The All-New BMW 1 Series – The perfect synthesis of agility and space

The all-new BMW 1 Series is a car that heralds the dawn of a new era. The third generation of the successful premium compact model draws back the curtain on the new BMW front-wheel-drive architecture, which fuses BMW’s signature driving pleasure and dynamic excellence with a significant increase in interior space. Sporty, cool, safe and classy, sprinkled with fresh design and the latest in connectivity, the all-new BMW 1 Series is a proper BMW with a strong character all its own.

Cutting-edge chassis system and innovative technologies, plus the integration of all key driving dynamics components and control systems, imbue the all-new BMW 1 Series with an increase in agility with the new front-wheel-drive configuration. To this end, a five-year process of development saw BMW channel all the experience amassed over recent years by the BMW Group with front-wheel-drive technology in other models into the all-new BMW 1 Series. The result is a dynamic sharpness which is unprecedented in front-wheel-drive cars and with which it sets new standards in the premium compact class. In addition, the new BMW front-wheel-drive architecture allows the third-generation 1 Series to offer substantially improved levels of interior space – in particular for passengers in the rear – and a larger load compartment.

A success story dating back to 2004

The all-new BMW 1 Series continues the success story written by the first two generations of the car. BMW introduced the brand’s hallmark dynamics and an elegantly sporty design into the premium compact segment for the first time in 2004. The second generation, launched in 2011, boasted fresh new accents and a more powerful look for the front end, flanks and rear end – which were given further presence in 2015 by a newly designed BMW kidney grille, larger air intakes, slimmer headlight geometry and new rear lights. The second-generation 1 Series enjoyed great popularity, especially in Europe, with 80 per cent of customers in 2018 based in the “old continent”.

Its largest markets were Germany (accounting for around 25 per cent of sales) and Great Britain (over 20 per cent), followed by Italy, France and Japan. To date, 2.5 million units of the BMW 1 Series have been sold, strengthening its status as an important volume‑selling model for the BMW brand.

Exterior: contemporary design with new proportions and clear lines.

The changeover to the BMW front-wheel-drive architecture is reflected in the new proportions and flowing, elongated lines of the all-new BMW 1 Series. The shorter bonnet melts into the windscreen, while the long roofline drops away slightly towards the rear. A wide tail with an athletic shoulderline above the rear wheel arches emphasises the car’s powerful, sporty presence when viewed from behind. At the same time, the compact body offers significantly more space within a footprint almost identical to the predecessor model’s and so makes the car even more versatile in everyday use. At 4,319 millimetres, the all-new BMW 1 Series is five millimetres shorter than its predecessor. In terms of width (now 1,799 millimetres), this third-generation model has grown by 34 millimetres while its height (1,434 mm) has increased by 13 millimetres. At 2,670 millimetres, the wheelbase is 20 millimetres shorter than that of the predecessor model.

A new face with a larger BMW kidney grille

Viewed from the front, the all-new BMW 1 Series immediately makes its mark with a new face and a reinterpretation of iconic BMW styling cues. The characteristic BMW kidney grille is larger, has a noticeably stronger presence and, for the first time in this model range, the kidneys merge in the middle. In adopting this look, the all-new BMW 1 Series is following the trend set by the larger BMW sedans.

New headlight arrangement

Now slanting in design, the headlights give the all-new BMW 1 Series a fresh, youthful dimension which also sets it apart instantly from BMW models higher up the range. The full-LED lights – which can also be specified with adaptive functionality – have a particularly modern appearance. The transparent, hexagonal tubes of the daytime driving lights pull off the characteristic “four‑eyed” look with striking technical precision. The “eyebrow” turn‑signal indicators emphasise the width of the car, while the set-back headlight tubes exude dynamic performance. A brushed aluminium element occupies the upper part of the headlight unit underneath the glass cover and along the side is “BMW LED” lettering.

Pronounced shark nose and distinct wedge shape

The most striking features of the all-new BMW 1 Series when viewed from the side are the pronounced shark nose, a characteristic BMW design cue, and a strong hint of wedge shape. The slim window graphic rises towards the rear and emphasises the car’s dynamic lines. It culminates at the C-pillar in the obligatory Hofmeister kink which visually extends and raises the window line beyond the rear door.

However, it is below the window graphic that the body really comes into its own. The sparing use of precise and clearly defined lines in combination with bold and confidently sculpted surfaces gives the all-new BMW 1 Series an athletic presence. This technique also creates a defined sense of lightness above the front wheels but also undeniable muscularity in the area around the rear wheels. This impression is enhanced by two character lines. One runs below the door handles from the front wheels to the rear wings, while the other starts in the lower part of the front door and creates a dynamic contrast with an upward sweep towards the rear. In addition, a distinct side taper at the C-pillar injects a feeling of sportiness into the shoulder section above the rear wheel arches. The downward pull of the roof spoiler extends the flowing roofline rearwards.

Distinctive shoulder area and reinterpretation of the “L” shape

The defining elements of the rear end are its broad-set, athletic lower section and the tapering effect further up. This creates a striking shoulderline, which emphasises the width of the car and gives it a planted stance on the road. This is emphasised by the wide, two-part rear light elements, whose slender, understated design gives them a very modern look.

The full-LED rear lights, provide an all-new interpretation of the familiar “L” shape. This takes the form of a single, slim light element with a distinctive side upsweep. Concealed around this element under the red glass cover are the turn-signal indicator, brake and tail lights, reversing lights and rear foglamp. Strikingly shaped surfaces and a distinctive exhaust tailpipe in chrome with a diameter of 90 millimetres complete the sporting picture at the rear end.

