And that’s kind of a shame. I think a small compact sedan like this would fair well in North America where buyers are buying the competitors. The image below is the BMW Concept Compact Sedan, the very vehicle from which the 1 Series Sedan was born. It was hot looking then and it’s hot looking now. People would eat this thing up!
Unfortunately, BMW’s press release (below) doesn’t share any of the power figures but the 1 Series Sedan will undoubtedly use forced induction, probably a smaller displacement variation of their 2.0 liter turbo. And weight couldn’t possibly be as much as the 2-Series, so you know this thing will be plenty zippy. Then there’s the cost. The 3 series can be had for a little over $32,000 in the US market so this 1’er would likely start in the high 20’s. Tick one or two package options and you’re hovering at the average price paid for a car last year – $33,000.
It’s also the right size. Dimensionally, if we’re comparing it to the A3 and CLA-Class, those are about the size of the adored E36 and E46 sedans. This is just what the enthusiasts want! BMW has managed to nearly eliminate torque steer in the Mini, so while the thought of a front-wheel-drive BMW does sound a bit sacrilegious, maybe this is a type of change we can all, err the majority, get behind.
Official Press Release
Beijing. The BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA) will further explore the premium compact segment in China with the BMW 1 Series Sedan – the first compact sports sedan under the BMW brand. This makes BBA’s product range in the compact class even more comprehensive with premium entry-level cars covering segments of the Active Tourer, Sports Activity Vehicle, and Sports Sedan, attracting new customer groups to become premium car owners. The premium compact car segment is the fastest growing segment worldwide and in China.
The BMW 1 Series Sedan is the most sporty and emotional sedan in segment. It is an exclusive model tailored and aligned to the needs of Chinese customers, solely produced and specifically sold in China. The development and testing of the new car was taken place in the BMW headquarters with the involvement of Chinese engineers. The new car also performed intensive road tests in respect to different circumstances of road conditions and climate situations on different terrains in China. With the BMW 1 Series Sedan, BMW engineers have made a lot of specific fine-tuning and improvements according to the Chinese customers’ habits and vehicle-use environment.
The BMW 1 Series Sedan is originated from the concept car BMW Concept Compact Sedan, which made its world premiere at Guangzhou Motor Show 2015. As a model ready for production, the BMW 1 Series Sedan maintains design elements of the concept car, including BMW’s typical body proportion. The BMW 1 Series Sedan is instantly recognisable as a BMW. It has a concise BMW face with double kidney grille as well as LED double round headlamps and brand emblem in a very present, sporty and modern interpretation. The characteristic BMW design language is also shown in the sporty, emotional and modern-looking silhouette with Hofmeister kink.
The BMW 1 Series Sedan is the latest proof of BMW Group’s strength in innovation and is superior in terms of connectivity. Its comprehensive BMW ConnectedDrive technologies provide all customers unparalleled convenience, rich infotainment, and significantly enhanced safety. The latest powerful and technology-leading engines with hi-tech electronic technology from BMW are produced at the new local engine plant in Shenyang and guarantee unparalleled driving pleasure.
After the successful launch of the BMW X1 and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 1 Series Sedan is added to the model range, which now comprises five locally-produced BMW model series in China. With that BMW offers even more attractive entry-level models for its customers. This will further help to expand the company’s product substance and competitive advantage.
Compare this to the Concept Compact Sedan, upon which the production BMW 1 Series sedan is based.