Wed | Sep 20, 2017

China gets a new BMW 1 Series Sedan - 'Baby Bimmer' is not for US

Published:Sunday | December 4, 2016 | 12:00 AMEd Tahaney

Why do we always want things we can't have? Here's another one to add to the list: the new BMW 1 Series sedan, which was recently unveiled at the 2016 Guangzhou auto show. At present, the sporty compact sedan is made exclusively for the Chinese market and is strategically developed for younger drivers, according to BMW.

"The all-new BMW 1 Series sedan is the youngest BMW in the product portfolio. And we have strong confidence in this exclusive model as it is born 'In the Right Time, At the Right Place, and For the Right People.' Premium compact cars are the fastest-growing segment. This is 'the Right Time,'" Jochen Goller, BMW senior sales and marketing veep declared in a youth-friendly, global statement.

Apparently, it isn't the right time or place for a new 1 Series sedan in the US, but we can still dream, right? BMW's all-new sedan was designed and developed on a global platform said to be the front-drive-based UKL architecture shared with Mini and the 2 Series Active Tourer and is the fifth China-produced BMW. Chances of it going on sale in North America are possible but probably not anytime soon.

The 'baby Bimmer' is available in Estoril Blue or Luminous Gold. It sports the iconic double kidney grille, hexagonal LED headlights, a beefy hood, a short, high trunk lid, and L-shaped taillights. Inside, the layered dashboard is sparse, with an 8.8-inch LED central screen, BMW iDrive system, and a decent-sized panoramic roof.

Buyers have a choice between a twin-scroll turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder or boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The smaller engine cranks out 136 horsepower and is mated to six-speed automatic. The latter boasts 192hp with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can choose between three driving modes Comfort, Sport, or Eco Pro to adjust the ride and save on fuel.

Optional features include run-flat tires, Brake Energy Regeneration, auto start/stop, Lane Departure Warning, and Collision and Pedestrian Warning.

Pricing has not been announced, but the sedan will launch in China in 2017. No word on other markets at this time.

- TNS