New 1-series range set to launch in 2012; new powerplants being developed
28 July 2010

These are the latest pictures of the next-generation BMW 1-series in testing.

The model spied here is the five-door 1-series, which is tipped to be launched in 2011.

See the new spy pics of the next BMW 1-series in action

As with today’s 1-series, the 2011 model, codenamed F20, features a modular platform with BMW’s traditional longitudinal engine layout, aspects of which are set to be shared with the next-gen 3-series.

Together with standard rear-wheel drive - a feature that will continue to set the 1-series apart from all of its hatchback rivals - BMW is also considering adding four-wheel drive by using the system developed for the X1.

Read more on the new front-drive BMW that will sit below the 1-series

The biggest news is the new turbocharged three-cylinder engine that will be fitted to entry-level models. It forms an integral part of BMW’s future Efficient Dynamics programme.

Sources inside BMW’s R&D centre suggests the new engine delivers between 110bhp and 160bhp, depending on its state of tune. As a 110bhp unit it should be capable of delivering combined fuel consumption of over 70mpg and CO2 emissions of under 100g/km.

Also under development for the new 1-series is a turbocharged 1.6-litre powerplant. Replacing the naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine, it will put out between 150bhp and 200bhp.

Read more on the new BMW 1-series M coupe

Less clear are BMW’s plans for six-cylinder versions of the 1-series. While European sales centre around four-cylinder models, the US market will almost certainly demand a straight-six petrol, in both naturally aspirated and twin-turbocharged forms.

The competitiveness of today’s diesels means there will be no major changes to the existing 2.0-litre unit, which develops 141bhp, 175bhp and (in twin-turbo form) 201bhp. Expect improvements in the injection process and modified exhaust for reduced NOx. BMW is also working on a smaller 1.6-litre oil-burner, but whether it will be complete in time for inclusion in the new 1-series at launch remains to be seen.

An M version of the current BMW 1-series will be launched later this year.

Greg Kable

See all the latest BMW 1-series reviews, news and video

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

Join the debate


28 July 2010

Is there a capacity for the new 3cyl engine? it leaves open the possibility of a 160bhp 3cyl engines carbonfibre city hatch. City M it could be called.

28 July 2010

[quote Autocar]The biggest news is the new turbocharged three-cylinder engine that will be fitted to entry-level models. It is expected to replace today’s normally aspirated 1.6-litre engine[/quote]

The current 116i - the base model of the 1-series - may be badged 1.6 but it has the 2-litre engine(N46?) in base tune, no?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK