With more 2019 BMW 1-Series prototypes being allowed out into the wild, we’re beginning to get a much clearer picture of what to expect once the all-new model is officially unveiled, sometime next year.
One thing that will be very different regarding this all-new 1-Series, codenamed F40, is that compared to its predecessor, it will feature a front-wheel drive system, much like the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
So in the end, we should be left with a product that will make passengers happier by offering more room in the back, something the current-generation 1-Series wasn’t exactly brilliant at, at the expense of the person sitting behind the wheel – or at least, those who prefer the driving dynamics of RWD models.
What about styling?
There have only ever been two generations of the 1-Series, and neither of them started off with a bang as far as impressing people with their looks. In fact, the first-gen model was very controversial back when it first came out in 2004, even if it went on to achieve its sales goals.
Then came the second-gen car in 2011, which only looked decent once you attached a few M parts to its exterior, otherwise it would have been hard to ignore those bulbous headlights and VW Polo-like rear end. Has BMW learned from their mistakes? We can only hope. Especially since Mercedes have done great work with their latest A-Class, or at least that seems to be the general consensus.
We definitely need to see the new 1-Series without any camouflage before drawing any final conclusions. However, based on this latest batch of spy images, we can’t exactly say that we’ll be holding our breath until it comes out. Its overall shape and design lines are somehow extremely underwhelming for a premium product. If we had to put our finger on what the problem is visually, we’d say it’s that surprisingly low shoulder line – somewhat reminiscent of the old third-gen Renault Megane hatchback, which is not a good thing.
At least the taillights seem very modern, with fresh graphics and an overall angular shape.
Inside, expect to see an increase in quality and onboard tech, although hopefully the driving position remains just as good as on previous iterations, in the sense that too big of an increase in practicality might actually hurt the 1-Series’ image.
As for powertrains, some reports claim that top of the range models such as the M130i xDrive and M140i xDrive will feature all-wheel drive, where the first one is expected to rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A35, with the latter aimed at the A45 and the RS3. The rest of the range should offer a mix of turbocharged petrol and diesel units.
The 2019 third-generation BMW 1-Series should debut early next year, which means that an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March cannot be ruled out. Once in showrooms, the new 1-Series will begin competing against the likes of the Mercedes A-Class, Audi A3 and Volvo V40.