BMW has officially released details and images of the new BMW 1 series and the biggest shocker is that it is now front wheel drive!. To be fair we all knew this was coming eventually as the benefits for packaging are just too great to ignore, the most common complaint of the 1 series has always been space and this was mainly due to rear wheel drive set up. However, the rear drive set up is what has made the 1 series such a great car to drive and I am not saying this won’t be but it just won’t be the same.
In addition to the FWD models, BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system will be available on selected models and some will come standard with it like the M135I pictured above. Three transmission options will be available depending on the model, the 116d,118d and 118i all feature a six-speed manual with the option of a seven-speed Steptronic dual clutch on the 116d and 118i. The M135i and 120d come standard with the 8-speed Steptronic (Optional on 118d).
Power to the people.
The engine line-up has had an almost complete overhaul with several new engine options. Starting with the diesel power units the 116d which is a 1.5l 3 cylinder turbocharged diesel with modest outputs of 85Kw and 270nm and claimed fuel consumption of 4.2 litres per 100km. BMW also claims a 0-100kmh time of 10.3 seconds for the 116d. Next up is the 118d using the 2.0 turbodiesel with 110Kw and a healthy 350nm of torque reducing the sprint time to 8.5 seconds while sipping fuel at 4.4 litres per 100km(claimed). topping the diesel option is the 120d xDrive, using the same 2.0l turbodiesel as the 118d but in a higher state of tune with 140kw and 400nm drops the 0-100kmh time to 7.0 seconds and will only run out of puff at 230kmh.
Only two petrol variants will be available at launch but I suspect a full-fat M car will probably be on the list sometime in the future. at the bottom of the line up comes the 118i which is powered by a 1.5l 3 cylinder turbo which replaces the old 1.6 four-pot, power has been an increase over the old engine, with 103kw and 200nm on tap it accelerates to 100kmh in a nippy 8.5 seconds.
The Big Boss
The flagship of the new 1 series range is the M135i xDrive and the most notable change would be the dropping of the 3.0 straight six that was found in the old 135I. The trusty old straight 6 was replaced by BMW’s most powerful 4 cylinder engine yet, a newly developed 2.0l turbo. those of you worried about smaller engine means less power don’t be as this unit produces 225kw and 450nm of torque which is, in fact, the same as the old 3.0l. With those power figures, the new model races to a 100kmh in a low 4.8 seconds and up to a limited top speed of 250kmh.
The drivers point of view
A host of new safety and comfort features will be available with a lot of the filtering down from the higher model classes. The new optional active cruise control has the ability to not only maintain the selected speed but also manage safe following distances. Cruising speed can be set manually or imported from the traffic sign recognition system. It can also bring the car to a complete stop and pull away again depending on traffic scenario. BMW’s heads up display is also now available an option for the first time in a 1 series.
The Parking assistant system which can automatically park the car either parallel or perpendicular and controls all steering, braking and accelerating can be specified. In addition to the 8.8-inch multimedia, touchscreen interface a live cockpit professional option is available which includes a digital drivers display with selectable information. As per the BMW norm, the options list should be quite vast, BMW launches the 1 series worldwide on the 28 September.