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The 2016 BMW 1 Series sedan has been caught in action once again by our European spy photographers, giving us a good insight into the Bavarian brand’s imminent Audi A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA rival. 

With its German rivals spinning out multiple entry level offering to great sales success, world luxury car sales leader BMW seems to have caught onto the idea that it must follow suit.

Like the Mini and 2 Series Active Tourer, the 1 Series sedan will be based on BMW’s new modular UKL architecture which — breathe in — is front-wheel-drive oriented like the CLA and A3, though it can be calibrated for AWD.

BMW 1 sedan 9

In time, BMW says, as many as 12 cars could use the UKL, meaning the company is not so much stepping a toe into the FWD waters as stripping off and leaping headlong into a dive-bomb. 

According to reports, the 1 Series sedan will arrive about 12 months before the 2017 third-generation BMW 1 Series hatch, though whether or not it instead launches the two simultaneously remains unclear officially. 

Naturally, the 1 Series hatch will sit upon the UKL, reaping all the packaging benefits afforded by FWD, as will the 2016 second-generation X1 small crossover SUV. 

BMW 1 sedan 1

The images here show off the interior and exterior in some detail, and the pre-production cars appear to be quite late in their test cycle. What do you think of the proportions and that new interior?

See the full gallery in the Photos tab.