New BMW concept previews a China-only version of the 1 Series saloon
Darren Moss
20 November 2015

BMW has revealed its new Concept Compact Sedan at the Guangzhou motor show, previewing the China-only 1 Series Saloon.

The stylish four-door concept sits on 20in alloy wheels and features BMW's familiar kidney grille design at the front with large air intakes and LED headlights. 

The interior of the concept features an 8.8in free-standing infotainment display as well as wood and brushed aluminium trim. BMW hasn't specified how much space is inside the concept, merely saying that passengers on the rear bench can enjoy an "unaccustomed level of space and openness for a car in this class".

BMW hasn't yet revealed what engines will power the new compact saloon when it goes on sale in China, but they're likely to be cherry picked from within the current 1 Series range.

Speaking at the Guangzhou show, BMW design boss Karim Habib said: "The characterful design of the BMW Concept Compact Sedan embodies the driving pleasure offered by a sporting car with minimised exterior dimensions. It is as distinctive as it is essential – and, as such, it injects new life into the compact segment. This four-door sedan stands for everything that sets BMW apart."

An early test mule for the 1 Series saloon was spotted at the Nürburgring earlier this year, prompting speculation that the model had been given the green light for Europe. However, Autocar understands that the new saloon will instead only be sold in China, a decision prompted by the continiuing decline of traditional saloon models in Europe.

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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30 September 2013

It's a Mini in a suit.

30 September 2013
Norma Smellons wrote:

It's a Mini in a suit.

"Aye, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon" ...

30 September 2013

So the M badge will be an upmarket fwd rival for the Focus RS and the 2015 Civic type R.

30 September 2013

Norman Smellons @

Maybe ,but if it looks like this,has a proper BMW engine and the suspension is good?........what's not to like?

Peter Cavellini.

30 September 2013


What's not to like? Quite a lot. Torque steer, and the ungainly frontal overhang (common to all front-drivers) for starters.

It won't look like that pic as that is the current rear-drive 1 series with a boot grafted on.

The EC has forced everyone to build 3 or 4 cylinder motors. So this will be the first modern BMW to do without a straight six. And that is plain wrong.

30 September 2013

Norman Smellons@

So my 320i sport with it's bluff features (2010 model) is ungainly?,it's RWD too,maybe if the proposed saloon looks a bit like the 4 series just released it would be fine?no?,my only gripe is they nearly always use a Sport model as a base,and then add big alloys and the body work is always that delightful Estoril Blue,see what i mean?, i'm liken it already?!!!!

Peter Cavellini.

30 September 2013

So they're basically making the R30.

This is what the Rover 45 would've been.

30 September 2013

The "NES" won't have the classic BMW stance as its engine is in front of the front axle. It will resemble, from the side, a VW Jetta.

If that isn't bad enough, expect them to turn up the BMWesque detailing, to try and hide this. This is what Mercedes have done with their ghastly CLA.

For a small saloon I would rather have a nice old E36 with rear-drive and six cylinders. At least it had some charisma about it.

30 September 2013

makes me wonder what makes a BMW a BMW. Generally its a big price tag, expensive options, and involving RWD handling. I am sure this will still have 2 out of 3

15 November 2013
Not that i can afford this and even if i could why would I want to spend anymore on this than a ford focus from a dynamic point of view. In fact Ford have a head start in terms of FWD engineering.


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