BMW will launch a 1-series sedan in the United States in 2015 to compete with compact sedans planned by German competitors.
The rear-wheel-drive, four-door model will rival two front-wheel-drive newcomers: the Audi A3 four-door that debuts here as a 2014 model and Mercedes-Benz's CLA, which also goes on sale here late next year.
BMW now builds four 1-series variants, including a coupe and convertible that are sold in the United States and are scheduled to be redesigned in 2014. Three- and five-door hatchback versions of the 1 series are sold overseas.
Company sources say the growing dimensions of the 3-series sedan led to the decision to build a 1-series sedan. Since its introduction in 1975 as a coupe, the 3 series has grown nearly a foot in length, more than 8 inches in width and about 2 inches in height.
A BMW insider said the 1 series will shift to fwd when it is redesigned in eight years. It will share a new platform being developed for Mini and a new generation of BMW compacts.