Herbert Diess, BMW Board Member for Research and Development revealed plans to reduce the number of platforms that BMW and MINI will use for their vehicles to just two. One for Front-wheel drive (FWD) cars and a second for Rear-wheel drive (RWD) cars. To put this into perspective, Many many years ago, BMW would actually develop each and every car as its own separate platform, and went as far as to mock the concept of platform-sharing. Of course, time and economics change. Today, BMW shares its cars and SAVs across 5 platforms.
As BMW customers and fans, we've gotten a good look at the FWD platform, which underpins the new MINI as well as the upcoming 2-Series Active Tourer
The next G chassis BMWs will likely use the new RWD architecture, which is expected to debut with the next 7-Series (G11). It's been hinted before that this RWD platofrm would be called '35up' (3/5 series and up!). This implies that the 3-Series would the smallest BMW on a RWD platform (I have a feeling BMW wouldnt lock itself in like that, it would go against the reason for using one common RWD platform). But in essence, just think of every RWD BMW, from the 1-Series to the 7-Series all based on the same basic platform.
BMW is not alone of course, Mercedes Benz too plans to slash their architecture down to only 4 basic setups. Mercedes cites the significant cost savings and ability to bring more models to market faster. Of course the VW group including Audi, Skoda have been the masters of platform sharing for many years and have paved the way for BMW and Mercedes.
Of significant note is that the BMW i cars will likely not be included in this plan. Right now, due to their unique construction and engineering, they are still built and conceived ground-up.
Source: Automotive News Europe