In the US it will become the 2 Series Gran Coupe.
The first thing you need to know about the all-new BMW 1 Series is that it’s built on a front-wheel-drive platform. All previous 1 Series featured a rear-wheel-drive setup. Times are changing. BMW has pulled the sheets off its third-generation 1 Series hatchback which we already reported will not be sold in the US. Instead, BMW will offer North Americans the first-ever 2 Series Gran Coupe, which will share the 1 Series’ architecture. But there’s no questioning the new 1 Series has dynamic exterior styling.
It features the German automaker’s fresh interpretation of its iconic kidney grille, which is now larger than before (though not nearly as big as what’s found on the X7). In some ways, BMW has returned to the shark-inspired wedge styling that appeared on the first-gen Z4 years ago. The new 1 Series incorporates crisp and precise lines and body sculpted surfaces.
BMW says its defining elements of the rear end are a broad-set lower section and a tapering up effect which, in turn, creates a prominent shoulder line for an overall more planted stance. Full-LED rear lights are optional as are adaptive full-LED headlights. Those reshaped headlights are also sleeker than before. Depending on trim, front bumper designs will vary, though BMW has rightly kept the sportiest look for the new range-topper, the M135i xDrive hot hatch. Alloy wheels will also be available, ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches. Another interesting first for the 1 Series is an optional large panoramic glass roof. Buyers can also choose the M135i xDrive’s 100-mm dual exhaust tips instead of the standard 90-mm units.
Inside, overall space has increased, thanks largely to the switch to an FWD setup. Rear passenger headroom, elbowroom, and kneeroom have all increased and cargo space is significantly boosted. It now allows for a total of 13.4 cubic feet, up from 12.7. Loading and unloading from the trunk will also be easier thanks to the area now being 2.63 inches wider. Another cool option is an electric tailgate, the first time it’s been offered on the 1 Series. The new dashboard design is distinctly BMW, featuring a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen that incorporates the infotainment system with gesture control support. A 10.25-inch screen with an equal size fully digital instrument cluster is optional on higher spec trims.
Under the hood will be a choice of gasoline and diesel engines, but the one we’re most interested in is the range-topping turbocharged 2.0-liter with 302 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, making it BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder ever. This is the same engine found in the X2 M35i. In this case, power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The M135i xDrive is going to be one hell of a hot hatch.
Starting in November, BMW will offer it with an M Performance package that’ll drop its 4.8-second 0-62 mph time by a tenth of a second. Top speed, however, is electronically limited to 155 mph. The base trim 118i will be powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 138 hp and 162 lb-ft. Power will be directed to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed slushbox. The 116d is powered by a 1.5-liter diesel making 114 hp and 200 lb-ft while the 118d has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 147 hp and 258 lb-ft. The most powerful oil burner is the 120d xDrive where that same diesel four offers 188 hp and 295 lb-ft of twist.
Of course, don’t expect any of those diesels to arrive in America with the 2 Series Gran Coupe, but the turbo four banger is very likely. The 2020 1 Series will be on display next month in Munich alongside the debut of another new BMW, the 8 Series Gran Coupe. We’ll be seeing the 1 Series in the flesh in September at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Official pricing will be announced later and sales will begin before the end of the year.