FRANKFURT, Germany – BMW is looking to sell 1 million front-wheel-drive vehicles annually as it expands that drive layout to its core BMW brand, the auto maker says here on the eve of the auto show opening to the media.

The expansion into FWD, which will include a production version of its Active Tourer concept due in 2014, is expected to dramatically improve the economies of scale for BMW, which says the current production of 300,000 FWD Mini models per year is not profitable enough.

The deadline for achieving the 1 million-unit mark is believed to be 2020, but no company official is willing to commit to that target on the record.

According to the Italian enthusiast magazine Quattroruote, BMW plans to launch 11 new FWD cars for both the BMW and Mini brand by 2020.

All models will share a new modular platform, known as “Ukl1,” which is being engineered to offer three different wheelbases and overall lengths ranging from 149.6-173.2 ins. (380.0 to 440.0 cm). Designers also will be able to play with two different H-points, allowing them to increase the road height of cross/utility models spun from the platform.

A large variety of types, sizes, model variants, performance and prices also will be possible with the all-new 3- and 4-cyl. gasoline and diesel turbocharged engines. Displacements will range 1.2L-2.0L, including expected 1.5L and 1.6L versions. Hybrid versions also are planned.

Meanwhile, BMW is staging its first indoor test drive of an all-new automobile, its rear-wheel-drive BMW i3, at this week’s auto show.

Following members of the press, who took their first laps today, thousands of visitors will get a taste of BMW’s new electric/hybrid vehicle, which can be driven on a nearly quarter-mile (330-m) elevated loop built inside and around the 101,182-sq.-ft. (9,400 sq-m) exhibition hall.

BMW says the i3 will go on sale in Germany and the rest of the European Union Nov. 16, with China, Japan and the U.S. to follow in early 2014.

Prices in Germany start at €34,900 ($46,300) in battery-only form, rising to €39,500 ($52,400) for the base hybrid version with the range-extending gasoline engine.