BMW’s smallest sedan is here, but only for China where it will be produced for the local market.
The 2015 Compact Sedan Concept unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November is now making the transition to a production model. Meet the first-ever 1 Series Sedan, BMW’s rather belated answer to the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 Sedan. Oddly enough, there’s only one official image available at this point, but even so it’s easy to see Bavaria’s smallest sedan has remained faithful to the previewing concept.
A China-only affair, the 1 Series Sedan will be built in the People’s Republic by the company’s local joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive and the model has been engineered specifically for the local market. Technical details have not been revealed, but the model is expected to ride on the UKL platform which has underpinned the 2 Series Active Tourer & Gran Tourer duo. That means it has a front-wheel-drive layout and is powered by an assortment of three- and four-cylinder engines, all turbocharged. Although the identity of the engines has not been disclosed, we do know these will be made at the new factory located in Shenyang, with BMW saying the units will “guarantee unparalleled driving pleasure.”
The fifth BMW model to be produced in China will take advantage of the firm’s latest crop of ConnectedDrive technologies to make the car a more appealing offer in the premium compact segment. With the 1 Series Sedan being a model tailored to the Chinese market, chances are BMW focused on rear legroom which should be more than generous for a model in the fastest-growing segment in China.
Hopefully more details and a complete photo gallery will be released soon. BMW points out several times in the press release this is a China-exclusive model, so don’t hold your breath for an international version. That seems like an odd decision not to fight the CLA and A3 Sedan all over the world, but maybe with time BMW will change its mind.