Automotive News Europe has reported that BMW will be releasing an AWD option on its 7 series in late 2009. According to initial reports, it will initially only be available on the 750i, will have a 30:70 rear bias, and will of course be marketed under the xDrive badge. No word yet on what this option will cost in North America, nor is there an exact release date.
Exciting, yes? Even with the unprecedented warmth that’s been melting all our lovely snow, surely there’s no way the introduction of another decent AWD option on the market could be seen as a bad thing, is there?
No, of course not. Unless they’re jerking us around. And by “jerking us around,” I mean no clever euphemism. I mean exactly that. Follow the jump to read more.
As anyone who got all excited about the testing of Getrag’s AWD MINI Cooper a few years ago can attest, it’s fantastic news…until and unless it completely doesn’t happen. While initial reports at that time were quick to say that it was only a test initiated by Getrag, and in fact the one test model they’d built was later destroyed after testing, BMW fanned the flames in 2007 when it was reported that they were, in fact, going to release an AWD MINI in 2008.
Of course, that was before what Jalopnik has so cleverly dubbed “Carpocalypse,” so I suppose that’s an explanation in itself. And BMW North America has recently announced that they plan to raise list prices by 0.7% next year. So maybe these factors (and their desire to compete with Quattro and 4matic competition) are what’s motivating them in this long-overdue direction.
There are no plans at all, by the way, for the xDrive to trickle down to any of the 7-series diesel models. But here’s hoping it does eventually (and sooner rather than later) find its way into a MINI. Granted, MINI isn’t hurting for sales, but I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be the only one standing with jaw firmly embedded in the snow if introduction of an AWD MINI didn’t see sales launching into the stratosphere.
BMW, are you listening?