BMW of North America will launch a sedan version of its new 1-series line in the US in 2007, according to WardsAuto.com.
The vehicle will feature BMW’s signature rear-wheel drive configuration, although a diesel engine may be offered, the report added.
WardsAuto.com said BMW has been changing its timing for the US launch of the 1-series because it doesn’t want to sell a hatchback model here and it believes it needs to offer the availability of a six-cylinder engine. The 1-series currently is being rolled out in Europe as a five-door hatchback powered by four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
BMW North America chairman and CEO Tom Purves told WardsAuto.com that BMW will market a 1-series in the US and the vehicle will not feature all-wheel drive as standard, although AWD may be offered as an option to help the model gain appeal in cold-weather states.
“A classic BMW does not have all-wheel drive. It has rear-wheel drive,” Purves reportedly said. “You can have all-wheel drive as an option, but I, personally, don’t see any need for all-wheel drive on a 1-series.”
WardsAuto.com said BMW is reviewing plans to bring a diesel-powered 1-series to the US, although it will not market a diesel engine until it can be sold in all 50 states. Currently, emissions regulations prohibit the sale of diesels in California and several New England states, including New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.
“It’s a question of how we can get diesel (cars) for (sale) in all of the states,” Purves told WardsAuto.com. “We are excited and we think there will be diesel long-term in the (United) States and we will be participating in that, but we have no specific date planned at the moment.”