Available as a three- and five-door hatchback in Europe, as well as the two-door coupe sold in north America, the car remains the only rear-wheel drive machine in its class. Thanks to a range of TwinPower gasoline and diesel engines, the new 1 Series will remain a sporty but fuel-efficient proposition. This is further boosted by BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies as standard equipment. Longer and wider than the model it replaces, the new car has “sleeker” styling (some might say it’s slightly ugly), while increased cabin dimensions have produced an all-new interior.
The second-generation BMW 1 Series is 83mm longer, 14mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase. The drivetrain layout consists of a longitudinally mounted in-line engine at the front and rear-wheel drive. This is reflected in the car’s design, with a long hood and wheelbase, and set-back cabin. This design is dominated from the front by the large kidney grille, re-shaped headlamps and three-section air intake. The grille is tilted forwards, further emphasizing its stance.
Viewed in profile, the gently sloping roofline, angled rear window and flat side glass give the car the look of a coupé, while the Hofmeister kink extends well into the C-pillar. A wide rear door aids access to the rear seats. Wide-set wheel arches further reinforce the powerful impression. EfficientDynamics technologies on the car feature an Auto Start-Stop function in both manual and automatic transmissions – the latter is a first-in-class with eight forward gears.
An ECO PRO mode, activated using the Drive Performance Control (included as standard), is a new feature that adjusts various on-board systems to maximize efficiency. When in ECO PRO mode the throttle response is adjusted to encourage a more economical driving style. The extra economy created in ECO PRO is fed back to the driver by the in-car display showing the additional number of miles achieved.
At a later date, the all-new 1 Series range will be expanded with the introduction of the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics model. This model will generate an output of 116hp whilst producing an average fuel consumption of 62mpg US, but at the same time emitting an expected 99g/km of CO2.
The interior is more roomy, allowing extra storage space, with large front door pockets, two cup holders on the center console and a roomy glove compartment. The 1 Series has an additional 30 liters of luggage space compared to its forerunner. BMW’s iDrive system is available as standard on cars with SE specification and above. This display is used for all information, entertainment, telecommunications and navigation functions, should satellite navigation be specified.
The new BMW 1 Series is available from launch with a choice of two, new generation, four-cylinder gasoline engines and three, redesigned, four-cylinder diesel units. For the first time, a BMW four-cylinder gas engine has been fitted with TwinPower Turbo technology. The new 1.6-liter unit is an all-alloy construction with a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection system, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control.
With EfficientDynamics technologies, the BMW 118i produces a maximum output of 170hp at 4,800rpm, and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft. Peak torque is attained between 1500rpm and 4500rpm, demonstrating the flexibility of this new engine. The 118i will sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.4 seconds, going on to a maximum speed of 140mph. The efficiency of this new engine is proved by a combined fuel consumption of 40mpg US, and CO2 emissions of just 137g/km. The new BMW 116i’s four-cylinder TwinPower engine develops 136hp at 4400rpm and a maximum torque of 162 lb-ft between 1350 and 4300rpm. Even more impressive is the combined fuel consumption of 41.3mpg US, and CO2 emissions of just 116g/km when teamed with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
BMW has a worldwide reputation for its diesel engines. In the new BMW 1 Series, modifications to the 2.0-liter engine include aluminum crankcases, reduced engine friction, thermodynamically optimized turbochargers with variable turbine geometry and next-generation common-rail injection.
The new BMW 120d embodies this technological advance, offering an increase of 7hp over its predecessor, taking maximum power to 184hp at 4000rpm. Torque is also increased to 280 lb-ft between 1750 and 2750rpm. These figures equate to a 0-62mph time of just 7.2 seconds, and a maximum top speed of 142mph. However this performance is not at the expense of economy: the new BMW 120d manages 52mpg US on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
The BMW 118d has a maximum output of 143hp at 4000rpm, with strong peak torque of 236 lb-ft. It manages 52mpg US on the combined fuel cycle and emits just 118g/km of CO2. Finally, the new BMW 116d offers a maximum output of 116hp and peak torque of 190 lb-ft matched to a combined fuel consumption of 52mpg US.
The new 1 Series is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The latter is available in Sport configuration, featuring more dynamic gear changes and shift paddles on the steering wheel. A wider track, 51mm at the front and 71mm at the rear, than its predecessor makes for a more exhilarating drive.