BMW is thinking about making a 1 Series sedan, likely to be the direct result of the recent launch of Audi’s A3 sedan and the availability of the CLA-Class from Mercedes-Benz. We learned from Auto Express that BMW expects to achieve gains in the Chinese market if it releases a traditional three-box version of the newest 1 Series.
Buyers in China and the U.S. prefer traditional sedans and are not as fond of hatchbacks. This means that BMW will be up to a challenge if it sells its 1 Series hatchback in China as an entry-level model. This is probably the reason for Audi’s move to make a sedan version of the new 2014 A3 for both China and the U.S. even if this model is offered as a hatchback in Europe. It is for this same reason that the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan was offered in China instead of the European A-Class hatchback.
When interviewed by Auto Express, BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said that BMW is “never shy” of entering new segments. He implied that if the proposal to build a BMW 1 Series sedan doesn’t get approved, an entry-level sedan under the Mini brand may be built instead. Notably, the same platform will be used by the next-generation Mini Cooper and future front-wheel drive BMWs just like the next 1 Series.
It’s believed that young drivers in China will be attracted to BMW’s small sedan. The disadvantage of the 3 Series is its high cost while some are predicting that a 1 Series hatch would not do well. BMW is planning to sell the new 2 Series coupe and convertible, which are based on the 1 Series hatchback, in the U.S. A 2.0-liter turbo-four engine that delivers 240 hp is expected to power the 228i. Meanwhile, the M235i will be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with a 320 hp output. Production of the coupe will begin this November. It’s scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by early next year.
Being part of the compact class, the new BMW 1-Series is considered unique mainly due to the configuration of the drivetrain. Specifically, it has a rear-wheel drive with the front revealing an in-line engine that has been longitudinally mounted. This layout helped enhance the handling which can, in fact, be seen on the design. In fact, the new 1-Series has the usual proportions one would expect from a BMW model.
The passenger cell is swept-back with the wheelbase wider and the bonnet longer. There is no doubt that the new 1-Series is the best example when it comes to innovative elegance and responsiveness for a compact car. In addition, the lively and youthful design coupled with a number of high-quality just puts the excitement on a different level. When looked at on its side, the proportions become even more striking.
The combination of the flat side windows, the angle, sporty rear windscreen, and the slightly sloping roofline results in this vehicle having a feel similar to a coupe. Then there is the Hofmeister kink, which is a forward low bend placed at the back region of the side windows. Since it is able to lengthen to the C-pillar, it brings about a wider door aperture. This helps make ingress and egress to the seats in the rear simpler.
Meanwhile, the main element of the front section is the brand’s very own kidney-shaped and large radiator grille. This area is also where the headlight units and the three-section air intake can be seen. With the grille being leaned in a more forward manner, it highlights even more the daring stance of what may be the most athletic compact model there is.
Still on the front region, the surrounding areas are able to get the needed light in order to give it a more three-dimensional feel. Further, there are four curved lines placed on the bonnet which shape a V that point to the grille. Meanwhile the standard double-round BMW headlights have that accent trim throughout the tops. Combined with the bi-xenon headlights, offered as an option, it results in a more focused appearance.
Enhancing this further are the direction indicators that have been positioned on the inner light rings of the vehicle’s headlights and that of the LED accent light. Further, integrated to the model’s exterior mirrors are the side indicator lights, which is another example of a BMW innovation.