BMW is bucking the old trends and is currently developing a FWD 1-series to offer to the market. It’s likely to be launched at the upcoming 2012 Paris Auto Show. BMW has made it clear that it won’t be introducing a regular 1-series form. Rather, BMW is developing a more practical, MPV-style vehicle that is even more convenient than the 1-series hatchback.
It will be similar to the Mercedes B-Class, with a ride height that’s slightly elevated to go along with the feel of the small crossover. When interviewed by Autoexpress, BMW board member Dr Klaus Draeger said that a front-wheel-drive BMW is a sure thing.
He said that BMW has plenty of experience and it knows how to tune the steering so there won’t be much torque steer. BMW could also make the car turn-in sharply to corners.
The impending Mini Cooper will be built on a platform that’s shared with the new 1-series. However, the Mini won’t be as powerful and its ride height will be lower so that the cars could differentiate themselves.
New BMW 1-Series has improved handling, thanks to its drive-train layout combined with an in-line engine that is longitudinally mounted at the front-wheel and rear-wheel drive. This drive-train layout is unique in the compact segment. This is also reflected in the car’s design, with the brand’s typical proportions, characterized by a long bonnet, a swept-back passenger cell, and wide wheelbase. The new 1-Series embodies innovative elegance and responsiveness in a compact car, featuring a lively and youthful design, as well as high-quality elements.
A large kidney-shaped radiator grille, a three-section air intake, and boldly shaped headlight units dominate the car’s front. This BMW grille is tilted forwards, emphasizing the car’s challenging stance. Meanwhile, the grille’s surrounding areas catch light and therefore create a strong three-dimensional feel, with the bonnet’s four contour lines forming a V that’s pointing towards the grille. Moreover, double-round headlights that are typically BMW boast an accent trim across the tops. These, combined with optional bi-xenon headlights, create a strongly focused appearance. This focused look, in turn, is enhanced by direction indicators that are set into the headlights’ inner light rings and by an LED accent light. Another BMW innovation that should be mentioned is the set of side indicator lights that are integrated into the exterior mirrors.
The new BMW 1-Series’ proportions from the side are strikingly apparent. Giving the vehicle a coupé-like feel are its slightly sloping roof line, its flat side windows, and its sporty and angled rear windscreen. Meanwhile, the Hofmeister kink, which is the low forward bend found at the side windows’ back end, extends well into the car’s C-pillar, widening the door aperture and facilitating the entry to as well as exit from the car’s rear seats.