Our german blog BimmerToday.de and Ade, one of their readers, are bringing us today some exclusive spy photos of the next generation BMW 1 Series due out in 2011. The prototype was spotted on the Autobahn somewhere between Salzburg and Munich.
The F20 prototype continues to sport the now famous psychedelic camouflage making it hard for us to see the design lines prepared by BMW. If the first generation 1 Series can be described as being conservative with a safe design, the new 1er models are expected to feature more revolutionary design elements and of course, the latest technologies, some already tested in the other BMW vehicles.
Looking to reduce the overall costs of a new car, BMW designed a new modular platform for the upcoming 1 Series family. The backbone of these models was designed especially for this purpose so every model can have a variation backbone, simply be moving suspension points and firewalls to areas that will benefit each vehicle. Corroborated with more parts sharing, this new approach will allow BMW to reduce even more the production costs.
Overall details of the next 1 Series are still sketchy at this time, but the rumor mill says BMW is looking into more 1er variants, from a 3-door touring, 3 and 5-door GT, to five-door hatchback and a 3-door Coupe and Convertible. A smaller, compact Z2 Roadster will also utilize the modular platform.
Even though the engine line-up has not been finalized, sources indicate many new three and four turbo engines will be used across the 1 Series models, from a 1.3 liter engine with 136 horsepower to a new 1.3-liter turbo powerplant developing 177 hp. Moving up in the 1 Series class, the 120i will get the a 218 hp 2.0-liter turbo, while the 135i will continue using the N54 3.0 liter twin-turbo engine. Diesel and hybrid versions are going to be available as well.
One of the engine that will most likely be featured in a 1 Series vehicle is the three cylinder hybrid one found in the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept.
An M-like 1 Series model will also be part of the new 1er family. Dubbed 135i SuperSport, the new sporty model will differentiate from the regular BMW 135i with the Performance Package, by adding upgraded performance parts. The Supersport will be limited to the Coupe body style and it will use lightweight materials, such as Carbon Fiber Roof, hood or bootlid, lightweight glass. Upgraded suspensions and brakes will give the impression and feel of an M car, but without the M badge.
Some sources mention the first 1 Series model to launch in 2010, but our bet still goes on an early launch in 2011.
Thanks for the photos Ade!