Just yesterday we shared the spy images of the new A-Class being tested in India for 2013 launch. The new entry-level Merc will be the least expensive and only premium car in its segment in India with prices starting around Rs 18 lakh. But not for long – yesterday at the launch of the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, their German rival hinted that the new 1-Series hatchback might also come to India next year.
The 1-Series hatchback is the smallest car in the BMW range which is available in both petrol and diesel guise. The car was recently updated and is based on the new 3-Series platform; it is available in both three-door and five-door variants, but only the latter one is expected to arrive here. The 1-Series (F20) 116i and 118i gets a 1.6-litre petrol engine developing 136bhp and 170bhp respectively.
The diesel engine displaces 2.0 litres and produces 116bhp, 143bhp and 184bhp depending upon the variants. The 1-Series is loaded with features from the segment above, it gets parking assist, lane departure and collision warning, cruise control, smart phone and music player integration with Facebook and Twitter apps,Optional iDrive and BMW ConnectedDrive. It remains to be seen how many of those features make it to the Indian market.
We don’t expect the current-generation 1-series to be launched in India as its driveline layout (engine in front, drive to the rear) means it opts for driving pleasure over interior space. However, the upcoming model is based on the same platform as the new Mini Cooper, and being front-drive, will have space comparable to the A-Class, which should give it far more selling power in a market like India.
The 1-Series should arrive in India as CKD by last quarter of 2013. The hatchback will be assembled at the BMW’s Chennai plant and will be priced similarly to the A-Class.