It was at the 2015 Guangzhou Auto Show last November when BMW signaled its intentions of coming out with a direct rival for the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3 Sedan. At the show in China the Germans had on display the “Compact Sedan Concept” which is expected to make the transition to a production model later this year.
In terms of design, spy images have shown it will remain pretty much faithful to the previewing concept and now these patent fillings come as a reconfirmation. As you can see, BMW will play it safe in terms of design since the 1 Series Sedan won’t stand out from the current crop of Bavarian sedans. While some would prefer more differentiation between the models, others will appreciate it for what it is without overthinking it.
BMW’s first ever stab at making a front-wheel-drive sedan, the 1 Series Sedan will ride on the UKL platform that has underpinned the latest Minis, along with the 2-Series Active & Gran Tourer duo. That means it’s going to use an assortment of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines already available for quite some time in those cars. Depending on selected engine, there’s going to be a six-speed manual and an eight-speed auto available.
The official word right now is BMW will sell the 1 Series Sedan only in China, but don’t be too surprised if it will also be introduced in North America and Europe to grab sales from the A3 Sedan and CLA. Before that happens, a reveal is set to take place in China in the months to come.