BMW is giving its entry-level 1 Series a through rehashing, and we’ve seen plenty of photos to let us know testing is well underway. This week, however, we received a cool spy video compilation of the hatchback in action in various snowy locations. And we do mean in action, as some of the footage includes one of the test cars getting sideways at a pretty good clip while navigating a snow-covered road. There’s even a Mercedes-Benz prototype SUV in the mix.
Executives at Munich are keen to get the 1 Series more competitive with the likes of Mercedes and Audi. We know the car is making the transition to front-wheel drive which no doubt upsets some purists, but all-wheel drive will remain an option for at least some trim levels. Going front-wheel drive should open the car up to a larger market, though it’s unlikely that a proper M version will see the light of day.
That’s not to say the new hatch won’t be fun to drive. The impromptu drift session caught on camera (around the 2:23 mark if you want to jump ahead) tells us there should be much to enjoy with the new model, especially in the higher performance levels with all-wheel drive. Though a full-on M edition isn’t expected, an M Performance model packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 300 horsepower should be part of the lineup. It’s thought to be called the M130iX, and judging by the sideways antics in this video it’s a decent bet that we’re seeing just such a model in action.
BMW has confirmed that the underpinnings won’t be all-new but an evolution of the current UKL setup. Still, the fresh 1 Series is expected to lose weight while gaining more interior space. The base price could drop slightly as well.
We’re still expecting to see the new hatchback before the end of this year, with sales beginning next year as a 2020 model.