BMW’s next 1-series has been spied in public, revealing that the firm’s bread-and-butter model is to be given more rakish styling and extra cabin space.
The current 1-series has long been criticised for cramped, almost supermini-esque packaging and oddball styling. These were factors influenced by the fact that its understructure from the bulkhead rearwards was developed for the stillborn Rover R30 at the end of the 1990s.
With a blank sheet of paper, BMW’s engineers have been working on improving interior space.
This is likely to result in a longer wheelbase that can cope with both this car and the front-wheel-drive model that will follow in 2013. This three-door test car (the rear door line is a fake) reveals that longer wheelbase.
It’s a telltale sign that the 1-series shares much of its platform with the X1, the first model to use a new line of 1-series/3-series components. The test hack also shows a steeply raked windscreen and a roof line that tails off to avoid the blunt tail of the current car.