Disclaimer – What we are seeing is the meat and potatoes version of the new 2012 BMW 1 Series, the five series hatch. We haven’t seen the more sporting 3 door, nor the eventual coupe and cabrio models. In addition there is only a subset of powertrain options represented here.

No sixes, no 2.0L gas engine, and not the 123d range topping diesel. It took four years (2004 – 2008) to bring the coupe and convertible E8x 1ers to market, and while I suspect that that timeframe will be compressed, I wouldn’t expect the coupe and convertible of the F2x 1er to be in the US market before 2013.

That being said here are the highlights from the press release:

  • the car is longer than the current 1er, with a good chunk of that extended length in the wheelbase (30 mm), it would seem that rear leg room is important (every extra inch counts)
  • the car is wider than before, not by much, but enough to make the interior feel more spacious (and the interior design helps with that also)
  • the gasoline motors seem to be a blend of old and new, they are 1.6L fours, not the new common 500cc per cylinder architecture,but both the 116i and 118i sport Valvetronic, Double-VANOS, Precision Direct Injection, and turbocharging
  • the diesel motors are 2.0L and appear to be part of the 500cc per cylinder family discussed at Innovation Day in April of this year (which makes sense, since the diesel models in this car are the top sellers)
  • there are three power grades for the diesel, the 116d, the 118d,and the 120d
  • the 120d is the hot motor in this group, the F20 120d beats the F20 118i from 0-100 kmh by 0.2 seconds (7.2 versus 7.4)
  • the car is available with the eight speed automatic that BMWBLOG has highlighted in an article (and Europeans take rate for automatics is rising)
  • the 120d delivers 4.5 – 4.6L per 100 km fuels economy numbers (which is outstanding), the 116d delivers 4.3 – 4.4L per 100 km and yet is over 3 seconds slower to 100 kmh (I know which diesel I’d buy)
  • the 118i (which is slower to 100kmh than the 120d) averages a combined 5.8 – 5.9L per 100km fuel economy – not bad, but the 120d seems to be the choice (a case of having your cake and eating it too – can we imagine a Marie Antoinette commercial, “Let them eat cake!”)
  • there are plans to introduce a 116d EfficientDynamics Edition which should return combined fuel economy numbers of 3.8L per 100 km (and for European market concerns under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre – I think that may be under my lungs production of CO2 per km at a jog).
  • ConnectedDrive is HERE!! A plethora of options are available under the aegis of ConnectedDrive, lifted from the press release: “This includes high-beam assistance, Adaptive Headlights, parking assistance, reversing camera, Lane Departure Warning including Collision Warning, cruise control with brake function, and speed-limit and no-passing information. BMW ConnectedDrive also features Internet connectivity, increased smartphone and music player integration, real-time traffic information, and web radio, Facebook and Twitter apps.”
  • Two trim lines above base, Sport Line and Urban Line, which have been individually composed to ‘the last detail’ according to the press release Sport Line features sport seats, highlighting stitching on the steering wheel, high gloss balck trim with coral accents, and ambient lighting that can be switched between orange and white, and other items
  • Urban Line is for ‘hipsters’, I suspect; it incorporates specific seat coverings, acrylic glass trim, and other items
  • of course, the F20 1er is REAR WHEEL DRIVE
  • but, it does use electrically assisted power steering

Look for additional coverage and analysis of the F20 1er on BMWBLOG.