Enhanced sense of space with new panoramic roof

More light in the interior and therefore a greater sense of space compared with the sunroof-equipped predecessor model are the benefits provided by the panoramic roof available as an option for the all-new BMW 1 Series for the first time. Featuring an infinitely variable outward-opening action and electrically actuated ventilation mode, the optional panoramic roof has a glass area of some 0.7 square metres. The opening in the headliner measures 74 x 70 centimetres and has an electrically operated roller blind to provide shading. A favourable acoustic environment can be maintained with the roof open thanks to a net wind deflector and a comfort position for the glass roof panel which keeps wind noise to a minimum.

Interior: more space and high-quality look and feel.

The interior of the all-new BMW 1 Series combines more actual space and an enhanced impression of roominess with high-quality materials, rigorously driver-focused controls and innovative details, such as backlit trim strips available in a BMW for the first time. Contemporary and clearly structured, the interior creates an impression of dynamism and quality underscored by the interplay of different graining effects and texture elements behind the steering wheel, on the instrument panel and on the doors. Grouped control clusters make for easy operability while comfort is enhanced by practical stowage areas. Access to the infotainment offering provided by the new BMW Operating System 7.0 – with optional gesture control – is via a large display grouping of two large 10.25 inch screens.

More kneeroom in the rear and a larger boot

The all-new BMW 1 Series has taken a major leap forward in terms of interior spaciousness. The front-wheel-drive architecture with transverse engines and a lower centre tunnel offers the occupants noticeably more space than in the predecessor model. This applies especially to those in the rear seats. Access is easier and there is an extra 33 millimetres of kneeroom available. Rear headroom is up by no less than 19 millimetres when the optional outward opening panoramic sunroof is fitted. Rear passengers also enjoy 13 millimetres more elbowroom, while the driver and front passenger can look forward to an extra 42 millimetres in this respect. Luggage compartment capacity rises by 20 litres to 380 litres (1,200 litres with the rear seat bench folded down). The minimum width of the luggage compartment has also increased by 67 millimetres. An electrically operated tailgate is now optionally available for the BMW 1 Series for the first time.

BMW Live Cockpit with new design

The digital BMW Live Cockpit Professional has a completely new design, whose form and structure reference the vehicle’s redesigned BMW kidney grille. The rev counter runs anti-clockwise and, like the speedometer, has a new design. The space in the centre of the display shows navigation instructions, the current location of the vehicle and relevant information about the surrounding area for the rest of the journey. The displays showing the entertainment and radio station listings, the navigation and orientation maps and the new onboard computer read-out can be configured by the driver according to taste. There is now greater scope for personalising the layout of the central Control Display, which is optimised for touch control but can also be specified with optional gesture control. Where previously there were three tile-style pads, it is now possible to configure two to four pads per page, while the number of pages is no longer limited to two. The pads at the highest level of the display show real-time data, so that the most important information can be absorbed at a glance.

As well as determining the colour and content of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, the Driving Experience mode selected now repeats the trick for the Control Display, creating a consistent appearance. Among the details benefiting from this change is the personalised Welcome Scenario, with which the BMW Live Cockpit Professional greets the all-new BMW 1 Series driver. This feature can now include the actual colour and equipment line of the car they are driving. The same goes for the display when calling up information on fuel consumption or fuel level via the “Car” menu item.

Model variants and equipment lines: a car for every occasion – with added practicality, luxury or sportiness. From practical via luxurious to sporty, the all-new BMW 1 Series lays on a host of individualisation options for customers. The Luxury Line model emphasises the comfort and sophisticated appearance of the all-new BMW 1 Series, while the M Sport model represents a rung up the dynamic ladder.

Below is an overview of the available equipment lines:

M Sport model

The M Sport model takes the all-new BMW 1 Series another stylistic step closer to the range-topping BMW M135i xDrive. Particularly eye-catching features include the front apron with specially sculpted air intakes and High-gloss Black trim, plus the BMW M rear apron likewise in High-gloss Black. The rear bumper also incorporates the apertures through which air is channelled out of the rear wheel arches. The BMW kidney grille bars have an Aluminium satinated finish and the mirror caps are painted in body colour. The window graphic surrounds have BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim.

Luxury Line model

The Luxury Line model uses additional design elements in Aluminium satinated to bring out the car’s exclusive character. These include the bars in the BMW kidney grille, special trim elements for the air intakes and an accent strip on the rear apron. The window graphic in Aluminium satinated makes a suitably classy impression, and the central front air intake and mirror caps are both painted in body colour.

Powertrain and chassis: modern front wheel drive with sporty BMW character.

BMW has made a radical change to the technology of the third-generation BMW 1 Series, with the five-door premium compact model now underpinned by BMW’s sophisticated front-wheel-drive architecture. Benchmark driving dynamics for the segment and a far more spacious interior are the result. After spending five years in development, the all-new BMW 1 Series has emerged as a genuine BMW with a character all its own – thanks to the wealth of experience amassed by the BMW Group with its front-wheel-drive models and the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.

An array of components working in perfect harmony

The all-new BMW 1 Series is endowed with greater agility than its predecessor in its new front-wheel-drive guise. This is down to the perfectly orchestrated interaction between cutting-edge chassis engineering, innovative technologies and all of the integrated components and control systems that impact the car’s driving dynamics. The fast, precise responses of the all-new BMW 1 Series are clearly perceptible and elevate the driving experience to new heights.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment