BMW is officially selling a front wheel drive sedan under the Roundel badge. The UKL based 1 Series sedan has gone on sale in a China (and China alone as BMW will remind you) with high expectations of capturing more of the bear luxury market. Will other markets see it? While there’s nothing confirmed we have heard rumors of BMW Corporate wanting to potentially push the car to the US market. However the problem has been BMW of North America not wanting a product on showroom floors that both undercuts the 3 Series while not having the pedigree customers expect. Who will win out is anyone’s guess.
Official release: Today’s market launch of the BMW 1 Series sedan extends the range of the German premium brand to include a model tailored specifically to meet the needs of Chinese customers. The BMW 1 Series Sedan with its hallmark sporty flair and market-specific overall concept is a highly emotional new entry to the compact premium vehicle segment that is seeing such high potential in China. The new model is offered exclusively for the Chinese automotive market by the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd.
Speaking at the model’s launch event in Shanghai, Dr Ian Robertson, BMW AG Management Board member responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW commented, “We sold over half a million cars in China last year and this, our biggest market, continues to offer great potential. Our customers in China have been asking for a smaller model to meet their specific needs and we’ve worked hard with our colleagues here to make sure this car not only meets but exceeds those desires.”
The BMW 1 Series Sedan was developed at BMW headquarters in Munich with the support of Chinese engineers. The vehicle concept, and equipment are geared towards the specific requirements of modern target groups in China as well as the road and traffic conditions there. During development for volume production, the new model underwent intense testing and harmonisation both globally like on the Nürburgring as well as in the wide-ranging climatic and road conditions to be found in China so as to ensure a level of everyday suitability and driving pleasure that is oriented towards the real environment in which it will be used.
The BMW 1 Series Sedan is manufactured as part of the joint venture between the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. at the Tiexi plant opened in 2012 which forms part of the Shenyang production site in the north east of China. Other models of the brand designed specifically for the Chinese automotive market are also produced in Shenyang. Vehicle production in Shenyang is subject to the same rigorous quality standards that apply throughout the entire worldwide BMW Group production network.
Compact sedan with the sporty flair characteristic of BMW.
The vehicle concept of the BMW 1 Series Sedan is precisely tailored to the preferences of Chinese customers. With its notchback body in characteristic three-box design, the new model reflects the style preferred by such customers in numerous vehicle categories. A special program of BMW products has been assembled in response to the popularity of sedans in China. BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series Sedans are also available in a long version developed exclusively for the Chinese market and manufactured at the Shenyang production site.
As a supplement to the 5-door hatchback BMW 1 Series models produced in Germany, the brand now adds a sedan to its range in the premium compact segment that was conceived especially for China and solely produced there. The BMW 1 Series Sedan represents the brand’s hallmark combination of sporty flair and elegance while also offering best in segment ride comfort, luxurious equipment and progressive connectivity technology that is exceptional for the compact segment. With these qualities, it is a particularly attractive model for young target groups seeking access to the world of BMW premium automobiles.
Hallmark design with distinctive lines.
The sporty elegance of the BMW 1 Series Sedan, unique in the premium compact segment, is reflected in both the proportions and the lines of its body. An unmistakable appearance is especially created by applying the characteristic design features of BMW sedans to the new model’s compact exterior dimensions with a length of 4 456 millimetres, a width of 1 803 millimetres and a height of 1 446 millimetres. Short overhangs, a long engine compartment lid, a passenger cell that is set back and a long wheelbase of 2 670 millimetres give the BMW 1 Series Sedan an elongated, sporty look. The distinctive body line rises constantly from the front wheel arch via the door openers to the rear lights, additionally emphasising the dynamic orientation of the car’s silhouette.
The contours of the doors are also harmoniously integrated in the proportions of the compact model. The rear openings reach far back into the tail section, allowing comfortable entry and exit for rear passengers. What is more, the side view of the 4-door model exhibits the striking surface design that is typical of the BMW 1 Series. The intense modelling of the surface areas creates an attractive interplay of light and shade, conveying a vibrant sense of athletic flair.
The hallmark brand features of the front section include the wide radiator grille, large air inlets and twin circular headlights with state-of-the-art LED technology. The rear of the BMW 1 Series Sedan sports a model-specific design dominated by horizontal lines which underscore the vehicle’s width and supreme road holding. The rear lights protruding far into the side section to form a characteristic L shape likewise emphasise the car’s powerful appearance.
Driver-oriented cockpit, generous space and premium ambience.
The interior of the BMW 1 Series Sedan offers the perfect basis for intense driving pleasure and enjoyable travel. The cockpit is driver-oriented in design as is typical of BMW automobiles. Both the seating position and the arrangement of the display and control elements enhances concentration on the road. The iDrive operating system featuring a large on-board computer in flatscreen design and the controller in the centre console is a standard feature of the BMW 1 Series Sedan. The horizontal lines of the instrument cluster continue on into the door trim panels, thereby creating an impression of smooth harmony, while also contributing to the generous sense of space.
