First there’s the Audi A3 sedan, then there’s the Mercedes-Benz CLA class. Now, it’s BMW’s turn to introduce an entry-level sedan for a fast-growing young premium crowd.
No problem with that but the bad news is the all-new BMW 1 Series sedan is built in China for the Chinese market only. That’s quite a shame as we think the baby Bimmer is a good alternative to the A3 sedan and CLA.
Unveiled at the recent 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show, the sporty compact sedan is strategically developed for younger drivers entering the premium market for the first time.
“The all-new BMW 1 Series Sedan is the youngest BMW in the product portfolio. And we have strong confidence in this exclusive model as it is born ‘In the Right Time, At the Right Place, and For the Right People.’ Premium compact cars are the fastest growing segment — this is ‘the Right Time,’” said Jochen Goller, BMW senior sales and marketing.
Built on BMW Group’s UKL platform utilised in the 2 Series Active Tourer and shared with MINI models, the 1 Series Sedan is Munich’s first front-wheel drive sedan.
The car measures 4,456mm long, 1,803mm wide and 1,446 mm tall. Its 2,670mm wheelbase is 20mm shorter than the rear-wheel drive F20 1 Series hatch.
Powering the range-opening 118i is a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine delivering 100kW of power, while the 120i and 125i uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine with 141kW and 170kW, respectively.
The smallest BMW sedan is available in Estoril Blue or Luminous Gold, amongst other colours. It shares a similar front fascia as the current 1 Series hatch and comes with hexagonal LED headlights. The rear adopts the familiar BMW design of high rear deck, wide bumper and L-shaped taillights. Wheel sizes range from 16- to 18-inches in diameter.
It’s typical BMW affair inside, too. The layered dashboard features an 8.8-inch infotainment screen operated through the iDrive interface. Drivers can choose between three driving modes — Comfort, Sport, or Eco Pro — to bias the driving toward sport or fuel economy.
The model will be manufactured in China by the BMW-Brilliance Auto joint venture alongside the BMW X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer. It will go on sale in China in early 2017.