BMW 1-Series Sedan seen in Germany, raises speculation of possible Europe launch

Article by Christian A., on January 28, 2017

Needless to say, the new BMW 1-Series Sedan is part of the premium carmaker’s offering. However, it should be noted that the so-called baby Bimmer is not being offered in Europe as it is an exclusive product targeting affluent customers in China.

Just recently, a new BMW 1-Series Sedan was seen being driven on roads in Europe. In particular, a reader of BimmerToday was able to take a good glimpse at a BMW 1 Series 120i sedan – in a prototype version without any disguise – in Munich, Germany.

BMW officially launched the BMW 1 Series Sedan at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, hoping to take advantage of the propensity of more people in the event who may want to buy any of the premium compact cars. While the demand in China is still mainly for larger premium vehicles, especially those with spacious interiors, a new generation of car buyers is on the rise.

These young buyers typically opt for smaller vehicles, thus making the BMW 1 Series Sedan the right product to target China’s “young generation.” While it is the smallest among BMW offerings, the new BMW 1 Series boasts of build quality and performance at par with its larger siblings. Essentially, the 1 Series Sedan is BMW’s answer – albeit belatedly – to the Mercedes-Benz’s CLA and Audi’s A3 Sedan.

While BMW has yet to fully disclose the specs of 1 Series Sedan, the new compact car is believed to be underpinned by the same UKL front-wheel drive platform that underpins the BMW X1 and Mini Cooper, thereby giving it a front-wheel drive layout. Powerplant choices may include two versions of the 2.0-liter turbo engine – with outputs of 231 hp and 192 hp -- and a 1.5-liter turbo that delivers 136 hp.

As always, these engines will be paired with either an eight-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual transmission. While the new BMW 1 Series was developed and tested at BMW’s headquarters, there was a close collaboration with Chinese engineers to ensure that the 1 Series could well perform in China, where the road, terrain and climate conditions are much different than in Europe.

Although BMW has made it clear that the 1 Series Sedan will only be offered in China, a mule being driven in Germany could tell us a thing or two. The presence of the 120i sedan prototype in Munich may mean that the German carmaker is trying to probe whether the new 1 Series Sedan could also be offered in Europe. Compact cars are nothing new to European motorists, so the 1 Series Sedan could be a good addition to BMW’s lineup in Europe.


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