BMW Confirms 1 Series Sedan is Coming in 2017

But there's a catch: it won't have rear-wheel-drive.

Like its Audi and Mercedes-Benz rivals, BMW has officially decided that it too will offer an entry-level sedan in the near future. BMW boss Norbert Reithofer has approved plans to develop a 1 Series sedan that will launch for the 2017 model year. Like the new Mercedes CLA-Class, this new Bimmer will feature front-wheel-drive. Codenamed NES (New Entry-level Sedan), a BMW source stated that the model "is integral to our growth plans. It will be an important pillar in the future 1 Series lineup, particularly in the US and China."

Production will likely begin sometime in 2016, and will go head-to-head against the likes of the CLA-Class and upcoming Audi A3 sedan. But unlike the 3 Series, which for the time being, will continue to be BMW’s entry-level sedan. The 1 Series sedan won’t be offered with RWD simply because it rides on a new platform that’s being shared with Mini. All-wheel drive, however, will be optional. Expect it to be powered by transversely mounted three and four-cylinder engines along with some diesel offerings. The third-gen 1 Series hatchback will debut after the sedan and it too will make the switch to FWD.

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