Codenames hold a special significance reserved for fervent BMW enthusiasts, as they delve into the realm of insider information. Of course, they are hardly a surprise for most of us, even though with BMW rarely divulging chassis codenames prior to launch. However, today marked an exception to this norm, as BMW unexpectedly unveiled the official reference to the forthcoming BMW 1 Series (F70) and confirmed its internal abbreviation. This revelation occurred unintentionally within the online store for BMW M Performance Tuning Parts. An M Performance Parts listing for the 1 Series F40 also lists the F70 as an additional model which comes as no surprise considering that the new 1 Series will be largely based on the existing model.
Dropping the “i” from badges
Anticipated for a 2024 release, the overhauled 1 Series F70 could introduce a subtle shift in BMW’s nomenclature for its model variations. Insiders suggest that gasoline-powered vehicles might undergo a change in nomenclature, with the omission of the letter “i” at the end of their names. Supposedly, BMW intends to market these cars as the 118 and M135, rather than the traditional 118i and M135i.
However, electric vehicle enthusiasts may find themselves disappointed, as BMW has no intentions of introducing an i1 variant on the F70 1 Series platform, which retains its front-wheel drive flexible architecture. The debut of the first BMW i1 is not projected until the years 2028-2029 and may be designated with the codename NB0. This particular model will be constructed on the Neue Klasse architecture. Given the compact design constraints, the likelihood of encountering a plug-in hybrid 1 Series within the F70 models appears slim.
More of a Facelift
Based on recent spy photos, the headlights appear largely unchanged, while the grilles exhibit a similar design, and notable aerodynamic alterations seem to be absent. However, the interior of the vehicle might undergo some modifications. It remains uncertain whether BMW intends to enhance this particular generation of the 1 Series with iDrive 8.5 or iDrive 9, but certainly one of the two will end up in the car. Such an update would bring substantial improvements to the infotainment system, along with new digital gauges. Additionally, potential interior adjustments may include updates to trims, expanded color choices, and the introduction of BMW’s quirky toggle switch shifter.
Similar to previous iterations, the F70 BMW 1 Series model will not be available for purchase in the United States market. The demand for compact cars is relatively weak in the region, which is evident from Mercedes’ decision to discontinue the A-Class.