Both of BMW’s new baby cars are entering their final 12 months of testing
20 January 2012

This is BMW’s all-new front-drive hatchback and its sister car, the Mk3 Mini. Both of BMW’s new baby cars are entering their final 12 months of testing and both cars should be revealed towards the end of 2012.

Expected to wear the 1-series badge, the entry-level BMW is based on an all-new front-drive platform and most versions will be powered by BMW’s new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. All-wheel drive will also be an option.

See our spy pics of the new front-drive BMW hatchback

According to Klaus Draeger, BMW’s development boss, the new N37-series engine could be good for as much as 160bhp (the likely engine for the Mini Cooper S) and, at the other end of the scale, deliver a 95g/km Co2 rating in diesel guise. A TwinPower version could be good for 180bhp. More powerful JCW versions of the Mini could get a four-cylinder engine.

The platform is scaleable enough to cover the span from a 3.8m-long Mini 3 to this 4.3m long 1-series. The new hatch is expected to be slightly smaller than the next VW Golf, but have similar interior room, thanks to the particular emphasis on packaging efficiency for future Mini models.

BMW will eventually build a family of small, front-drive, models replacing today’s 1-series line-up. However, its is possible that the rear-drive 1-series Coupe and Cabrio will live on under the 2-series badge.

With global Mini sales heading for 300,000 per year, the new entry-level BMWs could add another 300,000 in the medium term making this a potentially highly profitable new market for BMW which can rely on premium pricing for both marques.

Hilton Holloway

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Comments
35

20 January 2012

How long before every single car on sale in Europe is 'premium', I wonder, and is work already underway to find a new term to differentiate those at the top from the ones at the bottom?

20 January 2012

[quote Londonist]How long before every single car on sale in Europe is 'premium', I wonder, and is work already underway to find a new term to differentiate those at the top from the ones at the bottom?[/quote]

Chuckle. Said the same myself on another thread the other day.

Annoying isn't it!

Back to the baby BM though, strangely I am quite looking forward to it. Fair enough it isn't rear drive but if they can work some of the Mini's handling magic is a decent body shell, this could be quite a good car.

 

 

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

20 January 2012

Are you sure it's not a punto?

20 January 2012

I'd have one over an A3 any day, and I haven't even seen it yet. I wouldn't buy one though.

20 January 2012

[quote Fidji]

I'd have one over an A3 any day, and I haven't even seen it yet. I wouldn't buy one though.

[/quote]

What? Are you trolling again fidji?

Myk

20 January 2012

I'm a little confused as to which tiny gap this car fits into in BMW's line-up. If this new 1-series is slightly smaller than a Golf, how does that compare to the new 1-series? I mean, the other new 1-series. Won't the FWD car just poach sales from the RWD car? I can understand the economies of scale with the Mini, but why go to the trouble of releasing a new RWD 1-series when a FWD one was less than a year away?

289

20 January 2012

[quote Autocar]This is BMW’s all-new front-drive hatchback [/quote]

....and so the BMW brand gets diluted even more...I still cant get used to the rattle of a diesel under the bonnet of a BMW let alone yet another FWD eurohatch. But I guess its all part of BMW's greed for ever bigger market share.

Having run a BMW garage for 10 years during the 80's to 90's I always loved the smoothness of a BMW straight six engine...the fact that you really could balance a 50p piece on top of the engine at tickover. It was like a swiss watch.

Now the racket of my neighbours brand new 520dSE when its cold in the morning sounds no different to the Ocado delivery van...sure it may be quiet inside but to me it is most un-BMW like.

I dont even care that it is quick or it does 50mpg, it just sounds skanky and very 'non premium'

I guess this is the problem with getting older, we always hanker after 'the good old days'

I wonder how James Ruppert sees this phenomenon since he was selling BMW's at the same time as me?

20 January 2012

[quote rosstopher]

Are you sure it's not a punto?

[/quote] or Smart Forfour?

20 January 2012

M has been dead.

It will be BMW. Really...

Cloudy future for the fans...

Sad century...

20 January 2012

I propose to come back in the 70's for the races on track, in the 80's for the rallyes and in the 90's for the production cars.

But, with the nowadays safety.

I'm dreaming...

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