BMW is hard at work developing an entirely new 1 Series. The upcoming model, which is expected to arrive in 2019, is based on the front-wheel-drive Mini Countryman.
What we have here are the first spy-shots, showing what this upcoming rival to the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class will look like. The car was fully camouflaged and revealed very little, but we don’t expect the new 1 Series to look radically different from the outgoing model. Its revised front end should take inspiration from the recently released 5 Series while a modified rear bumper should help it look slightly less bulbous than the current car.
A pair of angular headlights with hexagonal daytime running lights should pull the new 1 Series in line with the rest of the BMW range while a more distinct kink in the rear pillar could lend it a sportier silhouette than the old model.
The rather old-fashioned dashboard fitted to the current car is likely to be dropped in favour of a thoroughly modern design. A large infotainment screen should stand above a slick selection of dials and knobs, while wood and aluminium-effect trim could help give it that all-important upmarket feel.
The new 1 Series will reportedly borrow engines from the current Mini and the X1 range. The most basic models will probably feature a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel or a three-cylinder turbo petrol unit. The rest of the range will feature 2-litre four-cylinder petrol in 120i guise or a 2-litre diesel engine in the 120d.
Unlike the previous generation car, the new 1 Series will be front-wheel drive as a standard. This may come as a surprise to BMW purists, but it will allow the German manufacturer to offer its smallest model with a new hybrid system.
The new 1 Series is expected to go on sale around late 2018 or early 2019 and could cost approximately the same as the outgoing model. A new 2 Series, based on the same new front-wheel-drive platform, should be released in 2019 in both coupe and convertible guises.