Having become the world's largest market back in 2009, China is an established superpower in the automotive world. BMW is chasing the growth potential for premium compacts in this market with its Concept Compact Sedan.
Making its debut at Auto Guangzhou 2015, the Concept Compact Sedan signals the shape of BMW's intentions in the Chinese premium compact segment. The new concept carries the brand's classic design cues. With a long bonnet and the classic Hoffmeister kink at the back, this is a car that wouldn't look out of place in the showroom alongside the 2 Series Coupe.
Up front the concept is fitted with a kidney grille, which is flanked by headlamps with circular daytime running lights. Underneath, there's a broad horizontal air intake feeding the engine – though there's no word on exactly what engine, or transmission, might propel the Concept Compact Sedan. While BMW promises both "the sporting ability you'd expect from BMW and an elegance otherwise only available in large BMW sedans," we would be surprised if BMW was willing to tackle China, where rear seat space is king, with a car that puts driving dynamics ahead of legroom.
Down back, the designers have focused on using horizontal shapes to emphasise the car's width. The horizontal lines also make it look lower and more planted on the road, something that's essential to a brand with the tagline "the ultimate driving machine."
Inside, BMW's designers have kept things fairly refined. The seats are wrapped in soft, nappa leather and the dash is trimmed in open pore wood, but the rear is where BMW has really spent some time. There are only two individual seats, and the car's panoramic roof extends all the way to the back to make sure passengers don't miss out on a quality view.