BMW AG is launching a bigger 1-series compact car to compete with Audi for the younger customers who are buying entry-level luxury vehicles. The new model will hit European showrooms in September.
The new 1 series, which is BMW's smallest vehicle model, is wider and longer than the outgoing model, allowing for more trunk space and a roomier interior. The model’s entry price will be 23,850 euros ($33,480) in Germany, which is 900 euros more than its predecessor.
According to analyst Juergen Pieper at Bankhaus Metzler, the 1 series has a “considerable strategic value” for BMW. He added that the model is “the gateway” for customers in their 30s.
German manufacturers of luxury vehicles are refurbishing their smallest vehicles and adding compact models to entice buyers to sample their brands. The redesigned 1 series will rival the A3 of Audi and a rebuilt Mercedes-Benz B class that will arrive in the market this year.
The 1 series will be the bestselling luxury compact cars in the western European market in 2011 with deliveries of 154,000 units versus 81,000 of the B class and 141,000 of the A3, according to research firm IHS Automotive. Last year, Audi sold 173,000 A3 units in the region while BMW delivered 144,000 of the 1 series, IHS revealed.
According to BMW’s chief of sales, Ian Robertson, the company is “delighted” with the 1 series’ appeal to new customers. He added that it attracts the youngest age profile within the BMW group. He also said that it is a vehicle that attracts a “much broader audience, a much younger audience."
The BMW 1-Series is known for giving drivers unparalleled driving pleasure. But the second generation of the premium compact car also offers a world-class engine and top-notch suspension technology, along with enhancements to fuel efficiency and space, topped with cutting-edge equipment and features.
The new BMW 1-Series is still the only car in its class that is driven by the rear wheels. Due to its strengths, the first BMW-1 cars sold more than a million units all over the world and the second-generation only made things better.
The second-generation BMW 1-Series stands out in its design, with outstanding handling, cutting edge technology and premium reputation. All of these make it easier for the car model to seal its position in a very competitive five-door vehicle segment.
The German automaker’s entry level model now offers the best of sportiness and driving comfort. It now has more functionality and several driver assistance systems that were previously available only in the more expensive cars.
The BMW 1-Series is longer than the previous editions at 4,324 millimeters. It also comes with a wider wheelbase at 2,690 millimeters. The overall width is 17 millimeters wider, thus now measuring 1,765 millimeters brought about by a wider track both at the front and rear ends. Only the height is not changed from the previous BMW 1-Series models, still standing at 1,421 millimeters.
The expansions do not stop there, as the rear seats now have 21 millimeters more space to wiggle around in, while the luggage compartment can now accommodate up to 360 liters.
The design of the new generation is a powerful expression of the latest technological advances. The model's fresh, youthful image has been stylishly updated, with precision-moulded body surfaces and a modern, functional interior both underlining its premium status. Another innovation is the BMW Sport Line and BMW Urban Line, two ranges of interior and exterior design features, and equipment that provide exclusive personalization opportunities.
The BMW 1-Series now has four cylinder engines that make use of the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine gives you a more athletic drive while also keeping emissions fuel consumption down. The 1.6 L engine features direct injection, twin-scroll turbochargers, Double-VANOS, and VALVETRONIC. The new BMW 116i has an output of 136 hp, while the BMW 118i reached up to170 hp. Compared to previous versions, that is an improvement of 10kW and 20 kW, respectively. All that while reducing the fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent.
Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine now features common-rail direct fuel injection and variable turbine geometry. The new BMW 116d gives you 116 hp of output while the BMW 118d offers 143 hp. Further, the BMW 120d reaches up to184 hp. All of these models are known for their outstanding fuel efficiency, and are among the best in the compact cars market.
The second generation BMW 1-Series is the only car in its class to offer the eight-speed automatic gearbox as an add-on. You can also get the BMW EfficientDynamics technology package that includes the Automatic Start/Stop function and the ECO PRO mode. That said, the German carmaker has pulled out all stops in making the BMW 1-Series more environmentally friendly.
There are plans on the horizon to come out with the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Edition. This variant will have an output of 116 hp. What it lacks in power will be made up for by more emission-reducing and fuel-saving technologies that will help the car go for 100 kilometer on 3.8 liters of fuel and emit only 99 grams per kilometer of CO2.
You can also get ConnectedDrive, the add-on mobility services and driver assistance add-on. ConnectedDrive features adaptive headlights, high-beam assistance, reversing camera, parking assistance, collision warning, lane departure warning, speed-limit and no-entry information, and cruise control with brake function. You can also connect to the Internet via the BMW ConnectedDrive, while being able to play music from a variety of devices. In addition, you get real-time traffic data and stream Internet radio, while checking your Twitter and Facebook feeds.