BMW announces second-generation 1 Series

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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BMW has officially announced the second generation of its entry-level 1 Series premium compact car. The new 1 Series is expected to arrive as a 2012 model and though its proportions may be similar to the current 1 Series, the new car's styling and powertrains are quite different.

The German automaker has announced four versions of the new 1 Series so far. They include the 118i, the 116i, the 120d and the 118d, the last two of which are diesels. All four models feature four cylinder engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. Engine power amongst the four models ranges from 136 to 184 horsepower, while 0-100 km/h times range from 10.3 to 7.2 seconds. Those figures are considerably less impressive than the current range of 1 Series models, which is powered by a trio of six-cylinder engines. Therefore, it's conceivable that the North American 1 Series could be powered by the next generation of BMW 3 series engines.

Though the new 1 Series will be outfitted with a six-speed manual transmission, it will also be offered with an eight-speed automatic. The new eight-speed automatic is claimed to deliver excellent fuel efficiency as well as fast and smooth gear changes. The automatic can be shifted manually through the use of the gear select lever or paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

In terms of its proportions, the new 1 Series is noticeably larger than the current model. The body is 85 mm longer while the wheelbase is 30 mm longer. Inside, the car gains 21 mm of legroom and the luggage compartment has expanded from 300 litres to 360 litres. With the rear seats folded, that figure climbs to 1,200 litres.

The interior of the new 1 Series features more curvaceous styling of the dashboard and centre console, and resembles the new BMW 6 Series in that respect. The new interior is also less sparse than that of the current car and looks much more luxurious. BMW's ConnectedDrive feature aims to make the interior more comfortable by offering driver's a collection of assistance services. They include Adaptive Headlights, a Lane Departure Warning system with Collision Warning, parking assist with reverse camera, and cruise control with a braking function.

ConnectedDrive also allows for internet connectivity, smartphone and music player integration, web radio, real-time traffic information, as well as the use of Facebook and Twitter applications. BMW's iDrive system makes use of either a 6.5- or 8.8-inch high-resolution control screen that allows for control of entertainment, telecommunication, and navigation tasks.

North American specifications for the second generation BMW 1 Series have not yet been released, but news about the car should surface in the next few months being that it's likely to debut late this year or early in 2012.

Whether it has a four-cylinder engine line-up, a trio of sixes, turbochargers or natural aspiration, or a combination of powertrain options, the new 1 Series will still appeal to Canadian customers looking for small, sporty, stylish and relatively affordable premium rear-wheel drive transport.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hatchback, Wagon, BMW, 2012, 1-Series, New Vehicle Preview News, Compact,

Organizations: BMW

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