BMW's premium hatchback has been spied testing ahead of 2011 launch
14 September 2009

These are the best spy pictures yet of the next-generation BMW 1-series.

The premium hatchback was captured in heavy disguise by our spy photograpers in Germany, but the pictures gave away subtle changes to the latest model’s styling. Previously, we have only seen test mules but these pictures show a fully working prototye.

See the BMW 1-series spy picture high-res photo gallery here

The 1-series is expected to have a slightly extended wheelbase and wider track to create more interior room, especially for adult passengers in the back.

The model spied is likely to be the most powerful, the 135i, given away by its twin rear exhausts. In the present 1-series range, only the 130i hatch and 135i coupe have twin exhuasts, but these are coupled together. On this spied model, they are split, indicating a new styling point for the 1-series.

Its high-performance nature is also given away by the extra air intake seen at the front, while previous spy pictures have hinted at an all-wheel drive system being tested.

In previous spy pictures, the front end has been covered so this hints that this model’s engine needs more cooling. A mildly redesigned front-end features new headlights and a new bumper, while new lights also appear at the rear of the car. BMW’s famous kidney grille remains.

Engines are likely to be co-developed with PSA as the two firms further extend their relationship seen with Mini. The trend in downsizing and using turbocharged units is also set to feature in the new 1-series to meet tougher new emissions regulations and fuel consumption targets. The displacement should range from 1.4-litre to 2.0-litre.

Despite the downsizing, power is likely to go up across the range due to the use of direct injection and forced induction. BMW’s straigh-six engines could also make the line up.

Stop-start and electrical-regenerative systems should both feature, as should Efficient Dynamic’s technology including heat-recovery systems and solar panels. BMW claims the testing of thermoelectric generators and solar panels saved as much as five per cent in fuel consumption.

The hatchback should be going into production in the second quarter of 2011, with the coupe and convertible models set to follow later in the year. A shooting brake model and a high-performance M version could also make it into production.

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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
13

14 September 2009

That's a funky colour they painted it...

14 September 2009

Im suprised they havent used this oppurtunity to make the styling less 'challenging'

The key areas such as the blunt nose and squashed rear quarter seem to look almost identical to the current model - and thats not a good thing.

14 September 2009

[quote Autocar]The model spied is likely to be the most powerful, the 135i, given away by its twin rear exhausts.[/quote]

[quote Autocar]BMW’s straigh-six engines could also make the line up.[/quote]

Seems a fair assumption.

14 September 2009

Even though the latest models, or the latest incarnations of some standard models, actually are better than what the people at BMW have released in the last decade or so, still, if this vehicle does not follow the recent trends, then considering the last decade or so of their work, the only way for a BMW to be hot would be if it were taken straight out of an oven or sauna.

You see, How to create a hot-hatch? “Park your regular one in a sauna for a few minutes.”

14 September 2009

[quote Quattro369]the blunt nose and squashed rear quarter seem to look almost identical to the current model - and thats not a good thing.[/quote]

They're the bits I like most, otherwise it'll look like any other hatch. The nose emphasises the length of the bonnet, really highlighting the longditudinal engine. The squashed rear quarter emphasises the wide stance. In anycase, with RWD the rear axle has to be as far forward as possible to get weight on it. Here the form is dictated by the function, which is how it should be.

The 1 series will never look like any other hatch.

14 September 2009

[quote kurtverbose]They're the bits I like most, otherwise it'll look like any other hatch. The nose emphasises the length of the bonnet, really highlighting the longditudinal engine. The squashed rear quarter emphasises the wide stance. In anycase, with RWD the rear axle has to be as far forward as possible to get weight on it. Here the form is dictated by the function, which is how it should be.[/quote]

Yeah I agree, the 1-Series is distinctive and not bad-looking. It doesn't look dated at all.

14 September 2009

I hope the looks improve for the new 1 series, the current models look very under wheeled and most look like turtles. The only good ones are the high spec m models

14 September 2009

[quote kurtverbose]

[quote Quattro369]the blunt nose and squashed rear quarter seem to look almost identical to the current model - and thats not a good thing.[/quote]

They're the bits I like most, otherwise it'll look like any other hatch. The nose emphasises the length of the bonnet, really highlighting the longditudinal engine. The squashed rear quarter emphasises the wide stance. In anycase, with RWD the rear axle has to be as far forward as possible to get weight on it. Here the form is dictated by the function, which is how it should be.

The 1 series will never look like any other hatch.

[/quote]

The rather 'odd' proportions of the 1-series are what makes it appealing. In fact, I think it is one of the best looking vehicles that BMW currently make, especially in 3 door form.

14 September 2009

Clearly an evolution of the current model - which is definitely a good thing in my book! The 1er still doesn't look dated, despite being launched 5 years ago now. If they give this new one a little more space in the back (which clearly they will) then this is going to be a great seller - RWD and the best handling hatch, decent practicality, high quality, efficient class-leading engines, premium badge, distinctive looks. The 1 is already a success and I reckon this will continue and expand on that.

14 September 2009

[quote dan111]The 1 is already a success and I reckon this will continue and expand on that.
[/quote]

It is a success but its sales are way behind that of the A3. If they improve the looks and make it usable as a family car I'm sure it will overtake the Audi on sales. At least until the new A3 comes out.

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