BMW 1-series saloon for 2017

BMW 1-series saloon for 2017

BMW boss green lights development for entry-level saloon, engine range to include hybrid option

A new BMW 1-series saloon will go on sale in 2017.

BMW boss Norbert Reithofer has given the go-ahead for the new four-door — known internally at BMW’s headquarters by the working title of NES (New Entry-level Sedan). It is likely to take the 1-series saloon name into production.

It forms part of a new range of front-wheel-drive models that are set to join the BMW line-up. This new range will start with the production version of the Compact Active Tourer, due to make its world debut at next year’s Geneva motor show, and a second-generation X1, due out in 2015.

“The NES is integral to our growth plans,” a BMW insider revealed. “It will be an important pillar in the future 1-series line-up, particularly in the US and China, where sales of small premium-brand four-door saloons are on the rise.”

This new BMW will supplant the 3-series saloon as the company’s most affordable four-door saloon. Its basis is the UKL (Unter Klasse, or entry-level) structure that is set to get its first production airing underneath the new Mini hatchback at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

Although it is not due to go into production until 2016, the 1-series saloon has been conceived to provide stiff competition for the recently launched Audi A3 saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA — both of which are based around similar front-wheel-drive underpinnings. Like the competition, it will come with standard front-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive.

Engines will include transversely mounted three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, with the likelihood of a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline at a later stage.

The 1-series saloon will precede the third-generation 1-series hatchback, which will eschew rear-wheel drive in favour of front-wheel drive.

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