2016 BMW F52 1 Series Sedan Spotted Testing in China

Probably the most enigmatic model in BMW’s testing grounds at the moment, the upcoming BMW F52 1 Series Sedan was just spotted testing in prototype guise in China. The car was wearing the typical heavy camouflage of Bavarian machines but was still recognizable by a number of characteristic traits.
2016 BMW 1 Series Sedan 4 photos
BMW F52 1 Series Sedan Spotted Testing in ChinaBMW F52 1 Series Sedan Spotted Testing in ChinaBMW F52 1 Series Sedan Spotted Testing in China
The Hoffmeister kink over at the C-Pillar along with the short overhangs are clear giveaways but so are the new kidney grilles up front and the side mirrors. At the same time, the Chinese are known for copying European manufacturers but we’re hoping this is not the case.

Seeing as BMW is testing this car in China as well as Europe and the US, our guess is that the Chinese will be getting it too and it might even be assembled locally.

The F52 will be the one true rival the BMW enthusiasts are waiting for the A3 Sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA models that are currently selling like hot cakes for a rather profitable combination. That involves a premium car with a desirable badge and a low price as they are currently being sold for prices starting around $30,000.

Based on the UKL platform, this would be one of the first front-wheel drive models offered by the Munich-based company along with the upcoming F48 X1, the 2 Series Active Tourer and its 7-seat version, the 2 Series Gran Tourer.

All of them will be using the same B-family engines ranging from 1.5-liter 3-cylinder mills to 2-liter 4-cylinder ones, each and every one being turbocharged in both petrol and diesel guises.

Inside, the space should be superior to their rear-wheel drive predecessors, that being the whole point of migrating to a FWD setup that allows usage of a transverse engine and gearbox. Speaking of which, the choice will most likely be between 6-speed automatic and manual units.

Also, the cabin will be featuring a design extremely similar to the one used on the 2 Series Active Tourer that will soon become the norm for FWD cars. Expect the same layout.

A hybrid model could also be in the works but it’s too soon to make any informed assumptions, though. Prices will also be close to those of its competitors, most likely around the $30k mark. Expect the new 1 Series Sedan to show up in 2016.
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