Munich - BMW has unveiled its third-generation 1 Series and it marks the end of an era as the hatchback shifts over to BMW’s ULK front-wheel-drive platform, meaning that the world no longer has a rear-driven compact hatchback.
Although no longer pandering to the most discerning of drivers, the shift does make sense on many levels, with the new 1 Series said to offer significantly more interior space than its predecessor, with rear seat passengers being the main beneficiaries. The three-door version also falls away with this generation, leaving the five-door as the only body style option.
At 4319mm in length, the new 1 Series is 5mm shorter than its predecessor, but 34mm wider and 13mm taller, and the exterior design draws many cues from its X2 crossover cousin.
Shifting to the new architecture does not necessarily mean soggy handling however, with BMW promising a dynamic sharpness “unprecedented in front-wheel-drive cars”.
Furthermore, the new 1 is available with adaptive damping and the two top models in the range (M135i and 120d) are fitted with xDrive all-wheel-drive.