Upon its launch in India in 2011, the X1 became the big volume-generator for BMW. In fact, the numbers have been so productive that BMW managed to overtake arch-rivals Mercedes Benz by a big margin. Now the Bavarian carmaker aims to increase that lead further with the launch of a product that has the potential to become another volume generator. Called the ‘1-series’, the new Beemer immediately makes its place in the BMW hierarchy evident with its name. Available only in hatchback form factor for now, the 1-series will boast of being the lowest priced BMW model in India - sitting below the X1 compact crossover.
The 1-series hatchback will be powered by two engine options - a 1.8-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel. Both the engines aim to claim the best-in-class fuel economy and power / torque outputs. The car's natural rival will be the Mercedes Benz B-class which has been doing quite well for Mercedes Benz in India. The 1-series aims to do the same for BMW but we doubt if it will be able to dethrone the X1 by becoming the highest selling BMW model in India. Nevertheless, the 1-series isn't too cramped a car either as it is only marginally smaller than the 3-series in terms of cabin space.
The BMW 1-series hatch is expected to reach Indian showrooms by early 2013. Since BMW plans to assemble the car locally at their plant in Chennai, we also expect a highly competitive price tag.