Test cars of the upcoming 2019 BMW 1-Series have started dropping their camouflage, with our spies spotting them on a car carrier.
The new F40 generation of the BMW 1-Series hatchback will be the first one to ditch the rear-drive layout as it’ll switch to the company’s FAAR platform, which is a heavily updated version of the current UKL architecture.
The new architecture is not only lighter but will also enable BMW to offer the new 1-Series with electrified powertrains as well. Of course the front-drive layout will also improve the interior space for passengers and their stuff, an area where the current 1-Series lags behind its main rivals due to its longitudinally mounted engine.
The test cars appear to feature just a thin film of the classic swirly-pattern wrap, revealing that the design will not blow anyone’s socks off anytime soon. The new 1-Series takes no risks with its design, with keen observers noticing the slightly bigger front overhang due to the different powertrain layout.
The engine range will include three- and four-cylinder options, both diesel and petrol, starting from 1.5 liters and going up to 2.0 liters. Expect to see at least two hybrid versions, with the more affordable being a mild hybrid and the other one being a plug-in hybrid with at least 31 miles of pure electric range (50km).
Reports suggest that the more expensive models in the range will come with all-wheel drive, including the M130i xDrive and the M140i xDrive hot hatches. The first one is expected to use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with around 300hp, set to rival models like the Mercedes-AMG A35 and Audi S3. The M140i xDrive on the other will go after the big boys, namely the A45 AMG and the RS3, as it’s expected to pack around 400hp. BMW will probably use the ‘M Performance’ label at least on one of these two models.
The cabin is also expected to receive a very welcome boost in quality and onboard technology; BMW is going to use the latest Operating System 7.0 along with the recently introduced Intelligent Personal Assistant in the new 1-Series.
The new 2019 BMW 1-Series is expected to debut early next year, perhaps at the Geneva Motor Show.