Automobiles

BMW's Concept Compact Sedan could preview an upcoming 1 Series sedan

The automaker used the Guangzhou Auto Show to debut a concept that appeals directly to younger Chinese buyers, but we think it would do well all around the world.

BMW's latest concept draws heavily from design elements in the all-new 2016 BMW 7 Series.

BMW

BMW's already-stout lineup is on the verge of growing yet again, if the brand's Concept Compact Sedan, which debuted at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, has anything to say about the matter.

BMW's 2 Series compact coupe has been on sale since the 2014 model year, but if you want a sedan, you'd have to step up to the larger (and more expensive) 3 Series. A 1 Series sedan would not only fill that gap in the lineup, but it would present yet another way to get buyers to cozy up to BMW without spending an arm and a leg.

"The BMW Concept Compact Sedan reveals the potential we see in a compact sedan," said Adrian van Hooydonk, vice president of BMW Group Design. "The quality and intrinsic value...are clear signals of our premium intentions for the car." BMW's press release goes on to discuss China's growing premium-compact market, but there is definitely promise to extend this car beyond the Middle Kingdom's boundaries.

The Concept Compact Sedan looks pretty close to production-ready, too. The car's interior resembles other new BMW offerings, although some elements, like the crystal-look gear lever and the flashy seats, would likely be scaled back before coming to market. But most everything else, from the climate-control switchgear to the appropriately sized screen atop the dash, looks ready to roll.

The exterior looks similarly ready for the assembly line. The rear fascia's chrome trim and taillights look like smaller variants of what appears on the new 7 Series, and the front end bears similarity to, well, every new BMW vehicle from the last five years.

All in, the Concept Compact Sedan is a handsome small car that could very well penetrate a corner of the market that the automaker has somewhat strangely ignored up to this point. The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the Audi A3 bring their respective design languages to cars that cost around $30,000, £30,000, or AU$50,000, depending on your market. Just as other brands have followed in BMW's footsteps (see: Mercedes GLE Coupe vs. BMW X6), a 1 Series sedan would make a great amount of sense, both inside China and around the world.