Originally Posted by aajami
I would assume that to mean that the next generation of the 2-series (based on the 2017+ FWD 1-series platform) will likely be FWD as well. That's a real shame, as it means BMW will no longer make a small RWD car.
As Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend!"
I get the exact opposite impression. I think the small RWD BMW will remain for generations to come. The newer trend in passenger car construction is to employ fewer platforms to support a wider range of vehicle segments. Look at what VAG is doing with their new MQB/MLB component system for example. BMW already uses the same basic architecture for the F2x/F3x (while F0x/F1x also share a platform as well).
Even as the 3 continues to grow in size, smaller vehicles can share the same chassis and components. Maybe eventually all RWD BMWs share the same common, highly flexible, underpinnings. Of course, they could do the same with FWD vehicles too, allowing for much larger offerings than are planned in the near term. That may scare some people too, but as long as there is still a market for RWD vehicles, BMW will keep building them. I would suggest that market will remain healthy for the foreseeable future since it is difficult to properly harness more than ~300hp or so through wheels that are responsible for both steering and propelling the car. AWD helps of course but you can only do so much with the transverse (front engined) layout.