To compete against the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA.
BMW's first ever front wheel drive sedan has been spotted testing in China, one of the most important markets for the brand. The sub-3-Series sedan could be launched as another body-style of the 1 Series hatchback, but riding on the UKL FWD platform. Apart from the exterior, the spyshots also reveal the interior of the sedan up close for the first time.
The interior design appears to draw design cues from the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, as seen in the steering wheel design, tall gear lever, pair of central HVAC vents and the freestanding iDrive infotainment display.
The exterior is designed with typical BMW proportions, while the dimensions are, reportedly, "a bit smaller than the 3-Series”. It could either borrow cues from the 2015 BMW 1 Series, or feature a new discrete design altogether.
Under the hood, the base variant of the car can use the 1.5-liter turbocharged three cylinder petrol engine which, in the 2-Series Active Tourer, delivers 136 hp engine and 220 Nm of torque. Higher variants will feature a range of 2.0 turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, available in power outputs between 150-231 hp. An xDrive AWD system could also be offered for top variants as well.
According to reports, BMW could make the 1 Series sedan (name unconfirmed) official in the second half of 2016, as a 2017 model, and initially sell it only in China. This could be a product worth considering for BMW India as well, given that they have no offering in the segment where Audi's A3 and Mercedes' CLA are generating considerable interest, bookings and first-time customers.