Like it or not, the front-wheel drive 1 Series hatchback is here to stay. Not only is it here to stay, the new generation of 1 Series isn’t going to change much, in terms of design, which means we’re still getting the same generic looking hatchback as before. The new-for-2024-generation BMW 1 Series hatch was just spotted in Germany, doing some camouflaged public testing. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

We’ve already seen spy photos of the 1 Series hatchback wearing heavy camouflage, so this test mule isn’t rolling around Germany isn’t incredibly special news. However, this specific car has a couple of interesting points of interest, especially when compared to the previous spy photos we saw.

In the previous photos, the 1 Series we saw was the M135i (or whatever the next-gen M Performance model will be called). We could tell that by its quad exhausts, sporty wheels, and roof spoiler. This new one, though, is not an M Performance car. Instead, it might actually be a hybrid. There’s no official word on a 1 Series plug-in hybrid model but this test mule has two details that make me think it could be such a car.

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The first detail is its exhaust pipes, or lack thereof. This 1 Series test mule has no visible exhaust pipes to speak of and brands like BMW typically only give up exhausts while trying to evoke images of efficiency and sustainability. That’s not a guarantee that this 1 Series tester is a plug-in hybrid but it’s certainly a possibility. Also, its wheels. The wheels on this 1 Series tester look similar to the aerodynamic wheels of other BMW EV, such as the i7. If they truly are aero wheels and its exhaust pipes are hidden, it makes a lot of sense that the test mule is a plug-in hybrid.

Of course, we don’t know for sure and BMW hasn’t made any plans to create a hybrid 1er. However, it’s technically possible and BMW could want to make such a car.

From a design perspective, the next-gen 1 Series looks nice, even if it isn’t anything particularly special. It’s softer and rounder than the current car, which gives it a more mature feel. However no one will care about if they end up being brilliant to drive. The current version is very “meh” to drive, so adding a bit of spice somewhere would go a long way with customers.

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