New 2019 BMW 1-Series Hatch: What It Will Look Like And Everything Else We Know

If you’re a BMW purist, you may want to stop reading here. Why, you ask? Because in a radical departure, your favorite Bavarian hatch is losing its key point of difference – that being its rear-wheel-drive layout. Ach nein!

However is it really all doom and front-wheel-drive gloom for BMW’s next-generation A-Class fighter? To find out more, let’s illustratively explore further:

The Ultimate Driving Platform?

The current F20/F21 1 Series is an absolute hoot to drive on a twisty backroad. It’s fast, tail-happy and communicative. Unfortunately, the downside to this is cramped back seat accommodation, due to its rear-wheel-drive layout.

To get around this packaging stalemate (and let’s face it, to spread costs for its FWD-based platform), BMW has switched to front-wheel-drive. But will it handle as good as its predecessor? Many skeptics have cast doubt, yet BMW is giving its best shot by using the automaker’s latest FAAR platform.

BMW 1-Series sedan for China

Mind you, this won’t be the first FWD 1-Series, as this distinction goes to the 1-Series sedan based on the current UKL platform and made in and for China.

By heading down this road, it’ll enable the 5-door-only 1 Series to be lighter, roomier, more agile and have the ability to support electric powertrains. Plus, don’t forget that it will offer all-wheel drive on higher-powered models.

Power To The Front And All Fours

There will be an array of 1.5-liter three and 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel and gasoline engines spearheading the range, with power being sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual (availability depending on the model) and 8-speed automatic transmissions. There will be at least two hybrid models, one mild and one plug-in hybrid with a driving range in excess of 50km or 30 miles.

BMW M140i xDrive prototype

Yes, We’ll Get An M Performance Model

As with the rear-wheel-drive layout, the current six-cylinder models will also face the axe. Fortunately for performance enthusiasts, the six will be replaced with an evolved turbocharged 2.0-litre gasoline unit, pumping out over 300hp through an xDrive AWD system. This range-topper is likely to be called either the M130i or M140i xDrive by M Performance and will face off against Audi S3 and VW Golf R.

BMW M140i xDrive prototype

Sharper, Precision Styling

Sadly, the 2019 1 Series loses the long hood, short overhang proportions of the outgoing car, yet now features sharper and more precise sheetmetal surfacing.The Hofmeister kink moves away from the gentle, sweeping arch of the current car into an edgier, abstract adaptation.

BMW’s signature twin-kidney grille also departs from the norm with a design that’s angular, wide and aggressive. Arguably, you could almost label the overall new design as more of a tarmac-orientated X2 – but without the SUV-like cladding.

Possibly Five-Door Only

BMW may follow the latest market trend that sees automakers ditching three-door hatchback models altogether over low demand and offer the 1-Series hatchback exclusively as a five-door model. Evidently, this move would help the Bavarian brand reduce production and development costs.

What About The Interior?

While we know that the platform switch will result in improved space inside, especially for rear passengers, we don’t have anything yet on the interior design. However, given BMW’s tendency to a) employ, if not identical, very similar cabins across same-sized models regardless of body style and b) take an extremely cautious and evolutionary approach to interior designs, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 1-Series cabin ends up looking a lot like that of the X2.

BMW X2 dashboard

Premium Hatch Alternatives

Mercedes-Benz may have beaten BMW to the punch in revealing their latest A-Class, however, the latter suffers from the same sausage, different length approach to design which could very well give BMW the upper hand.

Other rivals include Audi’s soon to be replaced A3, Volkswagen Golf, Infiniti Q30, Alfa Romeo’s aging Giulietta and Volvo’s new V40.

Expect the all-new 1 Series to debut either towards the end of the year or in the first quarter of 2019, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show, with an M performance model to follow within the next 6-12 months.

So, are you disappointed that the new 1 Series has gone front-drive, or doesn’t it matter? Share your views on that and our spy shot-based illustration below.

Photo Rendering Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

  • Mynameis Taylor

    I love the quality of BMW interiors, but there’s something about it’s design that’s a bit stale. I actually prefer the Bangle era and before so much better than the generations succeeding it

    • Ermal Morina

      the design language of the interior hasn’t changed since 2000s and that’s super disappointing,although the quality in the cabin is great.It just doesn’t come close to Mercedes’ and Audi’s interior these days

  • no25

    Render isn’t too, too bad IMO. The grille isn’t very BMW like, but they’re changing the shape of the kidneys recently, so I could see this happening. BMW, though, NEEDS new interiors. Look at Mercedes’s, Audi’s, or Lexus’s interior; BMW is nowhere near those standards when it comes to quality and design (IMO again).

