Munich - BMW is getting ready to pull the covers off its all-new 1 Series hatchback and this new set of teaser pictures, posted on Facebook and Twitter, give us a clearer picture of how it will look on the outside and inside.

From what we can make out so far, the more shapely exterior design borrows much from the X2 crossover. The cabin picture only reveals the steering wheel and instrument cluster, with the latter now adopting an all-digital format similar to that seen on the latest 3 Series and larger X models. Expect the 2020 1 Series to also adopt the latest ‘Operating System 7.0’, with its ‘artificially intelligent’ personal assistance system.

While the styling is fresher and the cabin fully digitised, the most radical changes occur beneath the skin. BMW has already confirmed that the 1 Series will move over to its ULK front-wheel-drive platform that also underpins the Mini range as well as the X1, X2 and 2 Series Active Tourer. It should carry over with similar 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol engines, of course now mounted transversely rather than longitudinally.

It's a definite loss for enthusiasts, but a logical move on BMW's part, given that most 1 Series drivers allegedly don't even know which wheels are driven.

While the majority of the line-up will be front-wheel-driven, range-toppers like the M135i (which inherits the X3 M35i’s 225kW 2-litre engine) will offer all-wheel-drive.

The rest will all be revealed soon. No exact date for the official unveiling has been disclosed, but it can’t be far off given that BMW is promising to start actual deliveries by the end of this year.

This model series will also spawn a coupe-inspired saloon called the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

IOL Motoring