2019 BMW 1 Series Shows off Its Blue Calipers to Help Us Forget It's FWD

I remember a few years ago when BMW launched the 2 Series Active Tourer how some people were almost certain we escaped 2012 in vain because this front-wheel-driven BMW was going to be the harbinger of the Apocalypse.
2019 BMW 1 Series 13 photos
Photo: CarPix
2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series2019 BMW 1 Series
Instigated perhaps by the fact we're all still very much alive, BMW decided to give it another try and is now switching the position of the motor wheels on its new 1 Series as well. Light up your torches, prepare your pitchforks, and buy a ticket to Munich because this cannot stand.

Right? Well, some of the long-time fans of the brand might be a little butthurt, but they will eventually get over it. It's not like they'll switch over to Mercedes-Benz all of a sudden - that's a big no-no. Besides, the A-Class is just as frontally driven as the 2019 1 Series will be, so no point in doing that whatsoever.

We shouldn't really dwell too long on this FWD thing. Yes, BMW might be losing one of the traits that set it apart from its competition, but it's also gaining a lot of other things. Most notably, cubic inches for the interior.

If you ever poked your head inside a BMW 1 Series, you would have noticed it's unbelievably crammed at the back. This car is a five-seater only on the specs sheet because, in reality, the drive shaft that goes to the rear wheels cancels the center seat, while the backrests of the front seats make impossible for anyone equipped with legs to use the other two. And it's not as if this was compensated by a huge trunk - not in the least.

The new promises to sort some of that up, and just by looking at it you can tell it's slightly larger and, more importantly, the wheelbase is longer. The 2019 BMW 1 Series is still going to have a very low silhouette with a sporty seating position and the difficulties of getting in and out that come associated with that (especially for taller people).

In other words, we expect the 2019 1 Series to become a more useful hatchback than the current generation while doing its best to keep as much of that coveted BMW sporty ethos that people mistakingly believe is very much due to the RWD nature of the Bavarian brand's models.

We're pretty sure the new 1 Series will come with a very well tuned chassis and steering system, meaning a lot of the unaware customers won't even know anything was changed. Besides, a survey carried out a few years ago showed that more than half the 1 Series owners weren't even aware of the RWD nature of their car, so there's that as well.

It's the second time the 2019 BMW 1 Series was spotted, but this car shows a few new elements compared to the first one. For instance, it has a different front bumper with larger air intakes sporting a new mesh pattern. It also has larger wheels and those blue brake calipers, suggesting this is a performance version. The extended rear spoiler cips as well toward the idea of this being the M140i variant, which, by the way, is going to get an all-wheel-drive system (good) and a downsized four-cylinder turbo engine (not so good).

Even though the car look ready, this is still early testing and we shouldn't expect the new model to hit the dealers sooner than the third or fourth quarter of 2018. So there's still plenty of time to get a RWD 1 Series, if it's that important to you.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories