Spotted: BMW's New Front-Drive 1 Series GT Four-Door Hatchback

bmw-1-series-gt-mule-front-side-view

BMW's risky new front-drive 1 Series GT four-door hatchback is moving its way through the development process -- a nearly production-ready prototype has been spied testing months before its debut. Based on the BMW Concept Active Tourer, the four-door hatch will sport crossover styling cues and far better mileage than is currently available across most of the automaker's lineup.

The Concept Active Tourer featured a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine with a BMW-sourced electric motor driving the rear wheels. With Ford and others experimenting with production-ready versions of three-cylinder powertrains, don’t be surprised to see an I-3 engine under the hood of a BMW near you in the future. This BMW prototype, however, has twin exhaust pipes, which could point to a more powerful four-cylinder model. Should the BMW 1 Series GT come to the U.S., we’d be surprised of the automaker doesn’t at least offer a higher-powered four-cylinder variant.

Though this BMW 1 Series GT prototype lacks the concept’s flashy five-spoke wheels, it appears to retain the side surfacing we saw from the Concept Active Tourer. Side mirrors with integrated turn signals have been mounted onto this prototype, which has a rear spoiler with a built-in CHMSL.

The BMW concept had an eight-inch infotainment screen and lots of ambient lighting — two details we expect to see on the production-ready 1 Series GT. With BMW also preparing a GT based on the 3 Series, the automaker will soon have a four-door hatchback for luxury buyers at many price points. How well the BMW 1 Series GT will compete with upcoming front-drive cars from luxury automakers plus well-equipped versions of mainstream cars remains to be seen. The car may debut in the spring or summer of next year.

Should the BMW 1 Series GT be brought to the U.S.? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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