  • Dalibor Milic

    I own a new BMW 1 series and all that raving about interior quality really gets on my nervs
    FYI it is full of cheap brittle plastic pretty porly fitted compared to the Golf i used to own
    The only reason I bought it is RWD so when the next generation comes I am moving back to the standard hatch because I am not willing to pay premium just for the badge – a car having no extra quality or engineering uniqueness

  • Rich

    What a shame. What remains as an USP if your M140 has an automatic gearbox, all wheel drive and four cilinders just like any Golf R, an S3 or a 45 AMG !?

    • Dalibor Milic

      If you can buy RWD manual 140 now and hold on to it

      In 5 years time it’s going to be special and in 10 years a classic

      • Rich

        Correct. That’s why I’ll never give uo my manual M240 with RWD. In Germany the manual isn’t even for sale anymore…!

  • jfalckt

    Don’t shoot me but, basic shape is a little bit like an updated FIAT Bravo from 2007.

    • Bob


      Well I see it somewhat but only because of the way the greenhouse narrows toward the rear, and especially because of the area around the c-pillar. That Bravo was quite a looker when it came out.

  • Bob

    I had a long and angry comment written that I ended up deleting. They are fixing the only thing that was right about the 1-series. It was always let down by its mildly-less-than-stellar looks (my litotes for the day), not its drivetrain and packaging. It also always looked too much like the baby BMW instead of like a BMW hatchback, like Audi does with the A3.

    I hope the new Giulietta is RWD, stellar-looking and brilliant.

  • Six Thousand Times

    The honest, unvarnished truth is: purists (like me) are falling by the wayside. FWD is a better package for small hatchbacks and 80% of 1- and 2-Series buyers don’t care a hoot about which pair of wheels drive their cars.

  • Autoexperte

    no rear wheel drive 🙁

  • Christian Wimmer

    Guess I will be holding on to my ride for awhile. 😀

    But the move to FWD doesn’t bother me.

  • smartacus

    not an April Fools joke,
    BMW is not quitting FWD

  • sidewaysspin

    That interior looks positively primitive compared to the new Mercedes A-class.

    • MG

      The New A class has a massively elongated iPad glued randomly onto the dash plus reflective silver decorations around the airvents. It’s def not primitive, but looks flashy and decorative.

      IMO Tacho & Speed counters located functionally behind the steering wheel makes for good safety, good ergonomics and good aesthetics.

  • klowik

    the grille is too squarish … I think 3-series will look similar to this.

  • GoofyGotKilos

    I don’t know about that kidney grill guys…

  • Nihar

    Do a rendering of the MK4 Ford Focus hatch or sedan next

  • Jens Werner Heise


  • Wandering_Spirit

    Doesn’t look any exciting. It never was to be honest.

  • If it’s anything like the rendering it’ll be a stunner….but so is the Toyota Corolla hatch.

  • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

    MINIs are just a little bit small? As a former owner of an Austin-Rover Mini, I’m going to thoroughly disagree.
    The new MINIs are gigantic.

  • Paulbe


    More agile?

  • DADT

    I read this as “it will look like everything else”. I’m probably right.

  • MG

    BMW should stick to straight 6, RWD and a proper handbrake. That’s how pertol heads like it, a precsion driving experience that lets the driver feel the road, advance their skills and have fun. But they need to keep the models profitable and FWD is cheaper. Hopefully the Xdrive in the new M140i sends most of the power to the rear wheels. The swop to 4 pot worries me, Audi has a marvelous 5 pot so BMW will be losing many hot hatch sales from their 6 pot fans . Porsche is now putting flat 6’s back into their 718, they must have lost many clients. For now I shall keep my M135i LCI, there is nothing to compare to it even at double the price and the fantastic M2 Comp unfortunately only has 2 doors.

  • mymovex7


  • JL T0x

    notice how BMW & M-B have essentially pushed their way into the small car market categories. They’re now or will offer cars similar in sizing to the Focus/Civic/Sentra/Cruze/Elantra/etc. Which forces those mainstream brands to either divert planning to SUVs & trucks or find ways to offer more “upscale” versions of these vehicles while not making them too expensive.

  • brendastone

    Thanks to car scoops. well help you categories.. i have need from some big updates in jaguar .they will be joined by new versions of range of luxury sports cars,

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