The all-new BMW 1-Series Sedan, developed together with its Chinese partner BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, is most likely going to be the company’s most important model in the world’s most populated country.
First things first. The 1-Series Sedan pays a small tribute to the E30 3-Series of old. It’s built based on the UKL platform and is front wheel driven, just like all MINI cars and some of the compact selections from BMW. However, the wheelbase is extended to 2,670mm for better passenger comfort.
The 1-Series Sedan of course bears all trademark BMW design accents, from the kidney grille to the Hofmeister Kink. Depending on the variant of choice, the car can be fitted with keyless entry with push-start button, panoramic roof, electric parking brakes, full-coloured heads up display and BMW iDrive system.
Three variants have been named in the debuting lineup – 118i, 120i Luxury and 125i Sport. As with the F30 3-Series, the base 118i gets a 1.5-litre three cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque. The other pair gets powered by the familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged mill; the 120i gets 192 hp while the 125i receives the hotter 231 hp tune. All engines are paired to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
The BMW 1-Series Sedan will hit showroom floors across China in 2017, and it’s likely to remain that way for an indefinite period of time. In Malaysia, the 1-Series can only be had in hatchback form, and costs from RM174k. The 2-Series on the other hand, carries a sticker price of RM260k. Looks like the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3 won’t have a direct competitor from the Bavarian giant after all.