The all-new BMW 1 Series promises improved economy and lower emissions as it moves to front-wheel drive to provide more interior space.
The all-new BMW 1 Series is powered by three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines with a choice of three diesel and two petrol engines at launch. Improvement in the power units’ efficiency have resulted in higher real-world fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions.
In the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powering the entry level BMW 118i, modifications have cut CO2 emissions by 29g/km at the same time as boosting maximum power output by 4hp to 140hp. The power unit, which is five kilogrammes lighter than the one it replaces, generates peak torque of 220Nm. The BMW 118i accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.5 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 132mph. It posts combined fuel consumption of 47.1-40.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 123-114g/kg.
The newly developed 2.0-litre unit under the bonnet of the M135i xDrive model is the BMW Group’s most powerful four-cylinder petrol engine. It delivers 306hp with the help of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and peak torque is 450Nm. It accelerates from zero to 62mph in 4.8 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155mph. The M135i xDrive returns 35.3-34.4mpg and emits 157-155g/km of CO2.
Three diesel units will be available for the new BMW 1 Series from launch and upgrades have brought about a reduction in fuel consumption – and therefore CO2 emissions – of around five per cent, at the same time as lowering other pollutant emissions.
The BMW 116d is powered by a 1.5-litre 116hp three-cylinder engine with a maximum torque of 270Nm, while returning 61.4-54.3mpg and emitting CO2 of 103-100g/km; top speed is 124mph and the 0-62mph time is 10.3 seconds (10.1 seconds with the seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission).
The BMW 118d and 120d xDrive, which feature two-stage turbocharging, are powered by 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines. The 118d returns 60.1-51.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 111-108 g/km. The output of the BMW 118d peaks at 150hp while maximum torque is 350Nm. The zero to 62mph sprint takes 8.5 seconds (8.4 seconds with eight-speed Steptronic transmission) and top speed is 135mph (134mph with Steptronic).
The BMW 120d xDrive features BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission as standard. Its four-cylinder power unit produces 190hp and a peak torque of 400Nm. The 120d xDrive accelerates from zero to 62mph in 7.0 seconds, reaching a top speed of 143mph. Combined fuel consumption is at 51.4-48.7mpg while emitting 119-117g/km CO2.
The arrival of the new BMW 1 Series marks the first time three different transmission technologies have been employed in the range. In the BMW 116d, BMW 118d and BMW 118i, the engine’s power is delivered via an upgraded six-speed manual gearbox. New to the BMW 1 Series line-up is the seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission, which can be specified as an option for the BMW 116d and the BMW 118i. This allows faster gear changes with no interruption in power delivery and the long seventh gear keeps revs low, helping to lower fuel consumption when out of town or on the motorway. Further improvements have been made to the shift comfort and acoustic properties of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission fitted as an option in the BMW 118d and as standard in the BMW 120d xDrive and the BMW M135i xDrive.
The new BMW 1 Series features the actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation (ARB) technology used in the BMW i3s. This is the first time it has been used in a combustion-engine car and it has the effect of significantly improving traction when pulling away, cornering or when driving in the wet. The system works in close tandem with the DSC system to significantly reduce power understeer.
ARB is assisted in its task by BMW Performance Control (yaw moment distribution). This feature, which is also included as standard on the BMW 1 Series, gives it more agile handling by intelligently applying the brakes at the wheels on the inside of the bend. This suppresses any initial understeer and gives the car neutral steering behaviour. Alternatively, drivers can engage the DSC system’s propulsion-optimised Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) setting, which allows a greater degree of slip at the driven wheels and thereby paving the way for a ‘sportier’ driving style.
ARB technology and BMW Performance Control also feature on the BMW 120d xDrive and the BMW M135i xDrive, which are both equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard. This can split drive power 50:50 if necessary and is designed to ensure predictable handling in all driving situations. This applies even if the Driving Experience Control switch is set to Sport mode, DTC is selected or DSC is deactivated.
In Comfort or Eco Pro mode, drive is split as required, while keeping fuel consumption as low as possible. Fuel economy is therefore improved without any discernible impact on driving dynamics or traction. As well as the all-wheel drive system, standard specification for the BMW M135i xDrive includes a newly developed mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential.
The BMW 1 Series offers SE, Sport and M Sport trims as well as the range-topping M135i xDrive.
The all-new BMW 1 Series is on sale from September with prices starting from £24,430.