BMW realized it could never keep its hold of the luxury car market with the models it had on its hands. Audi, Mercedes and even Lexus are giving them a run for their money with compact cars, with less sporty drivetrains but plenty of big car features.
Since 2004, BMW has been making the 1-Series, which might be considered small enough, and is certainly sporty for its size. But it’s rear-drive platform offers limitations in terms of interior space and luggage capacity, something buyers might struggle to put up with.
The answer comes in the form of their first front-wheel drive car aimed at the European C-segment. It’s likely to enter production as the 1-Series Gran Turismo, built on a platform and with engines shared with the next MINI hatchback.
Right now, the car is in its concept stage of development, previewed as the Active Tourer at the Paris Motor Show in two weeks’ time. But a production version is on the way, ready to debut about a year from now with a range of new turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engines.