BMW is exhibiting the new 130i, M6 and facelifted Seven at the Geneva Show, but a surprise announcement by the Munich-based company’s chairman Helmut Panke may raise eyebrows even further.

BMW is exhibiting the new 130i, M6 and facelifted Seven at the Geneva Show, but a surprise announcement by the Munich-based company’s chairman Helmut Panke may raise eyebrows even further.
Panke, whose official title is chairman of BMW AG’s board of management, on Tuesday announced the development of two new model series. Although Panke’s speech at the show didn’t include details about the nomenclatures of the new ranges or exact specifications or configurations, it seemed the company’s brains trust may have made a U-turn since January last year.
At the time, Panke told delegates at the Automotive News World Congress that the BMW Group would never build a front-wheel drive car or an MPV. He said a front-wheel drive car could not offer the handling and driving experience of a rear-drive car and "a van does not fulfil any of BMW's brand values." And though he said the company would continue to explore more versatile and functional concepts, none have fulfilled the company's expectations of what the BMW brand and its values stand for.
However, Panke has now announced “We (BMW) will be further expanding with two completely new, independent model series. One of the new model series will provide the market with a product that is innovative on the basis of its interior spatial design, which combines variability and functionality. This vehicle is being developed under the working title of the ‘space-functional concept’.” Most automotive enthusiasts would interpret his carefully worded statement as suggesting that BMW was about to enter the space race!
He added: “With the second model series, BMW aims to make use of the potential demand opening up in new market segments. The background to this is the increased customer interest for vehicles that combine different characteristics in a form which has not existed until now: these include a higher seat position, the driving properties of a sporting passenger car and the outward appeal of a coupé”.
Is Panke suggesting that BMW will be building a vehicle in the mould of the recently-unveiled Dodge Caliber concept – a sporty five-door vehicle that could ostensibly appeal to buyers looking for an compact car with the flexibility of an MPV and machismo of an SUV? CARtoday.com will keep you posted.
In the meantime, you can read about the BMWs on currently on display at Geneva by clicking on the following links:
Straight six power for BMW’s One.
BMW’s Seventh heaven – or hell?.
M6 launches 6 Series into new realm.

Original article from Car