BMW 1 series has been a phenomenal introduction in the hatchback market by BMW since 2004. , however the third generation of premium hatchback is set to have a new twist. It’s expected to arrive at the end of 2018, on sale early in 2019, but while our photos show that it’ll look similar to the model it replaces, a radical makeover under the skin will see it being a front wheel-drive.
The new 1 Series will have the UKL platform thats the same on the BMW X1 and MINI range. While that will affect the way the 1 Series drives, BMW is confident that more people will benefit from the practicality and efficiency the new platform can offer.
A longer wheelbase and absence of a propshaft will free up more space for passengers in the back, and also increase boot capacity. The new 1 Series should also be marginally taller and wider.
While big changes are going on beneath the skin, the redesign of the 1 Series won’t be as revolutionary. The third-generation hatchback should appear sleeker than the current model; softer body panels and slimmer LED headlights that integrate with the kidney grille, like those seen on the new 5 Series, will be the standout changes.
The new platform will bring advantages when it comes to weight reduction and practicality, but fans of the faster M models are going to be left disappointed. As the UKL platform is only compatible with four-cylinder engines, that means the next flagship M140i will have to ditch its sonorous straight-six engine in favour of a turbocharged four-cylinder.
Not only that, but it will also switch from rear-wheel drive to xDrive four-wheel drive. That means it will be a direct competitor with models such as the Volkswagen Golf R, Mercedes-AMG A45 and Ford Focus RS.
Engines for the rest of the 1 Series range will be adopted from the MINI and X1 line-ups. Entry-level cars, likely to be badged 116d, should come powered by an updated version of BMW’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel, while a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol unit should appear in the 118i. Larger and more powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be found in the 120i and 120d respectively.
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