BMW lifts the lid on the new front-wheel drive 1 Series
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In this world of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, it was nice to see that BMW sticking to their roots and staying with the rear-wheel drive layout even in their 1 Series hatches, but unfortunately that has come to an end.
Unveiling their brand new 1 Series to the world, it's obvious that the German manufacturer has done away with the dated old shape and is planning to take on the market with this new one.
The first major difference that you'll notice is the reshaped grille that sits between the revised headlights. It now meets in the middle instead of being separated like the models that came before it.
In line with other BMW vehicles, the headlights have received a touch-up, and now look a lot sleeker. You'll notice the bumpers have been changed as well, there are several options for this depending on the trim of the car, with the sportiest featuring on the M135i xDrive.
Compared to the last 1 Series, this new one is 5mm shorter, something that goes against the current trend of manufacturers building bigger cars each generation. While it is shorter length-wise, the width has increased by 34mm, and height by 13mm. In terms of the wheelbase, it has been shortened by 20mm.
Looking at the interior, the rear passengers have benefitted from the FWD conversion with an extra 33mm of knee room. The increased height and width also provide an extra 19mm of headroom and 13mm of elbowroom.
The dash looks similar to other recent BMW products with its standard 8.8-inch touchscreen and infotainment system. On the top spec versions, this screen size is increased to 10.25 inches and a digital instrument cluster of the same size sits beside it.
Five options of the new 1 Series will be offered at launch, two petrol variants, and three diesels. Topping the range is the m135i xDrive with its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 225kW and 450Nm of torque. As you might've noticed from the name, the M135i is now all-wheel drive, and sends power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With its new four-cylinder power plant, the M135i xDrive makes the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds, two milliseconds slower than the six-cylinder model that came before it.
At the other end of the petrol spectrum is the 118i; which is powered by a three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine that produces 103kW and 220Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic.
In terms of the diesel variants, you have the choice of the 116d, 118d, or the 120d xDrive. The 116d's 1.5-litre three-cylinder offers 85kW and 270Nm of torque. The 118d's four-cylinder 2.0-litre produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque. And finally, the 120d xDrive which packs 140kW, 400Nm of torque, and sends power to all four wheels.
BMW is set to debut the new 1 Series in Munich from June 25-27, so we should expect to see these hatches making it over to our shores later on this year.