BMW enthusiasts, the time to cry is coming. The BMW 1 Series Hatchback is currently a fan-favorite among enthusiasts in Europe. The reason for this is its uniqueness in the automotive world. Being the only rear-wheel drive, six-cylinder hatchback on the market, it’s a rare unicorn that offers incredible fun with great practicality. Is it perfect? Of course, not. But it’s special and that’s what matters. Its upcoming replacement, which will also gain a sedan body style, will lose that uniqueness, by switching to front-wheel drive. This new front-drive 1 Series Hatch was just caught testing in the wild. (More spy photos can be seen here)

As a BMW enthusiast, it does always bother me just a little when the Bavarians make these sorts of changes. However, I understand why BMW does what it does and am okay with it. However, this new 1 Series Hatch makes me a bit sad. Not because it’s going front-drive and not because it’s going to be less fun than the current model, but because it seems like it might look bad.

Judging from these spy photos, this upcoming 1er Hatch looks like a Mazda 3 hatchback. Not that the Mazda 3 is a bad car, quite the contrary, but the Mazda 3 isn’t a BMW and it seems as if the 1 Series will lose its Bavarian charm. It looks like it will blend into the sea of beige front-wheel drive econobox hatchbacks that envelopes American Suburbia (although, it will likely never come to America).

From these spy photos, there are very few actual details we can make out. There seems to be a hint of the famous Hofmeister Kink, but it’s hard to see through the camo. We can see that the front overhang is quite long for a BMW, thanks to its front-drive nature, and the ride height is painfully high. It also seems to be riding on MINI wheels, which would make sense for testing considering the platform sharing. But its overall design is very boring. It looks like every other jellybean hatch on the market. Now I’m sad.

[Source: Motor1]