The next generation 1 Series prototypes, dubbed F20, have been spotted once again. While nothing really changed since last week when we published some exclusive photos of the 1er, the new spy shots are bringing giving us something new: the first turbocharged 1 Series prototype. The test mule spots a dual-exhaust, a trademark of all the BMW twin-turbo models available on the market.
With a launch date set for early 2011, BMW continues the testing process of this new, redesigned 1 Series which has been described by people with knowledge of the product as being more revolutionary than its predecessors.
The big news around the 1 Series family is the introduction of a new modular platform. 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.
A final decision has yet to be made, but BMW is looking into more 1er variants, from a 3-door touring, 3 and 5-door GT, to five-door hatchback, a 3-door Coupe and Convertible and Shooting Brake model. A smaller, compact Z2 Roadster will also utilize the modular platform. The high-end model will be the 135i Supersport, a vehicle with M-like capabilities, but without carrying the M badge.
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. EfficientDynamics will play an important role in the new 1 Series, so expect a wide range of diesel offerings. Hybrids are expected as well, in a combination of 3 cylinder diesel engines with one or two electric motors.
As we enter 2010, the test mules will advance into the testing phases and more revealing photos will be available.