Report - BMW and Mercedes-Benz to consolidate number of platforms

18/03/2014 - 11:51 | ,  ,  ,  ,   | Karthik H

German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz will both soon reduce the number of architectures that underpin their front- and rear-wheel driven cars.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer front three quarters at Geneva Motor Show
The 2 Series Active Tourer is the first recipient of BMW's new front-wheel drive architecture (in the BMW line).

A report on Autonews says that this will help both companies increase the speed of output and reduce costs as a whole. The report quotes BMW's board member for R&D, Herbert Diess, who says that the company would use only two architectures henceforth, one for front-wheel driven cars and another for rear-wheel driven cars. Currently, the company uses 5 architectures.

Mercedes GLA front three quarters right at Auto Expo 2014
The MFA platform that underpins the Mercedes-Benz GLA will be one of only four platforms used by the company.

The report also clarifies that the i3 and i8 don't fall under these architectures.

BMW 7 Series facelift rear from Indian launch
The next-generation 7 Series, due in 2016 will see the first use of BMW's new rear-wheel architecture.

Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, will use four platforms, less than half of the 9 it was using five years ago. Head of worldwide R&D at Mercedes-Benz, Thomas Weber, said that this would also help reduce the time to market for redesigned and new models.

While the MFA and MRA have already been disclosed (underpinning the A Class and C Class respectively, among several others), the report says that a new MHA will be used for large crossovers like the ML and GL, while a MSA platform will be used for sports cars like the two-door SL and SLK models.

Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG front
Cars like the SLK55 will henceforth be built on Mercedes' MSA platform.

The first BMW model on the new front-wheel drive platform will be the 2 Series Active Tourer, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The other platform will make its debut with the next generation 7 Series sedan in two years.

[Source - Autonews]

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