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by Tim Beissmann

An image of what is believed to be the BMW 1 Series Gran Turismo has appeared on the internet, heightening rumours that the German manufacturer is working on yet another niche vehicle design.

German Car Forum posted an image of the vehicle from an unnamed UK publication, suggesting that BMW is considering expanding its light car range with a vehicle similar in concept to the 5 Series GT.

It is believed the 1 Series GT – known within BMW as the Compact Activity Tourer – will be one of the first BMW vehicles to feature front-wheel drive. As a result, rear legroom is rumoured to be almost on par with the 5 Series sedan.

As is evident in the image above, the front end design will follow the lead of the 5 Series GT, with a similarly pronounced snout and a familiar shape to the lower air intakes. The vehicle will reportedly be 50mm longer than the 1 Series hatch and offer an elevated driving position, similar to the 5 Series GT.

BMW is also known to be developing a 3 Series Gran Tursimo to sit between sedan and Touring variants in the new 3 Series range, which will be officially unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

A launch of the BMW 1 Series GT is rumoured for 2012, meaning a motor show debut towards the end of 2011 is not out of the question.




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