BMW has released a behind the scenes video of its latest hot-weather testing session in Death Valley, California, revealing undisguised footage of the 2012 BMW 1 Series hatch and camouflaged shots of the 2012 BMW 3 Series.
The Death Valley video gives us our first quick look at the new hatch, which is set to debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September ahead of a late 2011/early 2012 launch.
Our spy photographers say some pre-production BMW 1 Series vehicles have been equipped with an eight-speed transmission and potentially BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
From the video, we can see the headlights and grille of the 1 Series draw inspiration from the recently updated BMW 5 Series, with larger features, a flatter face and a more cohesive overall appearance.
Although details are still to be confirmed, the 2012 BMW 1 Series is expected to feature petrol and diesel engines ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres, with start/stop and regenerative braking technology expected to features across the range to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
BMW is being more secretive about the 2012 3 Series, with that vehicle heavily disguised in the Death Valley footage.
The video supports our earlier spy photos, which showed the upcoming small sedan with a longer and lower profile and a sleek bonnet.
The 3 Series will also adopt the Bavarian brand’s flatter face, and visually is likely to be an obvious middle ground between the 1 Series and the 5 Series, although with a more athletic appearance.
The 2012 BMW 3 Series will also be unveiled at Frankfurt, with the new range expected to launch later this year with a family of new aluminium four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged petrol engines, traditional straight-sixes and potentially a hybrid model further down the track.