Beginning in 2013, BMW will offer several variants based on the 1-Series, according to an Autocar report. It also revealed that some of the upcoming front-wheel drive BMW 1-Series variants will be FWD.
Autocar said that the two new FWD 1-Series variants will consist of a 5-door hatchback and a wagon/estate version that will compete with the VW Golf and Audi A3 models in the European market.
The new FWD 1-Series will receive a shorter bonnet and a larger cabin, moved forward, and with more upright A-pillars and windscreen. The FWD variants will use a modified version of the MINI Countryman platform and will be equipped with an aluminum-intensive chassis. BMW insiders told Autocar that the variants will arrive on the market in September 2013.
The two FWD variants – dubbed as the UKL (acronym for Unter Klasse) -- will be joined by 4 1-Series editions which will still be rear-wheel drive. These editions consist of a 3-door and 5-door hatch 1-Series and a coupe and cabriolet 1-Series.
Notably, the shortened bonnet of the FWD variants will not have sufficient room for 6-cylinder engines. Rather, the FWD 1-Series will be powered by new 1.5 liter, 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. These engines, which are codenamed the N37 and N38, respectively, are modular derivatives of BMW's 3.0 liter power plants.
Technology and components are shared between them. In addition, BMW will have 2.0 liter 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines available for the top of the range.
With regards to the performance variants that will take on the Golf GTI, a turbocharged 2.0 liter petrol is in the works. This engine delivers 220 bhp (223 PS / 164 kW). It was reported previously that the BMW rear-wheel drive 1-Series will be renamed the 2-Series.
This hasn’t happened yet but it may still come to pass. BMW will present the next-generation of the 1-Series at the Geneva auto show in March 2011.