The BMW 1 Series has been one of the most fun to drive hatchbacks over the previous generations and the automaker has now released the all-new generation of the model. The 2020 BMW 1 Series is quite literally all-new, having been built from ground up and shares little details with its predecessor. The biggest change by far comes with the front-wheel drive (FWD) set-up on the third generation that replaces the rear-wheel drive architecture, which made it such a hoot to drive in the first place. The new 1 Series also comes with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) on the top trims. As a result, the new BMW 1 joins the automaker's smaller set of FWD cars including the X1, 2 Series and the 1 Series sedan.
With respect to dimensions, the 2020 1er is 5 mm shorter at 4319 mm (170 inches), whereas the width has increased by 34 mm at 1799 mm. The height is up by 13 mm to 1434 mm, with the wheelbase now shorter by 20 mm and sits at 2670 mm. Nevertheless, the FWD set-up has helped liberate more room in the cabin. You get 33 mm of additional kneeroom at the rear along with 19 mm of extra headroom and 13 mm of elbow room. The luxury hatchback can also take up more luggage than its predecessor with a cargo capacity of 380 litres, which can be expanded to 1200 litres with the rear seats folded. The automaker says the boot is also wider than before that makes it easy to load and unload luggage, while the tailgate is now electric.
Inside, the 2020 BMW 1 Series replicates the familiar design language from the larger Beamer models. The car comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with gesture control, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The instrument console is fully digital and gets a 10.25-inch screen that displays all the necessary information.
Under the hood, the third generation BMW 1 Series will get two petrol and three diesel engines. The most powerful version will be the M135i xDrive with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor tuned for 301 bhp and 450 Nm of peak torque. The range-topping model can sprint from 0-100 kmph in 4.8 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph. An optional M performance package will further shave a tenth of a second on the hatchback. Other engines will range between three- and four-cylinder versions churning out as low as 115 bhp. All units will come paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch or 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. There's a 6-speed manual available as well.
The new 1 will also come with a host of electronic aids including Lane Departure Warning with active lane return, Active Cruise Control, Lane Change Warning system, rear collision warning and crossing traffic warning. The car also comes with Park Assist, while features like VDC (Variable Damper Control) and ARB (actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation) technology, further improve the car's handling capabilities. Customers can also opt for the BMW Digital Key and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant on the new 1 Series.
The all-new BMW 1Series will make its debut in Munich from June 25 to 27 as part of the #NextGen event, while a public showcase has also been planned at Frankfurt in September this year. The previous version of the 1 Series was sold in India, but it's unclear if the new one will actually make it here. Globally, the car will lock horns against the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3 Sportback, Volkswagen Golf and the likes.