Already stuck on other occasions in conventional versions, the long awaited new generation of the BMW 1 Series 2019 now appears in the spicy M140i configuration. Photographed during testing at the German Nürburgring circuit, the sport hatch still hides the new look under heavy camouflage, but anticipates in a general way what to expect from this new generation incarnation.
The lines will follow the pattern seen in recent launches and in mechanics, the main novelty will be the adoption of a new platform: the UKL front-wheel base, the same already used by the SUV X1 and X2 and also by the MINI cousins.
Thus, Series 1 2019 will be the first in history to dispense with rear-wheel drive. The change will align the hatchback with virtually every other member of the segment (Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3 and so many others), but that may not appeal to purist fans. There will be loss of sportiness, but the idea of the brand is to offer a more spacious and welcoming model for the occupants.
The new platform will also entail the use of turbocharged 3 and 4-cylinder engines in a transverse position, excluding the 6-cylinder in-line longitudinal propeller used in the sport versions of the current model. In practice, the traditional M version will no longer be equipped with a “root” engine to adopt a 2.0 turbo, with downsizing concept and more modern proposal. This generation will also not offer a two-door body following a market trend.
The launch could happen later this year, probably during the Paris Salon in October.