This is BMW’s baby four-door saloon for China, and it's rather lovely
This 2-Series-based (we think) concept sedan is built for the yoof
No, this isn’t a BMW 3-Series from an alternate universe where the BMW 3-Series stayed the same size, generation on generation. It is, in fact, the new BMW ‘Concept Compact Sedan’.
Unveiled at the Auto Guangzhou – one of China’s biggest motor shows, we’re reliably informed – it is a small, four-door ‘premium’ concept car aiming to snare young, affluent Chinese buyers.
Though no dimensions have been given, a 2-Series (and therefore 1-Series) wheelbase seems likely. There’s that trademark BMW bonnet, swage line and Hofmeister kink. It’s a smart, attractive design, you’ll agree, even if the trademark kidney grille looks rather large.
Still, slightly swollen arches, a subtle, integrated boot spoiler and those LED lights all top off a neat design. The interior, as you’d expect, contains many things you would expect from a car interior: seats (just four, as the rear bench ‘suggests two individual seats’), a steering wheel, much leather, brushed aluminium and wood, and a panoramic roof.
There are some lovely concept-car flourishes, too; the detailing of the steering wheel, centre-stack, centre console, and door opening functions operated via touch-sensitive, backlit surfaces.
BMW hasn't mentioned a drivetrain, but should it see production, it will likely have one. The current 2-Series (and 1-Series) come with a range of petrol and diesel four-pots, along with the lovely 3.0-litre sixer from the M cars. Now imagine a 3.0-litre, rear-wheel-drive M Division version of this four door, compact saloon. A baby M3, if you will...
“The design of the BMW Concept Compact Sedan embodies the driving pleasure offered by a sporting car with minimized exterior dimensions,” says BMW’s design boss Karim Habib. “This four-door sedan stands for everything that sets BMW apart.”
Aimed at the Chinese market, even if this makes production, it might not make it to Europe. But if you had the choice between this, or the slighter larger 3-Series, might you take the smaller car?
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