The BMW 1-series saloon will target North America and China when it goes on sale in 2015
24 May 2012

BMW has hatched plans for a new BMW 1-series badged rear-drive junior saloon that is being pitched as the spiritual successor to the E30-generation 3-series four-door.

The car will play an integral role in meeting BMW’s ambitious worldwide sales target of two million cars a year by 2020, and should become one of the firm’s best sellers in key saloon markets such as North America and China.

The new four-door will join an expanded 1-series line-up as a rival to the upcoming third-generation Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA compact saloons, as well as the established Volkswagen Jetta.

It could go on sale as early as 2015 and will undercut BMW’s perennial best-seller, the 3-series saloon, on price.

Before the four-door 1-series arrives, however, BMW will launch successors to today’s first-generation 1-series coupé and convertible, codenamed F22 and F23 respectively and due in 2014.  

Central among BMW’s decision to push ahead with a 1-series saloon are the ever-increasing dimensions of the 3-series saloon. Since its introduction in 1975, it has grown by 269mm in length, 210mm in width and 49mm in height, taking it into a higher market segment.

Using a rear-wheel drive platform that shares some key elements with the latest, sixth-generation 3-series should ensure a sporting drive for the 1-series saloon.

The decision to adopt this rear-drive layout comes despite the creation of a new front-drive platform to be shared with Mini. It will be used for a new 1-series GT model in 2013, a rival to the Mercedes-Benz B-class and next year’s third-generation Mini.

Four and six-cylinder engines will feature in the 1-series saloon line-up, while an all-electric version is also under consideration. Four-wheel drive will be an option.

Initially, the four-door 1-series will be built alongside hatchback, coupé and convertible models in Leipzig, Germany. In the longer term, it could also be built at BMW’s Shenyang plant in China and a new facility earmarked for Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Our Verdict

Measures up on comfort and space, but it’s still boring to drive

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Comments
20

24 May 2012

Motoring hacks and comment writers alike can bitch again about the lack of legroom in the rear, the tiny boot, etc, etc, etc...

28 May 2012

Brava wrote:

Motoring hacks and comment writers alike can bitch again about the lack of legroom in the rear, the tiny boot, etc, etc, etc...

Well they complain about the tight rear legroom in the large, new model 3 series, so I'm sure they will...

24 May 2012

... and we'll all intitled to have one.   Less legroom is one of the problems of rear wheel drive compared to front wheel drive.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 May 2012

xxxx wrote:

... and we'll all intitled to have one.   Less legroom is one of the problems of rear wheel drive compared to front wheel drive.

Get a nice FWD car then. It really is that simple.

24 May 2012

Brava wrote:

xxxx wrote:

... and we'll all intitled to have one.   Less legroom is one of the problems of rear wheel drive compared to front wheel drive.

Get a nice FWD car then. It really is that simple.

That's more of a command that an opinion. Besides I like rear wheel drive.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 May 2012

I once had a 1986 325i and I'm pretty sure it had less legroom and definitely less boot space than the current 1-Series.  

24 May 2012

julianphillips wrote:

I once had a 1986 325i and I'm pretty sure it had less legroom and definitely less boot space than the current 1-Series.  

I don't remember too many people complaining about the space in that car.

For all those who need more space, buy a different car.

24 May 2012

Exactly - actually, I meant that the 1986 325i had less space than the previous 1-Series.  The new 1-Series is presumably bigger than the old one, so is additionally bigger than the E30.

24 May 2012

Get the package right and this car could be a real hit for BMW, no matter which market it is aimed at.  With the bigger BMW looks (as opposed to awkward 1 series hatch stance), some decent engines (well read the 2.0d as default), and keen pricing, then fleet companies are going to shift thousands.

And, dare I say it, throw in a performance version in to the mix.....

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

24 May 2012

Not yet FWD?

 

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