BMW is gearing up for the world debut of the all-new 1 Series this year and these latest spy shots prove the Bavarians have let the guard down a little when it comes to keeping spy photographers at a distance.
As a result, we can bring you the best look at the interior so far. The dashboard layout is a significant departure from the current model, especially in the upper half of the dash where BMW has gone for a setup that looks very similar to the new 3 Series.
The digital instrument panel and the center touchscreen seem to form almost a continuous element, in a somewhat similar way to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The switchgear and the positioning of the controls look very similar to those in the 3 Series. The climate control area and the center tunnel that includes the new shifter for the automatic transmission, the iDrive rotary selector and buttons, as well as the driving mode buttons, look basically the same.
The dashboard looks very similar to the all-new 3 Series
Expect the all-new 1 Series to use the latest version of the iDrive infotainment system, just like the latest 3 Series. Elsewhere in the cabin, we can see that the new model gains an ambient lighting system with illuminated door trims that look pretty slick.
On the outside, the 2019 BMW 1 Series continues to wear the same amount of camouflage as before. Look closely and you’ll notice this particular prototype is a higher-spec version, likely an M140i M Performance model.
The details that give it away include the sporty rear bumper with vertical and horizontal air outlets and two round exhaust pipes on each side, a chunky rear spoiler, as well as beefier side sills. The uprated brakes with blue brake calipers also hint at this prototype being an M140i. The front end still features plenty of padding and camouflage so it’s pretty hard to decipher what it will look like in final production form.
The all-new BMW 1 Series will switch from RWD to FWD (with optional xDrive) by using the FAAR platform, an updated version of the UKL architecture that already underpins the BMW X1, X2, 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer, and 1 Series Sedan.
Roomier and more practical interior
The benefits of going front-wheel drive include a roomier cabin (especially for rear-seat passengers) thanks to more efficient packaging, as well as a larger trunk. Another big change compared to the current model is the axing of the three-door hatchback body style, with the 2019 1 Series hatchback to be available exclusively as a five-door hatch.
However, the switch to the FWD platform means that the new BMW 1-Series won’t be available with six-cylinder engines anymore — the M140i will use 2.0-liter turbo-four just like the X2 M35i. The rest of the engine lineup will include three- and four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline and diesel units.
Expect the all-new premium compact model to debut later this year, possibly at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.