1-Series will feature a new FWD 5-door hatch with a new design to take on the likes of the VW Golf and the Audi A3. The FWD 1-Series variant will also come in a wagon/estate body style.
More details have emerged in an Autocar report on the upcoming front-wheel drive BMW 1-Series variants.
First off, it seems that BMW will be offering several variants based on the 1-Series starting in 2013, some of which will be FWD.
According to Autocar, the two new FWD 1-Series variants will be a 5-door hatchback and an accompanying wagon/estate version that will rival the VW Golf and Audi A3 models in the European market. That new FWD 1-Series will have a shorter bonnet and a larger cabin, moved forward, with more upright A-pillars and windscreen.
The FWD variants will be built on a modified version of the MINI Countryman platform and feature an aluminum-intensive chassis. The variants will arrive on the market in September 2013, according to Autocar sources at BMW.
Referred to as the UKL (acronym for Unter Klasse), the two FWD variants will be accompanied by 4 1-Series editions which will remain rear-wheel drive. Those will include a 3-door and 5-door hatch 1-Series and a coupe and cabriolet 1-Series.
Under that shortened bonnet of the FWD variants, there will not be enough room for 6-cylinder engines. Instead, the FWD 1-Series will be fitted with new 1.5 liter, 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Codenamed the N37 and N38, respectively, the engines are modular derivatives of BMW's 3.0 liter power plants and share technology and components with them.
BMW will also provide 2.0 liter 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines for the top of the range. As for performance variants to take on the Golf GTI, a turbocharged 2.0 liter petrol will be developed with around 220 bhp (223 PS / 164 kW) in output.
Now, we previously reported that BMW would rename the rear-wheel drive 1-Series the 2-Series, and that may still come to pass. The brand may discover that consumers are confused by such different variants which will look different in design.
BMW will be introducing the next-generation of the 1-Series at the Geneva auto show next March.