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Meet The All New BMW 1-Series – Big Changes For The German Hatch

The arrival of the all new BMW 1 Series is the dawn of a new era for this successful model.

Now in its third generation, the BMW 1 Series features dynamic design, a roomier interior, and cutting-edge technologies.

The big change for this model is the new front-wheel-drive architecture with transverse engines.  For the first time, the 6-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive are no longer available in the 1 Series.

BMW’s decision to move to the new architecture has resulted in more passenger room and less overall weight.

How much weight loss?

BMW promises lighter overall weight (30kg less than the outgoing model) with increased rigidity to improve handling and ride quality.

Driving DynamicsHow are the driving dynamics impacted?

BMW did pay significant attention to this area, but only a test drive will answer this question.

The new 1-Series does offer optional M Sport touches to the brakes, steering and suspension.  These additions provide a more direct steering response with excellent stopping power. Adaptive suspension is available as an option, but not with the optional 19-inch wheels for the M135i xDrive and M Sport models.

Cue sad faces all around.

The newly developed 2.0 liter

The latest 1-Series may no longer have the 6-cylinder, but it does have a newly developed 2.0-liter engine that delivers 306hp with peak torque of 450Nm. This is the most powerful 4-cylinder engine in the BMW Group. The new 1-Series equipped with this engine can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds, with top speed limited to 155mph.

This is competitive with the older car, and within a few tenths of the turbo 6-cylinder it’s replacing.

The benefits to these major changes are found in the newly designed interior, which has more space and features high-quality materials throughout.

New 1-Series interior is more spacious than the outgoing model

Special attention was paid to driver-focused controls and innovative technologies.

The BMW 1-Series with optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional features the new BMW Operating System 7.0 – with optional gesture control. BMW technologies such as iDrive, Intelligent Personal Assistant, Digital Key, Connected Navigation are available.  An optional Heads Up Display makes its first appearance in the 1-Series. CarPlay prep now comes standard in the new 1-Series for the first time.

The new 1-Series contains the Actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation (ARB) technology from the i3. ARB improves traction when pulling away, cornering or when driving in the wet.  This system works closely with the DSC system to significantly reduce power understeer (crucial in a front driver).

Optional all-wheel-drive can split power 50:50 to ensure predictable handling in all driving situations.  The new BMW M135i xDrive also comes standard with a newly developed mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential, which gives the car an even sportier edge.
Steptronic Sport Transmission
The standard eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission on the BMW M135i xDrive integrates the Torsen differential and features Launch Control mode.  Launch Control puts the full peak torque of 450Nm on tap in first and second gear.

BMW has kept a focus on the driving enjoyment that made the 1-Series so respected over the years. These changes, while drastic, allow the 1-Series to remain competitive in the growing Hot Hatch segment.

The all-new BMW 1 Series is on sale from September with prices starting from £24,430.

Written by Steven Douglas

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