German carmaker BMW, in association with Brilliance Automotive Ltd., launched the 1 Series sedan exclusively in July 2016. The sedan version of the 1 series was designed only for the Chinese market, but reports indicate that the company is mulling over bringing the car to India as well.
When asked about the 'China-only' car, Ian Robertson, BMW's member of Board of Management (Sales and Marketing), said, "We haven't decided on that yet," according to Autocar. Many emerging markets such as India are said to have shown interest in the most affordable BMW sedan.
If the company goes ahead with the plan to launch 1 Series sedan in India, it will intensify the battle in the bigger car segment in the country. Mercedes-Benz has the CLA as its most affordable sedan while Audi India sells the A3 sedan in India. BMW India currently sells the hatchback version of the 1 Series and it goes up against Mercedes-Benz' A Class. Audi India has not launched its A3 hatchback yet.
The 1 Series sedan originated from the concept car, BMW Concept Compact Sedan, that was showcased at the Guangzhou Motor Show in 2015. The production-spec model features signature BMW bits in design, such as kidney grille as well as LED duel-round headlamps. The 1 Series sedan measures 4,456mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2,670mm. This makes the BMW sedan smaller than the CLA but longer than the A3.
The 1 Series sedan will be based on the UKL1 platform that underpins all the new Minis and the X1 crossover. The front-wheel-driven car has been launched in China with many petrol engines. The model with 231bhp 125i mated to an eight-speed automatic and the 192hp 120i is more likely to come to India. The Indian model will also get diesel engine options.