L ange we speculated about it and revealed early on that it would switch to the UKL2 front-wheel drive platform with the next generation. We were even able to drive a camouflaged pre-production car. Now it is finally in front of us in series production: the new BMW 1 Series - or F40, as it is called internally.
Shorter, but finally more space in the rear
The third generation of the Bavarian compact model retains its basic proportions, with the bonnet now being shorter and the A-pillars a little further forward. In addition, the one is only available as a four-door model. The dimensions remain almost unchanged at 4.32 x 1.80 x 1.43 meters (L x W x H): minus five millimeters in length, minus two centimeters in the wheelbase, but a slight increase in width (3.4 centimeters ) and height (1.3 centimeters). Compared to the current model, the F40 got one thing written in the specifications: More space for rear passengers and luggage with the same high level of agility as possible. And because he now, like the competition, carries the engine across the front, BMW promises 3.3 centimeters more knee space in the rear. At 380 liters, the trunk is now the same size as the Golf VII and 20 liters larger than the predecessor. With the rear seat folded down, the 1 Series packs away 1200 liters as before.
Familiar engines, new installation position
And what does it look like under the bonnet? At the start, customers can choose between five units from the well-known three- and four-cylinder engine family, which are now installed transversely instead of lengthways: two petrol engines with 140 and 306 hp and three diesel variants between 116 and 190 hp. The basic diesel already fulfills the Euro 6d emissions standard, all other engines 6d-Temp.
Three different transmissions are used in the new 1 Series: The BMW 116d, BMW 118d and BMW 118i are equipped with 6-speed manual transmissions as standard. The 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch, which is available as an option for the 116d and the BMW 118i, is new. The long-translated seventh gear ensures low engine speeds and correspondingly lower consumption when driving overland or on the motorway. Special low-viscosity oil further reduce CO2 emissions, and the gearbox can also “coast” when idling. BMW uses the 8-speed Steptronic transmission as an option in the BMW 118d and as standard in the BMW 120d xDrive as well as in a sports variant.
There are no concrete prospects for plug-in hybrids, although the technology is in the UKL Cars 2 Series Active Tourer or Mini Countryman PHEV is already at the start. CorrectBut it won't take long for the 1 Series either, maybe with a slightly larger battery than before. Because at Mercedes, for example, PHEV versions of the A- and B-Class are already planned.
The two most powerful units in the 1 Series basically bring their power to the road via all-wheel drive (xDrive), in the case of the top model M135i xDrive as standard in conjunction with eight-speed automatic and a newly developed differential lock. All other ones drive with front-wheel drive - as the bestseller VW Golf has been doing since 1974.
Does that mean the 1 Series loses its dynamic character? Probably no. Firstly, both BMW (initially with the Mini) and other manufacturers have already proven that you can build very agile cars with front-wheel drive - incidentally also VW, where you can find a wonderfully balanced mix of driving fun and everyday cars with the last GTI derivatives of the Golf put on the wheels. Second, BMW adapted the actuator-related wheel slip limitation (ARB) from the i3 for the 1 Series to compensate for the change in the drive principle. ARB means: The slip regulator is located directly in the engine control unit instead of in the control unit of the driving stability control (DSC, Dynamic Stability Control). Thanks to shorter signal paths, the data transmission works three times faster, which means that the wheel slip limitation is intended to limit power understeer significantly better than usual for vehicles with front-wheel drive, especially when starting off, cornering and on wet roads. Auto motor und sport was able to try it out in the first driving tests.
What remains for the 1 Series: A multi-link axle for all model variants. In addition to the standard suspension and the M sports suspension with 10 mm lowering, there is also one with adaptive dampers with two different characteristics.
The new 1 Series obeys every word
Behind the wheel, everything is actually like that, As you currently expect from a new BMW: Extensively adjustable seats with good side support, handy steering wheel and behind them digital instruments in the style of the larger models (for an extra charge); iDrive controller and function keys are located on, a free-standing touchscreen above the center console. The operation should go without any problems. In case of doubt, the new 1 Series obeys every word - thanks to voice control that not only understands the driver when he is speaking clearly defined commands. The 1-series driver can, if he wants, give the digital butler a different name every day and ask him everything about his vehicle: “How does the high beam assistant work?” He should be able to explain like “Hey Horst, how far can I still drive? '. The fact that there is now a compartment in front of the gearshift with an inductive charging option for the mobile phone saves - provided you have a compatible smartphone - not only fiddling with cables. The mobile phone holder is also designed so that the display can be read across andremains easily accessible.