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BMW 1 Series (F20 1 Series)

F20 1 Series

Make: BMW

Model: 1 Series

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Jun 2015

BMW logo1 Oct 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

BMW’S second-generation 1 Series five-door hatch – dubbed F20 – arrived on the market in 2011 with an all-turbo engine line-up as the Bavarian car-maker embraced smaller engines and forced induction to drive down fuel consumption without losing the sporting edge for which its has become renowned.

The new, slightly bigger and roomier baby of the BMW range entered the market with three four-cylinder engine choices, including a new entry level N13 TwinPower 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine in two states of tune, powering the 116i and 118i.

The engine used the same alloy cylinder block as the 1 Series’ front-drive stablemate, the Mini Cooper S, but with major modifications to suit the rear-drive hatchback (the only rear-drive car in its class).

Thanks to the forced induction and other technical enhancements, the 116i engine produced the same 100kW of power as the previous 2.0-litre engine, along with substantially more torque – up from 180Nm to 220Nm, delivered at a handy 1350-4300rpm.

The smaller engine capacity paid dividends at the petrol pump, cutting the combined average fuel consumption by almost 23 per cent, from 7.4 litres per 100km to 5.7L/100km in manual form (auto: 5.8).

In the 118i engine's higher state of tune, the 1.6 produced 125kW of power and 250Nm of torque, compared with the previous 120i’s 115kW and 200Nm.

One diesel engine was offered – in 118i guise – which confusingly displaced 2.0 litres and a tweaked carryover from the previous model in which it won plenty of kudos, gaining the Green Engine of the Year award.

Producing 115kW of power and 320Nm of torque, the diesel was the most frugal in the range, achieving 4.5L/100km – the same as before.

The previous top-of-the-range twin-turbo diesel 123d was dropped, and no six-cylinder model was offered at launch.

The 1 Series became the first compact hatch to offer an eight-speed automatic transmission, as an alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox with all variants.

Idle stop was introduced on all 1 Series models for the first time, along with other fuel saving initiatives such as electric power assisted steering, low rolling resistance tyres and brake energy recuperation.

BMW launched the M135i in late 2012 as its first ‘M Performance’ passenger car in Australia, pitched above many of its GTi hot hatch rivals in terms of price.

The five-door hatchback’s rear wheels were driven by a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine delivering 235kW at 5800rpm and 450Nm between 1250 and 5000rpm, for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds with the standard six-speed manual. An eight-speed automatic was optional.

The M Performance department helped tune the chassis, with individual control of the suspension and damping systems, while an M Sport brake system boasted four-piston fixed calipers up front and two-piston items at the back.

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