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by David Zalstein

The BMW 1 Series Gran Turismo (GT) has been spied in a new seven-seater guise parked inside one of the brand’s test facilities.

Based on the 4350mm-long, five-seat BMW Concept Active Tourer unveiled at the 2012 Paris motor show, the seven-seat BMW 1 Series GT is longer, with longer rear doors and more rear overhang.

BMW 1 GT Seven-seater Spied - 2

While both compact MPVs share styling from the B-pillar forward, the rear end of the larger-capacity 1 Series GT is more upright in an effort to create more space.

Despite technically being an all-wheel-drive concept – with the hybrid’s electric motor powering the rear wheels – the BMW Concept Active Tourer previewed BMW’s new front-wheel-drive platform that will underpin the upcoming third-generation Mini Cooper range due in 2014.

BMW 1 GT Seven-seater Spied - 4

To be available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations likely powered by three-cylinder, hybrid three-cylinder, and four-cylinder powertrains, the BMW 1 Series GT will follow in the footsteps of BMW’s 5 Series GT and 3 Series GT models and take aim at the Mercedes-Benz B-Class in the compact MPV segment.

The BMW 1 Series GT is expected to debut in five-seater form at this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September, with the seven-seater to follow around six months later.