The US version of the 1 series shows that BMW is mismanaging its brand (I rather detest that term and all it connotes, but so be it for now), at least in this country. Playing to the American subconscious (and not so subconscious) focus on power, speed, and status is getting to be a losing formula, given the end of cheap gas, the reemergence of environmental concerns, and the economic mess that those with power and status have led this country. The 1 series would have made sense in this country had it come with only the 4-cylinder gas or diesel engines, a 6- in those cars is ridiculous. BMW missed an opportunity either to broaden or redefine itself, but stuck to the old formula. It could very easily have promoted a 4-cylinder 1 series, with ample power and impressive fuel economy, but it listened to the idiot marketers and "brand managers" instead.
It should be borne in mind that the BMW headquarters in Munich is comprised of four cylindrical towers, symbolizing the "back from the brink" resurgence BMW got from the 4-cylinder powered "new class" of sports sedans, culminating in the 2002 series. With this bit of news here, maybe BMW is returning to its fundamental precepts and sensibilities.