2020 BMW 1-Series: Here’s A Better Look At FWD Hatch’s Face

With BMW expected to unveil the all-new 2020 1-Series hatchback on May 27th, we can take comfort in knowing that we don’t have to concern ourselves with spy images and renderings for much longer.

Still, yet another piece of the puzzle fell into place recently with our spy photographers capturing a 1-Series prototype missing its heavy front fascia body cladding, which used to cover up its kidney grille design. Thankfully, this particular car is a little less shy.

Bigger is bolder

There’s nothing like seeing a new front grille design to help you piece together what a new car will end up looking like, and whether it has a strong road presence or not. The 2020 1-Series has gone the way of many new BMW models by clearly adopting a considerably larger kidney grille, to go with its more angular headlights.

There’s actually no other BMW model in the automaker’s range right now that has this exact kidney grille design with the distinctive three-side edge aesthetic. Maybe the facelifted 7-Series/X7/X5 trio to some extent, but there’s obviously no comparison in regards to size.

The rest of the car remains well under wraps, so there’s no telling whether or not its overall design will underwhelm us, overwhelm us or …appropriately-whelm us? We just have to wait and see. At least we know that its interior design takes after that of the latest 3-Series.

Technically speaking, the 1er promises to improve on its predecessor in every way. But fans of rear-wheel drive will be disappointed, as the new model has moved on to a space-front-wheel drive layout shared with the latest X1, with all-wheel drive offered on more powerful models. Nevertheless, BMW claims that it will set “new standards in the premium compact class in terms of driving dynamics, whilst also offering significantly more space inside.”

As for power units, there will be a range of gasoline and diesel engines, plus electrified variants. BMW even confirmed a 306 PS (301 HP) 2.0-liter four-pot with TwinPower Turbo technology, to be used by the upcoming M135i xDrive in its fight against the Mercedes-AMG A35.

more photos...

Photo Credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops

  • Six_Tymes

    I never thought i’d see the day of a front drive bmw. “never say never”

    • Denzel

      The 2 series was FWD

    • Weiman

      X1, X2, 2AT, 2GT, F52 (1 series sedan) are all FWD. Where have you been?

  • Alpina

    I think it’s a good choice to go FWD. First reason is the space (back legroom and a bigger boot). Second is lower cost of production. Third, majority of people who are buying BMW (as an “ultimate” driving machine) don’t drive on the edge of their possibilities every day. For them is important to have BMW badge in front. Also, it’s different to drive RWD (read dangerous) but nowday there’re bundance of electronical aids to eliminate bad judgement.

    • Miknik

      I agree on all points, however I very much doubt that the lower cost of production will be passed on even by 1 cent to any customer;

      • Alpina

        For sure, more profit to BMW 🙂

    • Cobrajet

      They could have designed it to use both FWD and RWD, just like Rover 75 was. BMW could keep the RWD on the 1/2 series just for the six-cylinder models.

      • Alpina

        Agreed, as it is speculated that the top version M135i xDrive will have AWD and not RWD many buyers will be pushed towards 2 and 3 series with RWD.

      • Weiman

        Looking to Rover for inspiration does not sound like a recipe for success. They went bankrupt while producing the 75 you know…

  • Yilmaz Yasar

    There is something wrong on upper side of the kidney

  • Ermal Morina

    It looks out of proportions, very bulky

  • Bob

    It’s so generic-looking now. All that’s missing is a plethora of 2.0 turbo engines in varying states of tune.

    Edit: I wrote the above before reading the article.

  • Weiman

    I have an F20 and I would classify it as “cosy”, not “spacious” 🙂
    And I’m not a tall guy. It suits my needs perfectly though!

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