A mini BMW 3 Series is right around the corner … if you live in China

BMW has traveled all the way to China to introduce the Concept Compact Sedan at the Guangzhou Motor Show. As its name clearly implies, the show car provides an accurate preview of what the Munich-based car maker’s upcoming entry-level sedan will look like.

The Concept Compact Sedan was unabashedly designed with young Chinese motorists in mind. Up front, it wears wedge-shaped headlights and a wide rendition of BMW’s kidney grille with chromed horizontal slats, while the back end boasts a spoiler built into the trunk lid and L-shaped LED tail lamps. All of the typical BMW styling cues are accounted for; The Concept Compact Sedan almost looks like a shrunken-down 3 Series when it’s viewed from certain angles.

Although the cabin is as futuristic as the set the concept was photographed on, its basic layout bears more than a passing resemblance to the 1 Series hatchback and the 2 Series coupe. Staying true to tradition once again, the cockpit offers a driver-oriented center console, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a duo of simple, easy-to-read gauges. The front passengers can navigate the infotainment system using a controller knob found on the center console.

BMW has chosen not to publish technical specifications, but the long front overhang suggests that the sedan is front-wheel drive, not rear-wheel drive like the 1 Series and the 2 Series. If that assumption is correct, the Concept Compact Sedan likely rides on the same UKL platform as the third-generation MINI Hardtop, the new X1, and the family-friendly 2 Series Active Tourer that’s sold across the pond.

The fact that BMW chose to introduce its latest concept at the Guangzhou Motor Show instead of presenting it at the massive Los Angeles Motor Show that’s currently taking place speaks volumes. While the concept almost certainly previews a regular-production model, executives have previously hinted the sedan will be a China-only model that won’t make its way to North American showrooms.

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