Next BMW hatch to get more interior space, better handling and optional four-wheel drive
20 May 2008

The next-generation BMW 1-series has broken cover undergoing testing in Germany, although you’ll need to look carefully to recognise the changes.The prototype is disguised under a chopped-up five-door body from the current model, but reveals that BMW will provide the next 1-series with an extended wheelbase to improve interior space.This 1-series test car has a modified B-pillar and doors, which have been extended front and rear with larger openings to rectify one of the 1-series’ biggest weaknesses - the awkward entry to the rear. BMW has also extended the car’s tracks to improve stability and handling.BMW insiders have said that the suspension (MacPherson struts up front and multi-links at the rear) has also been revised, gaining slightly modified geometry and a greater number of aluminium components to sharpen responses and reduce weight.The steering on the new BMW 1-series will adopt an electro-mechanical rack, as seen on the Z4. “With the growing concern over fuel economy and CO2 emissions, it brings a number of advantages while using less energy,” said a source involved in the development of the new model.BMW is planning a highly modular approach to the second-generation 1-series platform and suspension. The components have been designed to underpin a wide range of models, ranging from the X1 off-roader through to the next 3-series and an as-yet-unconfirmed MPV. Munich insiders said that the wheelbase and track widths on all models will vary quite dramatically.Alongside standard rear-wheel drive, BMW is planning a four-wheel-drive version of the chassis, with its new torque-vectoring system. Engine choices will include modified versions of the Mini’s 1.4 and 1.6-litre four-cylinder, which have been conceived, developed and produced in partnership with Peugeot. They will join a new line-up of BMW engineered turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Greg Kable

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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Comments
10

20 May 2008

The new model can't come soon enough - the current 1-Series is really cramped and dark inside, not to mention the slightly awkward looks. I hope they'll be more generous with standard specification on the new model too. And judging by the current model's fairly excellent CO2 emissions and good economy, they'll be able to make the new model even cleaner.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

20 May 2008

I don't get manufacturers' obssession with longer wider and heavier then a couple of years down the line they launch a "new" small car in the category below the current model.

What's wrong with improving technology to make the existing model more spacious, yet lighter and fuel efficient without increasing the cars size?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

20 May 2008

It's likely to be something to do with going large being more profitable, and the difficulty in persuading people out of their existing car into something that superficially is much the same (i.e. no more glistening bangs for your bucks).

BMW could learn a few lessons from the space efficiency of the Honda Jazz...

21 May 2008

Have you ever looked in the back of a 1-series? No exactly commodious, fine if you treat it as a 2-seat (in which case the 3-door or the 'coupe' make sense) but not very impressive as a family car.

21 May 2008

Also, having a longitudinal straight 6 mounted well behind the front wheels is somewhat at odds with making a car which is both small and spacious.

21 May 2008

Really, all BMW need to do is: change the car's face, and change the profile. That alone would be enough to make it the sector's top seller.

As a 26-30 year old male, I am prime target market for this model. Neither I, nor any of my friends, will consider one as it looks hideous.

21 May 2008

I wonder when the new car will be launched as the 5 door is over 4 years old, but the 3door has only been on sale for about a year? Also, the new model will instantly make the (just launched) coupe and convertible appear dated as they share so many parts.

As for the new electric steering, all i can say is "oh dear". I have driven the latest 530d and the steering feel is nowhere near as feelsome and transparant as the previuous model. Doesnt bode well for the 1-series.

23 May 2008

Anyone tried this www.sniffpetrol.com

BMW 1 series "make way for Noddy"

BMW "the ultimate divvy machine"

Says it all really.

23 May 2008

I agree with Mini 1 the new model cannot come soon enough! It is not only cramped, dark inside but it has quite the worst seats that I have experienced in years. In a 140 km drive I had to stop 5 times to relieve serious cramp!! The seat is far too short. the cramped room is down to BMW's (and Autocar's) stupid obsession with rear wheel drive and longitudinal engines. The only reason that anyone buys one is pure snob value; the Ford Focus is miles better ...... but it does not have the badge, to satisfy the suburban snobs.

3 July 2008

I have owned a petrol pre-facelift and now a derv facelift. As family transport it is fine have a 12 week old baby and a 4 year old and their is plenty of space for them. As they get older we will nedd a bigger car. The boot whilst not the biggest in the sector takes a pram and evrything else with no worries. It is a little dark inside and seems to lack space mainly due to the low roofline. It is better thought of as a 5 door sports car. The sports seats are very comfortable and over a long drive yoiu come out feeling refreshed. Focus is not miles better it's handling is very close but the 1er is just a bit sharper the Focus 2 is not as good as the Focus 1 . I find it a little dull, interior is solid but agin rather dull and quality is not quite as good as the 1er although the 1er is a little overporiced IMO. The facelift 1er is a big leap forward in cabin quality and then the efficent dynamics makes it not an expensive car to run overall. Look at what a focus/Astra will loose over 3 years compared to the 1 series and then 1 series is actually only a slightly bit more expensive same goes for the A3. So the suburban snobs may be on to something.......!!!

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