Precisely finished surfaces and high-quality materials are key to the premium interior ambience of the compact 4-door model. Rear comfort is optimised not just by means of generous leg space and headroom but also with a model-specific version of the rear seat. The contours of the rear backrests and the upholstery of the seat surfaces ensure passengers enjoy a high level of comfort even over lengthier distances.
New engine generation: revving power and efficiency in BMW style.
The modern and sporty character of the BMW 1 Series Sedan is reflected in the engine portfolio available at the model’s market launch. There is a choice of three power units of the BMW Group’s latest generation. Their weight-optimised aluminium construction and the current version of BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology ensure exceptional revving power and torque in addition to exemplary efficiency. The technology package consists of turbocharging, petrol direction injection with centrally positioned injectors, and variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group, and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS).
This combination results in particularly sporty performance characteristics in the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine of the BMW 125i Sedan. It mobilises a peak output of 170 kW/231 hp and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres that goes on stream at 1 250 rpm. Fitted as standard with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission, the BMW 125i Sedan sprints from standing to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, achieving a cut-off top speed of 250 km/h. These performance figures are combined with an average fuel consumption of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres and a combined CO2 figure of 152 grams per kilometre.
Another 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine is fitted in the BMW 120i Sedan. With a peak output of 141 kW/192 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Newton metres of 1 250 rpm, it also ensures sporty performance figures. In combination with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission – likewise a standard feature – it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h. The combined fuel consumption of the BMW 120i Sedan is 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres, while the figure for combined CO2 emissions is 148 grams per kilometre.
The engine range is rounded off with a 3-cylinder power unit for the BMW 118i Sedan. From a capacity of 1.5 litres it generates a peak output of 100 kW/136 hp, while its maximum torque of 220 Newton metres is available at 1 250 rpm. Fitted with a 6-speed Steptronic transmission, the BMW 118i Sedan takes 9.4 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h and its top speed is 212 km/h. The efficiency of the engine is reflected in a combined fuel consumption of 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres and a combined CO2 figure of 132 grams per kilometre.
Model-specific suspension set-up, seamless safety.
The driving properties of the new BMW 1 Series Sedan are characterised by athletic flair, ride comfort and safety. A perfect basis is provided for this by means of power transmission to the front wheels, an almost equally balanced axle load distribution and the weight-optimised design of the body and suspension. The suspension set-up is not just geared towards the sporty character of the model but also meets high demands in terms of comfort. The suspension and damping are designed to ensure occupants experience as relaxed a ride as possible on all road surfaces. Optimised acoustic comfort is taken care of by such features as a fully panelled underbody and tyres with reduced rolling resistance.
Powerful disc brakes and an electromechanical power steering including Servotronic speed-related support help achieve a precisely controllable driving response. Dynamic Stability Control DSC offers a broad range of functions that contribute to secure handling at all times. Light alloy wheels in a size of 17 inches for the BMW 118iSedan (16 inches for BMW 118i Lifestyle) and 18 inches for the two other model variants come as standard.
The torsionally stiff body structure of the BMW 1 Series Sedan benefits both agility and occupant protection. The safety concept also includes precisely defined load paths and generous deformation zones which serve to divert and absorb impact forces in the event of a collision. The interior provides a comprehensive range of safety features including not just front and side airbags but also side head/curtain airbags and three-point automatic safety belts on all seats. All model variants come off the production line as standard fitted with tyres featuring emergency running properties.
Driving experience switch as standard, selective customisation with Sport Line and Luxury Line.
The standard driving experience switch in the centre console enables a vehicle-set-up which is either markedly sporty, comfort-oriented or efficiency optimised in character – entirely according to preference. The modes COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO are available at the press of a button. In addition, the standard features of the BMW 1 Series Sedan also include automatic air conditioning with optimised acoustic properties. This forms part of a model-specific heating and ventilation system which is also adapted to the specific climatic conditions in China, offering not just high performance but also a highly effective air filtering function. In addition to numerous other comfort functions, the program of optional items includes a broad range of exterior paint finishes, light alloy wheels, interior colours, seat surfaces and interior trim finishers which allow customers to individualise the design of the BMW 1 Series Sedan to suit their personal preference. The Sport Line and Luxury Line models are available as an alternative to the basic version. Their design features for the exterior and interior allow selective customisation that lends particular emphasis either to the BMW 1 Series Sedan’s agile sporty flair or its exclusive appearance.
Unique connectivity: Driver assistance, services, apps.
The optional driver assistance systems provide an additional bonus in terms of comfort and safety. The range of systems includes the Driving Assistant including collision warning with city brake function and the Parking Assistant.
Intelligent connectivity gives the BMW 1 Series Sedan a range of online-based functions that is unique even beyond the compact segment. Apps allow seamless integration of numerous infotainment, navigation and communication services in the vehicle’s operating system. What is more, BMW Connected gives the driver a personal mobility assistant which provides wide-ranging support in arriving at a destination conveniently and stress-free. The flexible platform Open Mobility Cloud allows various customer end devices such as smartphones, tablets and smart watches to be connected to the vehicle. This means that personal schedule entries can be used to plan a trip before getting into the car, for example. Based on real-time traffic data, BWM Connected not only calculates the ideal route but also the perfect departure time, providing the driver with a notification on their end device in good time.