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Future models - BMW - 1 Series

BMW sharpens 1 Series

1 for the money: BMW's 1 Series hatch gains styling cues found on other models from the stable, including the 2 Series coupe.

Facelift brings current BMW styling cues to 1 Series, as well as powertrain updates

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BMW logo16 Jan 2015

BMW'S facelifted 1 Series has been formally outed after unofficial images surfaced online overnight revealing the new look of the updated premium hatch.

Due to arrive in Australian BMW showrooms early in the second half of the year, the 1 Series is expected to maintain a similar line-up to the existing model that kicks off in base 116i petrol guise from $36,900, plus on-road costs and tops out at $64,930 for the Audi S3-baiting M135i.

The middle of the range is filled out with a combination of diesel and petrol 118i, 118d and 125i.

The German car-maker has given the 1 Series a significant make-over, maintaining the lines of the original second-generation hatch that polarised opinions when it launched in late 2011, while bringing it up to date with its sportier 2 Series sibling.

Up front, the 1 Series' headlights are more slim-line than before, the famous kidney grille has been stretched and there is a completely new bumper bar with relocated air intakes. LED daytime running lights are now standard, while the headlights can be optioned as LED versions as well.

At the rear, the LED tail-lights have been redesigned and now feature an L-shape that is familiar from the 2 Series, among other BMW models, and have also been stretched to flow into the tailgate. The rear bumper is also completely redesigned.

In the cabin, the 1 Series maintains its typical BMW look and the changes are subtle, with new seat trims, chrome surrounds for the radio and air-conditioning controls contrasted, and gloss black panelling.

A number of powertrains in the wider 1 Series line-up have been tweaked for improved efficiency, and BMW will introduce a new 80kW/180Nm three-cylinder petrol engine in the 116i in Europe and other markets that sips just 5.0 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

All up there are now five petrol and five diesel powertrains on offer in Europe in the 1 Series line-up.

Further to this, a new 85kW/270Nm three-cylinder diesel is also on offer overseas, capable of consuming just 3.4L/100km in three-door guise – a body-style that is not on offer locally.

BMW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto that the three-pot was “under consideration” for the Australian market, however if it did get the green light it would not be available from launch.

The German car-maker's xDrive all-wheel drive system is available on some variants in other markets, and while Ms Fletcher said to “never say never” when it came to the all-paw 1 Series, she added that it was “not something we are thinking about” at present.

The six-cylinder unit under the bonnet of the M135i hot hatch gets a 5kW boost in power to 240kW but maintains its 450Nm torque output for a 0-100km/h dash time of 4.9 seconds in auto mode – a 0.1-second improvement.

Standard equipment for the 1 Series now includes automatic air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, BMW Radio Professional with the iDrive, a high-resolution 6.5-inch display in the instrument panel and an embedded SIM card.

BMW has upped the safety and connectivity for the 2015 1 Series, with its ConnectedDrive system now featuring active cruise control, while the automatic park assist is now capable of parallel parking in tight spots restricted by obstacles, as well as automatic transverse parking.

The engine line-up, specification and pricing will be made available closer to the launch early in quarter three.

BMW's baby trails its closest rivals in the sales race, with the 1 Series nabbing 2382 buyers in 2014 – a 3.1 per cent increase over 2013 – while Audi's resurgent A3 grabbed the number two spot in the premium small-car segment with 4549 sales, representing a 113 per cent boost.

Mercedes' A-Class remained the most popular choice last year, with 4676 examples finding homes in 2014, up 45.3 per cent over the previous year.

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