The Germans are on a roll with small but fast premium compact sedans, with Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3 taking a healthy chunk in that segment. It didn’t take long for BMW to counter the CLA and A3. With that, BMW stirs competition by previewing the BMW Concept Compact Sedan, revealed in Auto Guangzhou 2015. This could also hint towards a true spiritual successor to the legendary E30 3 Series.
While it is expected to be the company’s first look of the next-generation 1 series, this concept has a longer wheelbase compared to the current 1 Series. Also to note, this four-door compact is built on the UKL front-wheel-drive platform. That’s right, this will be the first BMW compact saloon to join the ranks of the 2-Series Active Tourer and the brand new F84 X1.
On the brighter side of things, BMW can still produce fun-to-drive front-wheel-drive cars, as proven with the new MINIs. Perhaps the cheaper FWD configuration will allow the company to position the new 1 Series more competitively, attracting a broader segment of customers (new and old) in the process.
No word on the powertrain yet, but it’s expected to utilise the similar 2.0-litre N20 turbocharged unit from the current 128i/228i range. However, never rule out the possibility of putting a 320hp 3.0-litre N55 turbocharged unit as per the M235i. After all, hitting 300hp in a front-wheel drive car is pretty common lately, as proven by most recent hot hatches.
The current second-generation 1 Series has been in the market since 2011, with the LCI facelift introduced barely a few months back. We might need to wait at least two to three years before the unveiling of the new third-generation 1 series. That should give BMW more than enough time to craft a balanced and well handled front-wheel driven compact saloon car that could silent critics who think front-wheel drive Bimmers are nothing but sheer blasphemy.