Last month BMW released photographs of the new 1 Series. We gave our perspective of the over at SteeringNews.com. However, as BMW is not sure whether it would bring the new 1 Series or for that matter any hatchback in India, we left the topic willy nilly. But when we saw a sedan rendering of the BMW 1 Series by TheOphilusChin, a strange thought struck our mind.
Earlier this year at Geneva Motor Show, Audi showcased a concept version of the A3 sedan. It was basically an entry level sedan that will be placed below the A4. Powered by a five-cylinder pot and mated to a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, the A3 sedan hopes to be the new entry point for the brand. Rumor has it that Audi India is working to bring the A3 to India by the end of 2014 at a price point of 20-25 lakh rupees. Like the other two VW group cars in that segment (Skoda Superb and VW Passat), the A3 is expected to add an interesting choice. Clearly, Audi India is bullish on this segment and has some major plans to use it to develop its presence in India.
If BMW decides to outsmart Audi, then the BMW 1 Series sedan will definitely come in handy. It is said that the new 1 Series will spawn 6 different body styles by 2019. The BMW 1 Series sedan makes absolute sense for Indian market if they are able to price it right. This strategy of getting an entry level car which opens the window to the brand was earlier seen in the BMW X1.
There is no lack of engine options for the new sedan. The same engines that do their duty in the hatchback can be mildly re-tuned to accommodate the excess weight. We can have 1.6L petrol or a 2.0L diesel engine mated to 6-speed manual transmission with preferably rear wheel drive.
The BMW 1 Series sedan needs to be below 20 lakh rupees so that there is no confusion in the line-up. It needs to be relatively spacious although one can’t expect oodles of space, as it would then cannibalize the market share of the 3 Series. Basic level of equipments should be present on the 1 Series, but we're not sure if India will distinguish the 1 Series from the 3 Series correctly. If BMW India somehow manages to package the product correctly, it has a deadly weapon to put some European and Japanese brands to rest.
What do you guys think?
[Source - TheophilusChin.com]