BMW never truly had a rival model to the Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz CLA. The premium compact sedan segment was the one where BMW did not have a product to fill up its portfolio. Now, we've seen it as a concept at the 2015 Guangzhou Motor Show and it was called the Compact sedan concept after which BMW released the first image of the car and finally we see it making its world debut in China at the same show.
So the 1 series sedan will finally see BMW take up the war to its usual rivals but this rivalry will be restricted to China first. At present BMW's first ever compact sedan will be only manufactured and sold for the Chinese market. The 1 Series sedan was tested and developed in Germany but with the involvement of Chinese engineers. So, the car then is China specific but we have no doubt that the car will make its way to India considering that the company has made it very clear that the upcoming years will see it introduce new cars in new segments.
The 1 series sedan retains all the characteristics of a typical BMW sedan such as the kidney-shaped grille and the round LED lamps among others. It's dimensions too are worth a mention. The 1 Series sedan measures 4456 mm in length, 1,803 mm in width and 1,446 mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2670 mm. On the wheelbase front, the 1 series sedan is better (on paper) than the Audi A3 but doesn't outdo the CLA.
The silhouette too is proportional and looks sporty as well and retains the signature Hofmeister kink. The new 1 Series sedan comes with the BMW's latest ConnectedDrive technologies so as to keep the occupants of the car connected at all times. It comes with dual-tone interiors and also a full-colour head-up display.
Under the hood, the BMW 1 Series Sedan will be available in three petrol variants: 118i, 120i and the 125i. The base 118i is powered by a 134 bhp 1.5-litre TwinPower turbo, which is a three-cylinder unit and comes paired to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. There is also the 189 bhp and 227bhp 2.0-litre TwinPower four-cylinder engine which will be on offer.
The sedan also has BMW's UKL chassis as its underpinning, which is also used in the Minis and the X1 as well. The BMW 1 Series sedan will be manufactured at BMW's Sheyang plant in China. The company hasn't announced the pricing as yet.