Just a few months after our report on the front-wheel drive BMW 1 Series coming to Paris Auto Show, the UK magazine Autocar comes to confirm our exclusive news. The Munich-based automaker will unveil the ground-breaking 1 Series GT at the French car show and for the first time it will venture into the front-wheel drive market.
Developer under the internal code UKL (an acronym for the German words ‘unter klasse’, or ‘entry level’ in English), the 1 Series GT will officially debut in 2014 to compete with similar offerings from Audi, Mercedes and even Volkswagen.
According to our source, the 1 Series Gran Turismo will be powered by three and four-cylinder turbo engines and will sport the new front-wheel drive platform architecture. A Hybrid and xDrive version will be offered as well. Similar powerplants will also be used in the next generation of MINI vehicles.
The new small petrol engine shares its 500cc individual cylinder capacity and other key elements with BMW’s classic 3.0-litre straight six petrol unit.
The 1 Series Gran Turismo, also known internally as Compact Activity Tourer, will be the first of many front-wheel drive vehicles to come from BMW. To reflect the Gran Turismo design, the 1 GT will have an elevated driving position, as seen in the 5 Gran Turismo.