Published on September 27th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 1-Series Sedan Coming To Rival Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 Sedan
BMW has plans for a new front-wheel-drive entry-level sedan, falling in just below the existing 3-series sedan, a company source said. The new four-door model has the internal working title NES (New Entry-level Sedan) and it forms part of a new range of front-wheel-drive models set to join the BMW lineup in the near future.
“The NES is integral to our growth plans,” a BMW insider source revealed. “It will be an important pillar in the future 1-series lineup, particularly in the U.S. and Asia, where sales of small premium-brand four-door sedans are on the rise.”
BMW wants a 1-series sedan to counter Audi’s A3 sedan and the Mercedes CLA, both of which are based around similar front-wheel-drive underpinnings, German press reports have said in recent months. Like the competition, the new BMW model has been developed to support standard front-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive. The basis for the new BMW is the company’s new UKL (Unter Klasse, or entry-level) structure. It will ultimately replace the 3-series sedan as the company’s most affordable four-door sedan model. The UKL will make its debut underneath the new Mini hatchback at the Los Angeles auto show in November. Due to launch in 2017, the 1-series sedan will precede the third-generation 1-series hatchback, whose current rear-wheel drive will be replaced by front-wheel drive.