BMW unveiled a compact sedan concept at China's Guangzhou auto show that previews a small sedan expected to be badged as a 1 series.
The concept envisions a four-door positioned below the 3 series that could be developed on an existing platform and aimed at the budding market of young, wealthy Chinese. It draws heavily on BMW's modern design language, with BMW assuring showgoers that there's enough interior space for two rear-seat passengers to ride comfortably.
About the only technical tidbits that BMW has announced are the flush door handles that are activated with a touch. The concept also has LED headlights and 20-inch wheels.
The automaker has been spotted testing mules of a compact sedan with the same general dimensions, suggesting that a production version may not be far off, at least for China.
Having stuffed the top end of the sedan market in China with a variety of long-wheelbase luxobarges, automakers are increasingly turning their attention to the rising middle class, and the moneyed 20-somethings. The audience for this compact concept consists of status-conscious buyers who'd rather start out with a new BMW than a comparably priced used 5 series.
-- Jay Ramey