The third-generation BMW 1 Series hatch has been unveiled, and for the first time BMW's smallest hatch is based on a front-wheel drive platform with only a five-door body on offer.
Visually, the new 1 Series is quite a departure from earlier models with a wedge-shaped body and slim side windows.
The new 1 Series hatch is 4319mm long, 1799mm wide, 1434mm tall, and has a 2670mm wheelbase. This means the new model is 5mm shorter, 34mm wider, 13mm taller, and sits on a 20mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor.
Thanks to its transverse-engine front-wheel drive platform and enlarged dimensions, BMW claims the new hatch "has taken a major leap forward in terms of interior spaciousness".
On top of more passenger space, the boot has grown 20 litres to 380L, with 1200L available when the rear seats are folded down. A 60/40 rear bench is standard, while 40/20/40 unit is an optional extra in Europe.
For the car's European launch, the company has confirmed three diesel options and two petrol engines. The oil-burning range kicks off with the 85kW/270Nm 116d, goes through the 110kW/350Nm 118d, and tops out with the 140kW/400Nm 120d xDrive.
On the petrol side of the ledger, the new range includes the 118i, which has a 103kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, and the range-topping M135i xDrive with its 225kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder mill.
European buyers will be offered a six-speed manual as standard in the 116d, 118d and 118i. For the 116d and 118i buyers can opt for a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. An eight-speed auto is standard on the 120d xDrive and M135i xDrive, and optional on the 118d.
In Europe, standard equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and a 100W six-speaker sound system.
Depending on the model, the 1 Series can be fitted with wheels ranging from the base 16-inch steel rims through to optional 19-inch alloy wheels for the M135i.
Available features include active cruise control with stop/go, front and rear parking sensors, automated parking assist, a 464W 16-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, and the ability to use an NFC-equipped phone as a wireless key.
Top-spec models are fitted with a 10.25-inch customisable instrumentation display, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with gesture control and natural voice recognition, a 9.2-inch colour head-up display, a new panoramic roof, and a powered tailgate.
Harald Kruger, BMW's CEO, says the first European deliveries of the new 1 Series will take place towards the end of 2019.
BMW Australia has confirmed the new 1 Series hatch will be arriving in local showrooms during the fourth quarter of 2019.
The local arm is still working on which models will be coming Down Under. According to Adam Davis, product communications manager for BMW Australia, the company is looking to get the M135i xDrive down here "as soon as we can get our hands on it".
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