BMW’s 1-series, its first front-wheel-drive sedan, has just gone on sale in China. Previously BMW had claimed that the new 1-series would not be sold in any other markets. But now the company seems to have had a change of heart. When asked about the car, Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, said, “We haven’t decided on that yet,” and then elaborated, “it’s been designed for and is currently only produced in China.”
Other emerging markets, India included, have shown interest as well, according to another BMW source. The l-series sedan would slot perfectly into BMW’s line-up in India. Currently the odd-man out among the three German luxury carmakers, BMW is the only company selling just a hatchback in the segment While Merc sells the A-class hatch and the CLA sedan, Audi only sells the sedan version of the A3. Measuring 4,456mm in length, and with a wheelbase of 2,670mm, the BMW is shorter than the CLA but longer than the A3.
The design is typically BMW, with the muscular bonnet, stem-looking ‘eyes’ and of course the kidney grille. The cabin is typically BMW too, with white-on-black instrument dials, a driver-focused central console and an 8.8-inch iDrive screen with the centre console-mounted rotary controller.
Engine options for the sedan include the exciting 231hp 125i, as well as a 192hp 120i which is likely to be the mainstay. There are currently no diesels, though if the cargoes to the European markets, that could change. Prices for the l-series sedan could start as low as Rs 35 lakh in India.