It's been a minute since we last heard about BMW's refreshed 1 Series, but testing continues on the small hatchback. A new video recently shared on YouTube from CarSpyMedia captures several prototypes in action, testing near the Arctic Circle for cold weather performance.
It's a completely different setting from our previous sighting in August 2022, but the cars appear to have the same amount of camouflage. A full swirl wrap covers the entire body, though we believe it's mostly for show. The notable changes will happen at the front, where panels beneath the camo conceal a grille that looks slightly wider. That complements narrower headlights, and the lower fascia will be redesigned though at this point, it's tough to suss out specific changes. At the very least, we expect new corner vents. Images from our previous sighting (below) offer clear shots from warmer days.
Gallery: BMW 1 Series Facelift New Spy Photos
There will be updates at the rear with new taillights, but of greater interest are the four exhaust finishers that will require a new lower fascia. All the prototypes in this video have them, and we can also see an xDrive AWD powertrain slinging snow. That means we're looking at M135 models, or possibly new trims with the M140 designation.
We say that because of the quad exhaust outlets, a feature normally reserved for full-fat BMW M models. At this time, we've heard nothing about a new BMW M1, and considering the historical significance of the M1 moniker, it's unlikely BMW would resurrect the name for a hot hatch, no matter how hot it is.
Hence the possibility of a new M140i xDrive model from Munich, replacing the current M135 which already offers 302 horsepower (225 kilowatts) for buyers to play with. We don't hear anything extraordinary in terms of exhaust notes from this video, but a snarling four-cylinder engine is clearly audible. Leaked information from July 2022 suggests the 2.0-liter turbo will have a maximum output of 315 hp in the 1 Series but more is certainly possible.
Beyond that, we aren't expecting much in the way of radical interior updates. BMW's latest tech will certainly be offered, and since the 1 Series isn't offered in the US, lower-spec versions will likely have gas and diesel options.
We expect a debut to happen sometime in the second half of 2023.