This current generation of 1 Series has been a controversial one. Its switch to a front-wheel drive architecture upset many previous 1 Series owners, as they loved their premium rear-wheel drive hatchbacks. The new 1 Series was more spacious inside, more practical, more fuel efficient, and more luxurious but it certainly lacked the fun factor of its predecessor. It also looked far more generic and less like a BMW, something that might continue with the next generation ‘F70’ model debuts in 2024, as evidenced by this new spy photo.
Seen in this new photo is the next-generation F70 1 Series hatchback and it’s sticking with a front-drive layout. While we don’t have any official information on the next-gen 1 Series, you can tell from looking at this spy photo that it will be a front driver. Its long-ish front end and short dash-to-axle ratio give its layout away, which means it’s likely going to be built on the same updated FAAR chassis that underpins the new BMW X1 and upcoming X2.
Judging by this spy photo, it looks like the F70 1 Series will have a rounder, softer rear end than the current car, with smoother rear wheel arches and a more subtle roofline. It still gets a slim greenhouse and a similar roofline—and it will likely be an evolutionary design, rather than a revolutionary one—but it does look like the new car could be a bit more premium looking and less sporty.
This spy photo keeps the interior hidden but you can expect something similar to the new X1, even if it isn’t identical. Though, that’s not a bad thing, as the X1 has a stellar cabin. In fact, aside from its lack of rotary knob, it’s among the best BMW interiors on sale at the moment and I’m including the 7 Series in that. That excellent cabin shrunken into a 1 Series should make for a premium little hatchback.
At the moment, there are no official powertrains listed for the new 1 Series but they shouldn’t be hard to guess. All of BMW’s current crop of four-cylinder gas and diesel engines will be available, with some potentially boasting 48-volt mild hybrid systems. Eight-speed Aisin automatics will be standard and both front and all-wheel drive will be available, as per usual.
We’ll have to wait and see until more spy photos surface but, until they do, you can expect that the next-gen 1er will be en evolutionary step while we wait for an electric version.