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Future models - BMW - 1 Series

First look: BMW unveils next One

The One: BMW's larger second-generation 1 Series has been revealed ahead of its local relase later this year.

Larger new BMW 1 Series officially breaks cover ahead of October local release

BMW logo6 Jun 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY

BMW has lifted the lid on its bigger and more upmarket – but still rear-wheel drive – 1 Series hatchback, which will go on sale in Australia in October with an all-turbo engine range.

Sharing its platform with next year’s redesigned 3 Series, the new five-door grows in all key dimensions, including a 30mm-longer (2690mm) wheelbase that is just 70mm shorter than the current 3 Series’, addressing the major criticism of the outgoing model – rear-seat space.

The new One still measures 1421mm high but is 85mm longer overall at 4234mm and 17mm wider at 1765mm, while the front and rear tracks increase by 51mm and 72mm respectively to 1535mm and 1569mm.

Apart from increasing high-speed stability, the significantly larger 1 Series footprint liberates at least 21mm of extra rear legroom, which along with wider rear door openings is claimed to improve rear occupant comfort and convenience – areas in which chief front-drive rivals like the A3 present fewer compromises than the current 1 Series.

Codenamed F20, the new five-door will be followed by up to six body derivatives of the new 1 Series model family, including replacements for the existing three-door (not sold here) and two-door coupe (the facelifted version of which arrives Down Under this month) and convertible, plus an all-new 1 Series sedan.

14 center imageAll of them will slot between BMW’s next-generation 3 Series range, which will emerge first in sedan guise next year, and the first model to appear from the ‘BMW i’ brand in 2013, the all-electric i3 city-car.

However, the larger new 1 Series is expected to accommodate the launch of yet another all-new model beneath it – an A-segment hatch that will be the first BMW to power its front wheels, codenamed UKL and tipped to be called the 0 Series.

The German giant’s redesigned 1 Series hatch wears a relatively radical development of the original long-bonnet, rearward cabin design that emphasised its mould-breaking rear-drive layout and surprised established premium small car rivals like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-class in 2004.

The latter is no longer available in Australia and will be replaced by a new model next year, but the larger B-class hatch has doubled its sales to become Australia’s compact luxury leader this year ahead of Audi’s evergreen A3, which will also be renewed in 2012.

While the 1 Series has attracted more than a million customers globally, sales are down 20 per cent in Australia this year and the seven-year-old hatch has been outsold by the new Audi A1 and Lexus CT200h hybrid, as other new entries like Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta apply pressure on the smallest BMW-badged model in a growing compact luxury segment.

Attempting to reverse that trend is an unmistakable evolution of the familiar five-door hatch design featuring dramatic new ‘shark-nose’ front-end styling from recent BMW concepts, with a forward-inclined version of BMW’s trademark kidney grille flanked by larger new triangular headlights situated beneath angry-looking ‘eyebrows’.

Behind the more deeply sculpted body sides and a pronounced shoulder crease, larger LED tail-lights overlap more of a wider rear hatchback.

Boot space expands by 30 litres to a class-leading 360 litres – 10 litres more than the Volkswagen Golf and 44 litres more than the Ford Focus – while luggage capacity expands to 1200 litres with the optional 40/20/40-split rear seats folded.

Powering the new 1 Series are a range of downsized direct-injection ‘TwinPower Turbo’ petrol and diesel engines that offer greater efficiency than their predecessors despite the car’s larger size.

This is achieved in part by the introduction of an idle-stop function as standard across the range, plus low-resistance tyres, brake energy recuperation, automatically disconnecting engine ancillaries, a manual gearshift indicator and a selectable ‘Eco Pro’ mode that alters engine mapping and climate-control systems to further save fuel.

Just as significantly, however, the new 1 Series also brings a first-in-class ZF eight-speed automatic option for the three models available from launch.

Top of the range (at least initially) will be the 118i, powered by a new direct-injection 1.6-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll turbo engine that replaces the normally aspirated 2.0-litre four in outgoing 116i and 118i variants and is effectively a longitudinal application of the transverse engine recently revealed in the Mini Cooper.

With 125kW on tap at a relatively low 4800rpm and 250Nm of torque available between just 1500rpm and 4500rpm, the misleadingly named 118i can sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 7.4 seconds and return fuel consumption of 5.8-5.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 134-137g/km.

Stepping down to the 116i brings 100kW at 4400rpm and 220Nm at 1350-4300rpm, claimed 0-100km/h acceleration of 8.5 seconds, a 5.5-5.7L/100km fuel consumption range and CO2 emissions of between 129 and 132g/km.

Also available with either six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions will be the diesel-powered 118d, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four with 105kW at 4000rpm and 320Nm at 1750-2500rpm. Officially, it returns just 4.4-4.5L/100km and 115-188g/km and can hit 100km/h in a claimed 8.9 seconds.

Alongside the two new petrol engines, the 118d engine will become available in different states of tune as 116d and 120d models, with a special 116d eco-model that will feature further fuel-saving technologies to reduce fuel consumption to just 3.8L/100km and CO2 emissions to 99g/km.

Expected to replace the 3.0-litre straight-six of the current 1 Series range-topper is the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that debuted earlier this year in the Z4 and X1 xDrive28i. It will power the 130i-replacing 128is.

Further afield, expect BMW’s all-new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to appear as part of the new One’s first major model upgrade.

As with the next 3 Series, the 1 Series features plenty of aluminium in its MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems, and this generation will be available in Europe with all-wheel drive.

A host of 1 Series options will be new to the small car class in Europe, including high beam assist, a reversing camera, a lane departure warning system including collision warning, cruise control with brake function, speed limit sign recognition and internet connectivity.

Naturally, BMW’s latest iDrive driver interface will be fitted, this time with the choice of a 6.5- or 8.8-inch screen, and the new 1 Series is said to offer a vast increase in interior options, two front cupholders, a roomy glovebox, centre armrest bin and door pockets big enough to house one-litre bottles.

The new 1 Series will continue to be built alongside the 3 Series at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany.

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