The third-generation of the BMW 1-series is going to be a turning point for the German automaker and its launch will lead the company’s front-wheel drive push going into 2019.
However, the top of the range M130iX M Performance model will be four-wheel drive. The M130iX hot hatch will be the front runner of the company’s attempt to overhaul to front-wheel drive cars as BMW is trying to prove that it can also offer a credible front-driven performance model apace with its traditionally successful rear-wheel-drive M cars.
This move by company is set to free up space for better packaging, especially for the cars like the new BMW 1-series. BMW’s new set up allows it for a lower kerb weight, more profitability and a simplified production process than its rear-wheel-drive predecessor. The car will be underpinned on the company’s front-wheel-drive FAAR (Frontantriebsarchitektur) platform.
Klaus Fröhlich, BMW’s head of development, stated that this structure will be a progression of the UKL platform on which the 2-series Active Tourer and 2-series Gran Tourer and the Mini line-up have been built. This platform though comes up with added modularity and flexibility, and is able to support a full-electric drivetrain and battery combinations.
Under the hood, will be the updated versions of the turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines and the company has also planned to introduce a version with electrification. The more powerful versions are planned to be introduced in order to adopt a particulate filter, taking an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions to a model-line-specific average of less than around 120g/km, as per the BMW engineering sources.
Presently in the early stages of development, the BMW M division will go up as a future competitor to the likes of Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 along with the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A35 which is scheduled for launch in 2020. It will get specially tuned version of BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, churning out around 304hp, mated with a multi-plate-clutch xDrive four-wheel-drive system.
The German automotive manufacturer halted its long held tradition of rear-drive and four-wheel-drive models by introducing the 2-series Active Tourer in 2014, followed by the subsequent launch of the larger BMW 2-series Gran Tourer in 2015. The carmaker now plans to strengthen its front-wheel-drive line-up with the new BMW 1-series, which goes without the longitudinal engine mounting of present day second-generation model for a space-saving transversely mounted powertrain.
Though BMW has got a switch to latest front-wheel-drive platform, the outer body styling of the new BMW 1-series has kept hold of the cab-back influences, which distinguishes it from rivals since it has adjoined the BMW line-up in 2004. The coupe of the car is likely to use a short version of BMW’s CLAR (cluster architecture) platform, which means the next M240i and the full-fat M2 will still send power rearwards.
The German carmaker has future-proofed the new BMW 1-series by introducing it with at least one mild-hybrid drivetrain in the form of a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol powertrain fitted with an integrated starter motor and an electric system of 48V. BMW is also planning to come up with a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid variant for its new entry-level hatchback.