BMW Unveils a New, Better-Looking 1 Series but You Can't Buy It
The new 1-series is a newly-designed, larger and longer version of the current generation model.
BMW 1-Series Sedan. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)
Following a tentative concept model, the Concept Compact Sedan unveiled at the Guangzhou Motor Show 2015, BMW is bringing a longer, larger version of its most compact sports sedan, the 1 Series, exclusively to the Chinese market.
The company describes the new car, built in partnership with BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd (its dedicated Chinese business) as the "most sporty and emotional sedan in its segment." And it is the emotional aspect of the car that is going to be its biggest selling point.
Although the latest global sales figures show that drivers, in general, appear besotted by all things crossover and SUV, the fastest growing market segment is currently the compact luxury segment – not just in China, but in the global market, too. Whether that compact car is a sedan, coupé, crossover or something more esoteric like a multi-purpose vehicle (think Mercedes B Class or BMW Active Tourer), they are increasingly becoming the choice of moneyed Millennials looking to take their first step on the luxury car ladder. In Europe and the US, the 1 Series is available exclusively as a five-door model, that is, four passenger doors and a hatch, or liftback. Meanwhile, a coupé version, the 2 Series, comes with a sloping rear and just two doors.
This new car fuses the best stylistic elements of both and stretches the wheelbase so that two adults really can fit comfortably in the back on longer journeys, yet the car isn't so stretched that it's actually a 4 Series. And while BMW is insistent that this car was conceived from the ground up specifically for Chinese roads and Chinese tastes, everything from the suspension to the climate control has been significantly adapted. The 1 Series Sedan is also the clearest sign yet of what to expect stylistically from a 2 Series Gran Coupé, which the company has been mulling for some time.
The real-world launch of a 1 Series Sedan suggests that the company is definitely going to go ahead with a ‘stretched' coupé take on the 2 Series too and that will mean a snarling, fire-breathing "M" variant, too, and that could prove to be a phenomenally sporty and emotional proposition for drivers in, around and well beyond China, too.
This is all good for people living in China, but unfortunately, it does not seem like that there are any plans from the German automaker to bring this car into India. After all, compact sedans seem to be all the craze in the country, right after SUVs of course, and would have been a good alternative to the BMW X1.
(With inputs from AFP Relaxnews)
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