We’ve been expecting a saloon version of BMW’s 1-series hatchback for a while now, and at last it’s here. Except ‘here’ perhaps isn’t the right word: it’ll be built exclusively for the Chinese market, so if you were hoping for a dinky version of the 3-series and live elsewhere, you’re out of luck. Instead, you’ll have to wait for the anticipated but as yet unconfirmed 2-series Gran Coupe.
So, what do we know about this piece of forbidden fruit? Very little, as the press release isn’t what you’d call revealing. However, a BMW UK spokesperson did confirm that it’s riding on a cut-down version of the existing 1-series hatchback’s platform, and said that it’s likely to receive a range of four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol engines. So it’ll be rear-wheel drive, contrary to previous reports of it running on the 2-series Active Tourer/Mini platform and therefore being front-wheel drive.
We also know that it’s been developed by BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, a joint venture between BMW and Chinese firm Brilliance Auto. It’ll be built in China alongside locally built versions of the 3-series, 5-series, X1 and 2-series Active Tourer.
As well as a lack of details, there also isn’t any additional imagery on top of the front three-quarter shot at the top of the page. So, in the absence of more pictures, here’s a rather dashing imagining of a ‘BMW M1 Sedan’ by prolific renderer X-Tomi Design. It won’t happen, but hey - there’s no harm in dreaming.