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.
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BMW has been testing the next-generation 1 Series extensively in icy winter conditions in Europe, as our spy photos have previously shown (February 22, January 31, January 20).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.

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