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Spied: BMW's CAT on the prowl

2013-05-24 13:00

CAT SPOTTED IN THE WILD: BMW’s CAT model will be built on the automaker’s UKL platform which will form the basis for several “new” vehicle classes.

BMW has a history of carving unexplored niches. The first X-badged model, the X5launched in 1999, saw the introduction of what the German automaker called the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).

The hugely popular X5 paved the way for the automaker’s X3 and X1. In May 2008 BMW chipped another niche with the introduction of the  X6, touted as the first Sports Activity Coupe.

Image gallery

In 2013, spy photographers captured images of the automaker’s latest attempt at creating a new vehicle segment.

CAT IN SIGHT

At first glance you might think the model is a prototype of the soon-to-be-released BMW 1 Series GT. Nope.

Judging from the shape of the roof and layout of the rear, we are actually looking at what’s to become the Compact Activity Tourer, internally called CAT. It will launched in 2014/15 and will be part of BMW’s compact class code-named using its UKL-platform.

So far it contains all Mini models plus the 1 Series but the class is to grow by various new models such as the FAST (Family Activity Sports Tourer; a soft-roader below the X1), the JOY (a two-door below the 1 Series), the Mini MAT (Multi Activity Transporter) and the aforementioned CAT.

All vehicles will be available with front or all-wheel drive.

12 MODELS BASED ON THE UKL

BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson, he of former South African fame, said: "One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once."

Over the next eight years BMW expects to offer as many as 12 models on the UKL platform.
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