Third-generation model shows off its front-wheel drive platform outside the famed track

The BMW 1 Series has been spotted outside the Nurburgring, and although the vehicle has roughly the same level of disguise as the model spied undergoing cold weather testing earlier this year, the lower speeds and clearer conditions give us a better view of the new hatchback.

Standard BMW design tropes, such as the headlight graphics and tail-light design are all present and accounted for. Other parts of the car's styling, such as body surfacing and the shape of the double kidney grilles, are hidden underneath false body panels and swirly camouflage.

Given its lowered stance, dual exhaust tips and bigger wheels, this prototype likely previews the new range's M Performance model, which may once again be badged as the M140i.

As has been documented elsewhere, the new 1 Series shifts from a rear-wheel drive platform to a front-wheel drive architecture shared with the Mini range along with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer. It's probable performance-oriented variants will feature all-wheel drive in order to handle the higher quantities of power and torque.

Although the shift to a front-wheel drive platform will leave purists fuming, it should ensure more interior space even if dimensions are largely unchanged.

Interior spy photos from late last year show a large central touchscreen for the infotainment system, as well as a configurable instrumentation screen ahead of the driver.

Will you consider a front-wheel drive 1 Series? Let us know in the comments!