2019 1-Series: No More Party In The Back As BMW’s Hatch Goes FWD

BMW has been scooped testing the next-generation 1-Series on the roads of Germany and despite this prototype’s heavy camouflage, a number of details are already known about the model.

Most significantly, we know that the 2019 1-Series will ditch the rear-wheel drive platform of the current model in favor of the brand’s front-wheel drive UKL platform. This change, combined with transversely-mounted engines, should help to significantly increase space for rear-seat passengers.

The prototype pictured appears to be a performance-oriented variant, as evidenced by its twin exhaust pipes, large brakes, big wheels and more aggressive details. It will again adopt the M140i name and could act as the company’s competitor to the likes of the Ford Focus RS and Mercedes-AMG A45 with up to 400 hp channeled through all four wheels.

Alongside this performance model will be a selection of less powerful and more fuel-efficient petrol and diesel versions. Additionally, a plug-in hybrid is predicted to get the go-ahead for production. An all-electric 1-Series could also come to fruition.

BMW may also follow in the footsteps of other carmakers by ditching the three-door body style and only selling the 2019 1-Series as a five-door.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops


  • Julien Lachemoi

    And I probably will be the only one pleased by that.

  • Six_Tymes

    yeeeeshh. no thanks

  • Shtekeris

    I approve this message. I like FWD hatches and now BMW could be another option.

  • joey

    That’s so sad, RWD is a big part of the car’s appeal. At least, now it can be a C-segment car with C-segment space, still sad. I like the old X1 even though the new one imo looks better, I really like its proportions. Don’t get me wrong, I really love FWD hatchbacks, so much so that I’m usually not happy when they go AWD. I just like the difference that the 1-Series offered.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Bound to happen. Most buyers won’t notice.

  • Christian Wimmer

    My daily driver is a 2007 BMW 118i E87 5-Door. Despite the compact dimensions and RWD layout, it offers decent interior and trunk space. The biggest issue is the lack of rear leg space, which is not helped by the massive (high and wide) transmission tunnel. But this is to be expected in a car like this.

    Regarding the new FWD 1er, I don’t really care because I am not planning on parting with mine anytime soon. It’s not so much the RWD layout which I like, but the naturally aspirated engine and awesome interior ergonomics.

    Hell, I even made a dumb video about it for a car forum I frequent. 😀


  • Vanishing Boy

    -> This could be a very good excuse to build a 2-Series GranCoupe ‘Sedan’ when this abomination gets released.

    R.I.P. – Original 1er.

    • Miknik

      A 2 series GC is very likely to happen, but don’t be overly excited, most German car magazines expect it to be FWD as well (if it is good enough for the CLA, why bother, might be BMW thoughts…)….

  • Christian Wimmer

    Remember the survey from a few years ago: 80% of BMW 1-Series’ owners believed their car was FWD!

    The majority of people buying these cars are not driving enthusiasts. And the RWD 1er suffers practicality points compared to its FWD competition. BMW has to react to remain competitive and appealing to the masses in this particular niche, hence the switch to FWD.

    Rest assured that their real bread and butter, the 3er, will always be RWD. 🙂

  • Puddingpopper

    You blew it

  • Mr E Fella

    So, not to be a drivers car then? the nannas will be pleased