2017 BMW 1-Series (Chinese spec)Enlarge Photo
For decades the 3-Series has been BMW’s entry-level sedan but from today on that honor goes to a new notchback dubbed the 1-Series.
It will be sold exclusively in China where it will target other premium compact sedans such as the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA.
BMW says its offering will stand out from the crowd thanks to sporty and emotional appeal.
Those claims are a bit ambitious considering the car is based on the same front-wheel-drive platform known as the UKL, which can be found in some very unsporty vehicles such as BMW’s 2-Series Active Tourer.
BMW is yet to reveal detailed information on its new 1-Series but powertrains are likely shared with the 2-Series Active Tourer, which offers 3- and 4-cylinder engines as well as a plug-in hybrid option. All-wheel drive is also likely to be an option on the new 1-Series.
Much of the development has taken place in China, where production will also take place. Handling the production will be BMW’s joint venture operation with Chinese automaker Brilliance.
While the rest of the world won’t be seeing the 1-Series, its front-end design as well as its interior are likely to be shared with the next-generation 1-Series Hatchback. The new hatch is also expected to adopt BMW’s front-wheel-drive UKL platform, something we've heard will also be true for the next-generation 2-Series coupe and convertible models.