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2019 BMW 1 Series With Front-Wheel-Drive Spied For The First Time

In recent years, BMW has accustomed us with some paradigm shifts that were unthinkable a little over a decade ago.
2019 BMW 1 Series prototype 33 photos
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It first turbocharged its entire engine lineup, then it resorted to unveil M-versions of some its SUVs and then it launched a front-wheel-drive MPV. These seemingly blasphemous actions will continue in a couple of years when the third generation of the BMW 1 Series will be the second model in the Bavarian lineup to feature an FWD platform.

Based on a revamped version of the UKL platform, also employed by the entire current MINI lineup, the 2019 BMW 1 Series has just started testing in real traffic.

While at first glance it doesn't look that much different to the current 1 Series, which is heading toward its second LCI (Life-Cycle Impulse), a closer look reveals most of the platform-derived novelties.

Despite being front-wheel-drive, the front overhang is kept in check compared to your average European FWD hatchback, while the wheelbase seems to be pretty accommodating for a much bigger interior.

Speaking of which, the somewhat tight backseat in the current generation is one of the main reasons for which BMW decided to switch to a more space-friendly FWD platform for the 1 Series. Some will also say that making an FWD hatchback is also a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to squeeze a transmission tunnel in an RWD compact, and they would be right.

The good news is that BMW designers managed to mask both the larger interior space and the FWD underpinnings by considerably widening the body of the car and gifting it with slightly smaller side windows.

As you can see in the attached photo gallery, the new 1 Series looks a lot more planted than the model it replaces, even though it's utterly drenched in camouflage and has pre-production design elements.

Engine wise, the 1.5-liter three-cylinders that debuted on MINIs and can be had in everything from 3 Series to the BMW i8 nowadays, will be further improved on the 2019 1 Series. A plug-in hybrid version should also make an appearance since there is now more room for batteries under the model's floor.

An M140i successor is to be expected as well, although you should say goodbye to the wailing six-cylinder engine and hello to an all-new four-cylinder to take its place, along with all-wheel-drive and at least 350 hp as standard.

Considering that the current 1 Series still has a few years left, we're expecting the UKL-based generation to arrive at the end of 2018 at the earliest, as a 2019 model.

 
 
 
 
 

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