Uncovered by Chinese website Auto Sohu, the design of the three-door 1 Series offers few surprises. The front and rear styling is carried over from the five-door model, while the doors are elongated with the B-pillars angled towards the rear.
The three-door hatch will be the next addition to the BMW 1 Series range, which is reportedly set include up to six different variants. A coupe and convertible will be included (both due in 2014, potentially to be called ‘2 Series’), while a Gran Turismo version has also been rumoured.
The 1 Series three-door will almost certainly feature the same powertrains as the five-door model. In Australia, the five-door hatch is available with two 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines – 116i with 100kW/220Nm, 118i with 125kW/250Nm – and a 2.0-litre diesel – 118d with 105kW/320Nm. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available as an option to the standard six-speed manual.
At this stage, it is unclear when the BMW 1 Series three-door will be officially unveiled, although a 2012 debut seems likely. BMW Australia's Piers Scott said while the three-door 1 Series is on the cards, it would not be offered in Australia.