The upcoming F52 BMW 1 Series Sedan has been sighted undergoing testing again. This time, the rival to the Audi A3 Sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA is seen in a shade of red, and though it still wears the same camo as an earlier test mule that was seen in China not too long ago. The only difference here is the single exhaust tip, instead of two, which perhaps points to a lower-spec variant.

Currently, BMW has yet to clarify on whether the F52 BMW 1 Series Sedan will be sold as a global model or as a China exclusive. The model was officially previewed during the 2015 Guangzhou Auto Show, where the Bavarian automaker introduced the Concept Compact Sedan, described as a vision for a “four-door sedan for the compact segment.” Rumours are rife that the decision to launch the concept in China was an indicator of the 1 Series Sedan’s target market.

BMW has also kept mum on the details of the F52 BMW 1 Series. However, it is widely known that the car will be built on the same UKL architecture. The platform is utilised by several MINI models, as well as front-wheel drive BMWs like the 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer, and the X1. Curiously, the test mule here appears to be wearing MINI wheels.

This will make the F52 BMW 1 Series Sedan the first-ever BMW sedan model to feature front-wheel drive. Expect engine options that will power this endeavour include the 1.5 litre turbo three-pot from the current F56 MINI Cooper, and the B48 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot in the Cooper S and the BMW 730Li. A six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic gearbox should be employed as well. As BMW’s xDrive is available for the X1, the all-wheel drive system may find its way here as well.

Recently, BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA), a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto, announced that it will open a brand new engine plant with a light metal foundry in Shenyang. The new plant will be responsible for producing BMW’s TwinPower Turbo three- and four-cylinder engines, which does co-relate to the above-mentioned item.

Considering the fact that the 1 Series Sedan’s rivals are available globally beyond just one market, we reckon BMW will want to introduce its compact sedan in various markets as well. However, we’ll have to await official word from BMW before anything is remotely concrete. In any case, wouldn’t a BMW 1 Series Sedan be a tempting proposition?


GALLERY: BMW Concept Compact Sedan