Previewed at the 2015 Guangzhou Motor Show by the Concept Compact Sedan, the four-door 1 Series is a handsome little thing, like a scaled-down 5 Series but with better proportions. But unlike the 5er, the new 1 Series is, unfortunately, front-wheel-drive. It shares its UKL platform with everything from the Mini Hardtop and Clubman to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and X1. While that'd normally allow us to make a few safe guesses about the powertrain, the China-only nature obfuscates things – expect three- and four-cylinder gas engines, and possibly a plug-in powertrain. But since it's not coming here, we're less concerned with what will power the car.
While BMW doesn't seem so keen on building an entry-level range here in the United States, the new 1 Series Sedan is the latest sign of how serious the company is taking the low end of the market in the PRC. Like a lot of cars sold in China, the new 1 is a product of the joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Automotive and is built in the PRC, alongside the 2 Series Active Tourer, X1, and 3 Series.