The new 1 Series gets cosmetic and mechanical updates, and for the first time in 15 years, sports a front-wheel drive layout.
BMW has just taken the covers off the new 1 Series hatchback. The new 1 Series uses BMW’s FAAR architecture, which is also used for the X1 and X2 SUVs, along with the Mini Countryman. It has also received a host of changes, both cosmetic and mechanical. This is also the first time in 15 years that BMW has given the 1 Series a front-wheel drive layout instead of the rear-wheel-drive one. This move is said to improve the car’s interior space and practicality, with the carmaker claiming that the new 1 Series has an additional 33mm and 19mm of knee room and rear head room, respectively, while boot capacity has grown by 20 litres over the outgoing model to 380 litres.
Design-wise, BMW has refreshed the exterior styling, which is now more reminiscent of the larger X2 as it gets the larger kidney grille design, new headlights and tail-lights, restyled front and rear bumpers and even the overall profile is now sleeker and more modern.
On the inside, the 1 Series has been updated to resemble the newer BMWs. The premium hatchback gets an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice and gesture control as standard which can be updated to a 10.25-inch unit in higher models. Higher variants come with a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a colour head-up display.
In the European markets, the 1 Series will be offered with a 140hp, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine in the 118i variant. The diesel line-up includes the 116d, 118d and the all-wheel-drive 120d xDrive, with the diesel engines producing between 115hp and 190hp. The lower models get an option of a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic gearbox, with an 8-speed auto offered standard on the 120d. The range-topping M135i variant gets a 306hp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder, twin-turbo petrol unit with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The M135i can do the 0-100kph sprint in 4.8sec and has a limited top speed of 250kph.
BMW used to offer the previous 1 Series hatchback in India but discontinued the model due to its lacklustre sales performance. Also, as of now, there's been no official announcement about the new 1 Series coming to India.