Exclusive: 2015 BMW 1 Series LCI Will Get New Range of Engines

BMW has been testing the facelift model of the current F20/F21 1 Series for quite a while now. We saw the first prototypes on the road this summer thanks to our spy photographers but all we could make out is that the front end will get a new face.
BMW 1 Series LCI 1 photo
Photo: SB Medien
That’s easily the best decision BMW took in the last few years as the original model was deemed ugly by most people out there, even by the most avid fans of the brand. Hopefully we’ll get a face similar to the one of the 2 Series but that remains to be seen.

However, according to our reliable source inside Munich, the new model will come out with fresh, new engines that will be adapted for usage on rear-wheel drive versions.

What new engines?

The 1 Series range is now using the oldest engines in BMW’s line-up. On the entry-level models, they are still equipped with plants that were developed in collaboration with PSA. We’re talking about the 1.6-liter plants that used to be fitted on older MINIs as well.

That’s soon to become history with the introduction of the new B family of engines on the 1er. There will be at least 3 new petrol engines introduced, all of them variations of the B38 and B48 plants that first saw the light of day under the MINI umbrella. They are now being sold in MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S guises as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer 225i.

On the petrol front we’ll have new 116i, 118i, 120i and 125i models, all of them using new engines with power outputs varying from 102 HP (from a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder plant) to 231 HP (from a 2-liter 4-cylinder) for the 125i version.

Diesel engines will also be replaced with the new B47 units already used on various models like the X3 LCI and current 5 Series, making between 150 and 190 HP.

What about the M135i?

The range-topping M Performance model will be drastically improved, but not next year, when production of the LCI version begins. The M135i will then be renamed M140i and will bring about a power bump, as you might’ve guessed. Unlike the current model that is making 320 HP, the new one will make more in the region of 350 HP.

Production for the new versions begins in March 2015, just in time for a Geneva Motor Show debut. The M140i, however, will enter production in July 2016.

It will be interesting to see how BMW will make these new engines work on the older F20 platform since they were developed for front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive architectures. But then again, since they are being introduced on the 5 Series already, we’re guessing they had no problem adapting them to a rear-wheel drive setup.
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