BMW’s first 1 Series Sedan continues testing in China, the primary market for the luxury sedan. Built under the codename F52, the 1 Series Sedan will take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3 Sedan, which are also front-wheel-drive-based. The sub-3-series model is underpinned by BMW’s first front-wheel drive platform which also drives the wheels of the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, and the new X1. BMW previously sold a 1 Series here in the States, but it was a rear-drive two-door coupe or convertible and it was replaced by the 2 Series family.
Similar to the larger 3 Series, the front suspension is a strut design, while the rear consists of a multilink arrangement, giving the car good driving dynamics and a quiet ride. The new 1er Sedan model has been developed to support front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. BMW aims to bring the 1 Series Sedan to the same proportions as the E46 3 Series, therefore filling a gap between the 1 Series Hatch and the F30 3 Series Sedan. BMW will separate the F52 from the F20 1 Series hatch by giving it a unique appearance that does not look so closely based on the hatchback itself. The base of the A-pillar is aft of the front wheel, keeping a rear-drive-like dash-to-axle profile and maintaining maximum visual length for the hood, and the front and rear overhangs mimics the ones in the 3 Series.
The spy photos reveal an interior design similar to the new X1 and 2 Series tourers, so no big surprises are expected.
Under the hood, the 1 Series Sedan will carry either three- and four-cylinder inline direct-injection petrol and common-rail diesel units. 6-speed manual and 8-speed Steptronic gearboxes will be offered.
BMW has yet to decide if the 1 Series will be sold in the U.S. as well.