New BMW 1 Series: first deliveries due by the end of 2019

Following a barrage of teaser images, BMW has announced that first deliveries for the new 1 Series will arrive before the end of the year

The new BMW 1 Series hatch will arrive before the end of 2019, the company has confirmed. The announcement was made across the German brand’s social media network, following a recent suite of teaser images which detailed the production model’s styling, interior and digital gauge cluster.

BMW’s third-generation Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf rival has received a substantial rethink over the outgoing model. Following in the footsteps of its competitors, the new 1 Series hatch has ditched its rear-wheel drive layout in favour of a new front-wheel drive platform, borrowed from the latest MINI.

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Despite this, the German brand has chosen to evolve the hatchback’s styling rather than give it a dramatic overhaul, so not to discourage loyal buyers. The 1 Series is one of BMW’s biggest sellers, so styling changes are modest and restrained for the new model, being limited to an updated face, revised rear end and a more cab-forward design.

The new 1 Series will be based on BMW’s FAAR platform, which is only compatible with three- and four-cylinder engines. Keen drivers will lament the passing of rear-wheel-drive, but the new underpinnings bring some big practicality benefits, including a larger boot (up from 360 litres to 380 litres), more interior space and a 20kg weight advantage.

Due to the adoption of front wheel drive, entry-level 118i models will be powered by the same 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol from the current MINI, with an output of 138bhp. BMW is yet to announce its performance specs but, thanks to its reduced kerb weight and new seven-speed DCT, it should improve on the old model’s 8.7 second 0–62mph time.

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Mid-range 120d models get BMW’s familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, with 190bhp. Unlike the petrol model, however, it feeds its power through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission via an optional four-wheel-drive system.

BMW will also use the next 1 Series to broaden its iPerformance line-up. An electrified 1 Series will eventually join BMW’s five other plug-in hybrid models, using a reworked version of the powertrain found in the MINI Countryman Cooper S E. Comprising a 1.5-litre turbo petrol and small electric motor, economy figures of around 100mpg and CO2 emissions below 50g/km are likely.

The new BMW 1 Series will reach UK showrooms later this year, with prices starting at around £26,000. New versions of the 2 Series Coupé and Convertible will likely follow towards the end of 2019, with both adopting the same front-wheel-drive layout.

What do you think of the new BMW 1 Series going front-wheel drive? Let us know in the comments…