Recently BMW has made an announcement related to the all-new 1 Series sedan which says that this model will be made in China and it will be sold exclusively on that market which revolves around sales of premium compact sedans. BMW’s sales and marketing chief, Dr. Ian Robertson, stated in Shanghai that “We sold over half a million cars in China last year and this, our biggest market, continues to offer great potential. Our customers in China have been asking for a smaller model to meet their specific needs and we’ve worked hard with our colleagues here to make sure this car not only meets their needs but exceeds those desires.”
Now, this 2017 BMW 1 Series sedan differs from the RWD 1 Series hatch range in one key feature, and that is the fact that it is underpinned by a flexible UKL front wheel drive platform which already carries BMW X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer, as well as the Mini range. The turbo only engine lineup that drives this new sedan is familiar – meaning it’s the same stable already seen in Mini and BMW range. Entry level 118i model brings 1.5-liter three cylinder engine that pumps out 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque paired with six-speed automatic transmission. Second in the line is the 120i with four cylinder 2.0-liter unit capable of delivering 189 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. The same powerplant in 125i model offers 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque while both of these are mated to eight-speed automatic transmission.
When styling is considered, we are happy to report that it is a nice mix of the 1 Series hatchback and a rear end taken from the larger 3 Series sedan and all wrapped around with that traditional BMW long hood which gives out the sporty and aggressive, yet stylish, feel. The front part beneath the long hood remains the same with that iconic BMW kidney grille, and twin round LED headlights.
The overall length of 4456 millimeters makes this new 1 Series sedan 127 mm longer than the hatchback version, but its wheelbase of 2670 mm is some 20 mm shorter than on the RWD hatch, which could be a problem because the Chinese market preferences are based on the extended wheelbase vehicles and plenty of rear legroom. The interior of the sedan is usual BMW – sporty sophistication mixed with a unique design of rear seats which offer enhanced comfort for the passengers out back.
It will be delivered with 16, 17 and 18-inch wheel size and the suspension carrying all that has been developed in Germany and tested on God knows how much different roads just to be refined at the Nurburgring race circuit. Thanks to the popularity of the brand in China, the German company says that their Chinese customers actually demand the usual BMW sporty dynamics and they put the size of the vehicle in the second plan.
As we managed to find out, BMW China will offer the 1 Series sedan in three trims – the usual entry level as well as Sport Line and Luxury Line versions.