BMW has revealed the latest front-drive-based vehicle in its lineup, the China-only 1 Series sedan, which was first previewed by the Compact Sedan Concept that was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou auto show. Development for the 1 Series sedan took place in China and was calibrated with the driving habits of Chinese customers in mind. In addition to the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer, the 1 Series sedan will be the latest addition to BMW's entry-level lineup in China, where it hopes to capture a larger chunk of the entry-level premium compact class.
While specs haven't been released yet, it's likely that the 2017 BMW 1 Series will feature the same engine choices as the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer, which includes a 2.0-liter turbo-four paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The brand's ConnectedDrive suite of multimedia technologies, which includes the iDrive interface, should be available throughout the range along with a full range of active safety features. Like the X1, the 1 Series sedan should ride on the front-drive-based UKL platform that's also used by Mini.
The BMW 1 Series will be one of a number of models that BMW will produce in China for the domestic market there alongside long-wheelbase variants of the 3 Series and 5 Series. BMW's Chinese partner, Brilliance Automotive, with which it has formed a joint venture called BMW Brilliance Automotive, will be responsible for marketing and selling the 1 Series Sedan. Engines for the 1 Series will be made at BMW's manufacturing facility in Shenyang, China.
It's still unclear if BMW will do anything with the 1 Series name outside of China, but if the Bavarian automaker has been watching the Mercedes CLA-Class' popularity in the U.S. a front-drive, roundel-badged sedan could be in our future. Get your rear-wheel-drive 2 Series while you can.