP BMW. Had my first outing Saturday in the snow and was very impressed.

Last edited by DarrenM343; 19th Dec 2010 at 21:50.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:48   #24
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So would you buy a 4WD non-suv BMW?
I've love a 4wd non-suv BMW, would be brilliant. A nice 335/M3 with 4wd sounds perfect.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:56   #25
markweatherill
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European corporate emissions figure, or whatever it's called.
I reckon that might be why we don't see 4WD BMW saloons over here.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:56   #26
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I think Wicksta was saying that even in Germany they are far from common and the majority are RWD.
They're not common anywhere apart from perhaps the Alpine region.

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:59   #27
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Speak of the devil:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1992-BMW-525I-...item1e60738aae

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 22:02   #28
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A friend asked BMW UK about this recently....

Quote:
I appreciate your comments regarding the sale of BMW vehicles in the US, however, I can confirm that BMW consider the entirety of the United States as a single market. Therefore, we must offer vehicles which cover the wide range of environmental conditions experienced, from states such as Florida to the sub-arctic surroundings of Alaska

I appreciate also that you are not concerned with the difference in consumption of fuel. However, we feel that the performance of an all-wheel-drive vehicle is sluggish and heavy, detracting from the overall driving experience of the vehicle and failing to meet our UK customers' expectations of a BMW
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 22:18   #29
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No, i would not want a 4WD BMW. They are slower than the RWD versions, less economical, and I don't need a 4WD vehicle.
Think of the SNOW!

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Old 19th Dec 2010, 22:22   #30
zetec452
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I would say that most of the BMW's here in London are not the X series. There aren't *that* many for sale either. I'd quite like a 330xi or 530xi.
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