While we are anxiously waiting for the first spy photos of the next generation 1 Series Coupe, BMW engineers continue their testing efforts on the this year’s 1er Hatchback model.
In 2012 and 2013, the 1 Series family receives a complete overhaul. Due to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new generation 1 Series hatchback is built under the codename F20, and will feature a slightly longer wheelbase and wider track than the current model.
It will be available in three and five door variants with both models using the new modular/expendable 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.
The 1er will remain a rear-wheel drive vehicle and shares the same L7 architecture as the next 3 series. At the same time, the L7 has the flexible firewall location geometry that will allow it to accommodate FWD, RWD, or AWD models.
Along with the redesigned bodystyle, the new 1er family will offer a wide range of engines, including turbo-petrol engines with three or four cylinders.
First, a couple 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be introduced, producing 204 and 238 horsepower. But this is only the first step, because the engineers have set themselves the goal to integrate diesel and gasoline more closely together.
Despite the higher development costs, the long term savings from mass production will offset any initial investments. For now, BMW has scrapped any plans to offer an electric and hybrid drive for the new 1 Series. The decision to move forward with the highly-efficient N57 1.5 liter diesel engine was driven by the results obtained in testing the Vision EfficientDynamics vehicle. The horsepower range for the three-cylinder powerplants goes from 95 to 177 horsepower.
The gasoline version, dubbed N30, comes in displacements of 1.2 and 1.5 liters with power output of ranging from 70 to 184 horsepower.
At the high-end of the line-up, it is expect that BMW will continue to offer the six-cylinder N55 Twin-Scroll engine for its 135i Coupe model.
The price point will most likely remain at the current levels in order to remain competitive.
[Photo: Gmotors ]