Our spy photographer got photos of the mechanical bits under the rear, and there's not a differential or axles to be found. That's certainly going to be a disappointing revelation for fans of BMW's rear-drive cars, and it means that there won't be a rear-drive alternative to other subcompact luxury sedans such as the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA-Class. Still, all-wheel-drive will almost certainly be available, and BMW has demonstrated the ability to make fun front-drive cars — just look at the Mini brand.
There isn't much new to report on the exterior, except for the lighting. This example now has production-spec headlights and taillights that are typical of modern BMWs. The headlights have angular "halo" daytime running lights, and the taillights have flowing, intersecting elements under a solid red lens.
We still predict at least a year or two before we see this sedan revealed. Since it will use a front-drive layout, it's safe to assume it will only be available with four-cylinder engines so as to fit it transversely. We also have a feeling this will car be offered in the United States considering the success of the aforementioned Audi and Mercedes competitors. As such, we predict the base engine will be a version of the 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 found in the BMW X2, with smaller engines and diesel variants available in Europe. The 2.0-liter engine would be a competitive engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in X2 specification. There will probably be more potent M versions at a later date.