BMW has lastly introduced the all-new 1 Series sedan in the Chinese market. During development for volume manufacture, the new model underwent intense testing and harmonization both internationally like on the Nürburgring as well as in the road conditions and wide-ranging climatic to be found in China. The BMW 1 Series Sedan is manufactured as part of the combined venture between the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. at the Tiexi plant released in 2012 which forms part of the Shenyang manufacture site in the north-east of China.
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Speaking at the model’s launch occasion in Shanghai, Dr Ian Robertson, BMW AG Management Board member answerable for Marketing and Sales BMW commented, “We sold over half a million cars in China last year and this, our biggest market, continues to offer great potential. Clienteles in China have been asking for a smaller model to meet their exact requirements and we’ve worked hard with our colleagues here to make sure this car not only meets but beats those desires.” Dimensionally, the BMW 1 Series sedan measures, 1803mm in width and 1446mm in height, 4456mm in length, while having a wheel-base of 2670mm. The large air inlets, front fascia flaunts the wide radiator grille and twin circular headlamps with state-of-the-art LED technology.
Inside the cabin, the iDrive operating system features a large on-board computer in flat display design and the controller in the middle console. The sedan is offered with a choice of three petrol power plants: 231bhp 2.0L four-cylinder engine, 192bhp 2.0L four-cylinder engine and 136bhp 1.5L 3-cylinder engine. Both the four-cylinder engines are offered with an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission as regular, while the smaller three-cylinder engine comes with a 6-speed Steptronic automatic gear transmission. An electro-mechanical power steering comes as standard feature, while the sedan also gets three driving modes: Sport, Eco Pro and Comfort. The BMW 1 Series would challenge the likes of Mercedes CLA and Audi A3. The BMW 1 Series Sedan was manufactured at BMW headquarters in Munich with the support of Chinese engineer’s claims the company. The vehicle concept, and equipment are geared towards the exact requirements of modern target groups in China as well as the traffic and road conditions there. The car gets a three-box design, and looks like the tiny version of the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series Sedans which are also manufactured at the Shenyang production site. The optional driver assistance systems deliver an additional safety. The range of systems includes the Driving Assistant plus collision warning with city brake function and the Parking Assistant. Comfort is significant in China, and Munich says that the BMW 1 Sedan’s suspension and damping are designed to ensure occupants experience as relaxed a ride as possible on all road surfaces. Optimized acoustic comfort is taken care of by such features as a fully paneled underbody and tires with reduced rolling resistance.
The BMW 1-Series Sedan is for China only, there aren’t presently any plans for export to other countries. Even though China is SUV – crazy there is still a big market for sedans, and the compact-premium sector is growing fast. Many Chinese car buyers prefer a smaller car in the large cities but they want it fully loaded with luxuries. The 118i rolls on 17-and 16-inch wheels, while the 2.0L models get 18-inch alloys. Also unique is the model exact ventilation and heating system, which is quieter and has a “highly effective air filtering function” to combat China’s dirty air. Buyers can choose between basic, Sport line and Luxury line. Driving Assistant including Parking Assistant and collision warning with city brake function are elective. Also available is BMW Associated with Open Mobility Cloud for connecting smartphones, tablets and smart watches to the car.