The very first prototypes of BMW’s upcoming 1-series saloon have hit public roads in Germany as part of a development program which aims to have the new four-door in UK dealerships near the end of 2017.
Based on BMW’s new front-wheel drive platform, as found beneath the recently introduced 2-series Active Tourer, the 1-series saloon has been conceived to rival popular premium brand offerings such as the Audi A3 saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA.
The new four door forms part of an extended range of models that are planned to use BMW’s front-wheel drive underpinnings, known internally as the UKL structure.
Planned models include successors to the existing three- and five-door 1-series hatchback, next year’s second-generation X1 and a new three-door X2 crossover. The new platform also forms the basis of the latest generation of Mini models.
Although primarily aimed at traditional saloon markets such as North America and China, the new car is planned to form an integral part of BMW’s UK plans, sitting underneath the popular 3-series saloon at a price tipped to start at around £22,000