The BMW 1 Series is set to return to the U.S. in 2017, but it won’t be like we remember it. The luxury compact will leave behind its rear-wheel-drive platform and two-door body style (pictured above) in favor of a four-door arrangement and UKL front-wheel-drive architecture shared with the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer and the 2014 MINI Cooper, according to a report from Automotive News.
While the new BMW 2 Series coupe has now taken on the role of the rear-wheel-drive, sporty two-door coupe in the German automaker’s lineup, this new 1 Series sedan is reportedly set to compete with the entry-level Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3. As such, we would expect a starting price around $30,000, lowering BMW’s entry price from the current price leader, the $33,025 BMW 228i coupe. This new model will help BMW compete with the $30,795 A3 and $30,895 CLA250, both of which have been selling well thus far for their respective brands.
It’s still up in the air which engines the upcoming BMW 1-Series sedan will take on, but we know the UKL platform currently supports the Mini Cooper’s 134-hp 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder, the Cooper S’s 189-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four, as well as a tuned version of the 2.0-liter that makes 231 hp in the 2015 Mini Cooper JCW and BMW 225i Active Tourer. Just as the A3 and CLA offer, respectively, Quattro and 4Matic all-wheel-drive options, expect the BMW 1-Series to come with xDrive all-wheel-drive capability.
The return of the 1-Series means BMW will have a complete U.S. lineup of vehicles ranging from 1-Series through 7-Series, as well as X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6 models, with an X7 three-row SUV coming in 2018. Check back for more updates on the future of the BMW 1-Series in the U.S.