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BMW teases next 1 Series

Undercover: The next-gen BMW 1 Series lurks underneath coloured sheets, seemingly in both three- and five-door guise.

Countdown to new BMW 1 Series begins with social networking teaser campaign

12 May 2011

BMW has kicked off the marketing campaign for its redesigned 1 Series hatchback range, which will go on sale in Australia in October.

The Bavarian luxury car brand has launched a website featuring videos of same-sex siblings who have contrasting personalities, tying in with the F20-generation 1 Series launch campaign’s ‘One origin, two originals’ slogan.

The website also teases two body derivatives of the new 1 Series – presumably three- and five-door versions given that one appears to have two protrusions on the side in the door-handle area – cloaked in cloth.

However, it is only possible to discern that the new 1 Series will feature the bulbous, sharply-creased bonnet styling that debuted with the latest 5 Series large sedan.

BMW Group Australia head of corporate communications Piers Scott told GoAuto the new 1 Series is expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in October. Although he was unable to say which model variants lurked under the red and blue cloth, he confirmed only the five-door hatch would be made available in Australia.

As GoAuto has reported, although BMW has confirmed plans to produce an all-new BMW-badged front-wheel drive model based on the next-generation Mini platform – perhaps badged as the 0 Series – the new 1 Series will continue with its mould-breaking rear-drive layout.

14 center imageLeft: BMW 'Two Originals' website. Below: Current 1 Series.

The F20 1 Series is also set to debut BMW’s new three-cylinder 1.5-litre engines, which apart from continuing the company’s standardised 500cc-per-cylinder ethos are likely to feature the latest in BMW’s turbo-charging, direct-injection and valve control technologies.

BMW’s 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics coupe concept, which looks set to become reality under the Munich-based company’s new eco-biased ‘i’ brand as the i8, featured a 120kW alloy-block 1.5-litre three-cylinder common-rail turbocharged diesel engine in combination with two electric motors.

The 1 Series marketing site features six videos, each introducing a pair of siblings whose lifestyles and occupations are mainly arts or sports-based and are likely to provide just the right amount of aspirational discomfort to the average desk-bound BMW buyer.

Visitors to the site are invited to watch the videos, after which the siblings are divided into red or blue categories, the colours of which match the colour of the cloth obscuring the two vehicles.

The red camp generally contains the siblings with more straight-laced personality traits, while the majority of the blue camp is occupied by the disorganised, freewheeling – but no less successful – variety.

Linking the campaign in with social networking, the user is encouraged to choose the colour representing the siblings they most identify with in order to enter a competition via Facebook to win an iPad.

Casting for the campaign began in November last year, attracting thousands of applicants from more than 80 countries for auditions in the space of five weeks.

The siblings featured in the website are likely to go on to appear in global multi-media advertising for the new 1 Series when it goes on sale – although BMW’s Australian outpost could not confirm whether the ‘Two Originals’ campaign will be used on these shores.

BMW has sold 382 examples of its 1 Series hatch in Australia so far this year - 14.3 per cent down on last year.

The 1 Series coupe and convertible variants - facelifted versions of which go on sale in Australia in June - are proving more popular with 522 sold, but sales of those have dropped 35.9 per cent.

BMW has sold 5329 vehicles in total to the end of April, a drop of 5.4 per cent. Sales of all BMW models bar the 5 Series (up 149.4 per cent), X1 (up 200 per cent) and X3 (up 12.9 per cent) have slowed year-to-date.

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