Update: One of our commenters pointed out that the photos are indeed renderings and he proved that with an official BMW X2 photo that features the exact same surroundings as the alleged leaked photos. Upon further digging, we discovered that they are renderings made by Larson Future Car Images for AutoBild. The images have been removed on copyright grounds but you can still see them here.
BMW is expected to debut the first-ever front-wheel-drive 1 Series hatchback on May 27 at a standalone event, followed by a public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this autumn. There’s still some way to go until then, but these three images published by Bulgarian website Dizzyriders might just be showing us the finished product already.
The outlet claims to have received an anonymous email that included these images. The tipster told the website that the leaked photos are the real deal and the truth is they do look authentic. However, since we are not able to verify their authenticity, we’ll still take that with a pinch of salt. Assuming they’re the real deal, it looks like the third-generation 1 Series’ shift from an RWD to an FWD chassis is reflected by the exterior design.
The proportions are rather different, with the hatchback looking taller and bulkier than the current model. The hood also appears shorter, since the longitudinally-mounted engines of the RWD 1 Series give way to transverse-mounted power plants. Overall, the 2020 1 Series does have some similarities with the X2, which might or might not be pointing to this being just a photoshopped SUV. The car in the photos appears to be the range-topping M135i xDrive so it features the most aggressive body kit available from the factory.
There are no photos of the interior, but spy shots have shown that the compact premium hatch will feature a 3 Series-inspired dashboard. Based on the UKL FWD/AWD platform, the 1 Series will use an assortment of three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines culminating with a 2.0-liter unit that produces 302 hp (306 PS) and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque in the M135i xDrive.
Mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, it should enable the M135i xDrive to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4.9 seconds, which is what the (presumably) heavier X2 M35i’s time.
H/T to Joseph and tseventy6!