BMW presents the next 1 Series, with a fresh design and new engines.
The compact car has sold almost 2 Million units since its launch 11 years ago.
We check out the top-of-the-range model, which packs the powerful M135i inline-six engine. At the other end of the engine range we have new gasoline and diesel units with three or four cylinders. The 1 Series therefore has the broadest range of engines in the compact segment.
Automotive journalist Michael Specht is impressed with the new design.
In his opinion, every car needs a facelift every three or four years. And BMW has genuinely managed to modernize the car, he says. Compared to the outgoing edition the front is really nice and sporty -- not over the top, but still very contemporary.
In visual terms, the new edition looks a class above its own.
Calvin Luk, BMW
On the front we have new LED technology, which enabled us to make the front lights slimmer. Of course we have the typical BMW double round headlamps.
The air vents were likewise revamped.
We made the kidneys larger. This makes the front end sportier because of the larger openings. In particular I'm very proud of the three-dimensional sculpted kidney blades. The overall effect is a very strong and sporty front end.
The M135i's output has been boosted slightly to 240 Kilo-Watts. In Germany, prices for this meaty compact model start at 41,900 Euros. Although, ONE important feature will be missing in the NEXT generation of the 1 Series.
It's still the only model in its class with rear-wheel drive, he says. BMW will keep it until this model is retired in 2018 or 2019.
THEN the car will be available with front-wheel drive only.
The interior has a sporty feel, and is fitted with sophisticated materials.
The sporty top-of-the-range model comes with an especially big display, of course. But the STANDARD equipment in the new 1 Series is now also more extensive - with a high-resolution 6-point-5-inch monitor, air con, rain sensor and the "iDrive" control system.
BMW is eager to promote its premium-manufacturer image in the compact class too, he says. The quality of this 1 Series is pretty close to that of the 3 and 5 Series, so way above average for ITS segment.