Arguably, the 1 Series is BMW’s most fun car to drive today and has been a huge seller for the Bavarians in Europe. But the 1 Series hatchback as we know it, will make room for a new generation of compact sport hatches in 2018.

The new 1 Series will use the UKL platform – and will continue to be built under the Fxx designation, F40 – featured on the BMW X1 and MINI range, which means the power will now be sent to the front-wheels. Therefore, the longer wheelbase and absence of a propshaft will free up more space for passengers in the back, and also increase boot capacity. The new 1 Series should also be marginally taller and wider.

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The design language will continue to be along the recently unveiled BMWs, so expect slimmer LED headlights connecting to the kidney grille, sleeker side views and a sportier lower front fascia.

As the UKL platform is only compatible with four-cylinder engines, that means the next flagship M140i will have to ditch its sonorous straight-six engine in favor of a turbocharged four-cylinder. The all-wheel drive xDrive system will continue to be offered on certain models.

The engines range will be adopted from the MINI and X1 line-ups. Entry-level cars, likely to be badged 116d, should come powered by an updated version of BMW’s 1.5-liter three-cylinder diesel, while a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol unit should appear in the 118i. Larger and more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be found in the 120i and 120d respectively.

BMW will also use the next 1 Series to launch a wider roll-out of its iPerformance line-up. Joining BMW’s five other plug-in hybrid models will be an electrified 1 Series using a tuned version of the powertrain found in the MINI Countryman Cooper E.

Whether the hatch as we know it today will continue to carry the 1 Series badge or the rumored 2 Series moniker, it remains to be seen, but the new model will be a direct competitor with models such as the Volkswagen Golf R, Mercedes-AMG A45 and Ford Focus RS.

[Source: AutoExpress]