We’ve seen our fair share of spy shots depicting the next-generation BMW 1 Series but this walkaround video provides us with the best look yet. Yes, Munich’s entry-level model is skipping the Life Cycle Impulse and heading straight to the next-gen car, which reportedly carries the “F70” internal codename. That’s despite the fact we are still getting the impression it’ll look a lot like today’s model but with a facelift.
The most significant changes will occur inside the cabin. As expected, the fourth-gen 1 Series is the next BMW in line to get the Operating System 9 with the pair of curved displays. That means no more iDrive controller, therefore mimicking the simplified dashboard of other front-wheel-drive-based models such as the X1 and X2 crossovers as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer minivan.
Don’t judge the quality of the materials used inside because this is still very much a prototype, which means it has quite a lot of cheap plastics as well as cloth seats. We’re not even sure whether those central air vents are real since we’re getting the impression that they’re just placeholders. The cabin is not a carbon copy of the X1’s but it’s not all that different either. We do like the thick steering wheel with a metallic lower spoke that seems to be borrowed from larger and fancier BMWs.
One big change we’re able to notice compared to the other wrong-wheel-drive models is that whatever’s left of the switchgear is not mounted on the same level as the central armrest. On the X1 and X2, the gear selector, buttons, and whatnot sit on a panel serving as an extension of the armrest whereas on the new 1 Series, they’re mounted lower, creating a more conventional layout. Chances are the next-generation 2 Series Gran Coupe (F74) will also look more like the 1er on the inside rather than like the crossovers.
While the adjacent spy shots depict the M135i version, the video shows a lesser variant. Speaking of different models, rumor has it the gasoline-fueled 1 Series will lose the “i” from their names, so the M135i could become the M135. The diesels will retain the “d” while a plug-in hybrid seems unlikely. A fully electric 1 Series is also not planned, but BMW will happily sell you an iX1 or iX2. Well, not in the United States where the two zero-emission crossovers are sadly not available. Not that the 1 Series is coming stateside anyway…
The new 1 Series is expected to debut in the first half of 2024, with the equivalent 2 Series Gran Coupe to arrive before the end of the year.
Source: NCars / YouTube