When the first generation of the BMW 1 Series was launched, it broke all the molds in the compact segment. It was a different car, the only compact with a longitudinal engine and propulsion, a 100% BMW car both in conception and in feel and driving, which had no rival in the market, even though Audi had the A3 and Mercedes the A-Class. However, over time it lost some of its personality until reaching its third generation, in which it became just another compact, car with a transverse engine and front-wheel drive, it even lost its characteristic design with a long nose and delayed cabin.
The brand had its reasons, and also, weight. The best-selling version of the 1 Series was the most basic, the 116 hp diesel and as if that were not enough, most customers did not know, nor were they interested, in which the wheels that moved the car. But on the other hand, they did complain about having a smaller than average cabin, something that has been another hallmark of the German brand. So the most logical option was to transform the car and turn it into a traditional compact, a concept with which to offer precisely what most customers were looking for.
Said generation, the third, is reaching the middle of its commercial life and the brand is immersed in the development of restyling, as has been verified on several occasions in which units with camouflage have been seen in different places. Both the German magazine Auto motor and sport and the North American Carscoops have published images of the next renewal of the BMW 1 Series, still very camouflaged, which suggests that we will not know the restyling until 2023.
At the moment, information about the restyling of the BMW 1 Series is limited, very limited. All we can say is more speculation than data based on something tangible, although it is also true that they are logical speculations when we talk about the mid-life renewal of a car like the 1 Series. Thus, at least according to what is said, we will see a change in the exterior design, adopting more elegant features, in line with the current aesthetic line that the brand has taken. We will not see the double headlights of the BMW i7, but they will change slightly in shape, like the pilots, which will also be somewhat thinner and more stylized.
Changes are also expected in the radiator grille, which will change its shape, although we do not know if it will become larger still, or if it will simply have another contour. The bumpers will change, as is normal, highlighting the inclusion of four exhaust terminals in the most powerful 1 Series, the BMW M135i (now it only has two, one on each side). We don’t know if that set-up will make it to production, but at least we’re hoping they’ll be authentic exhausts and not just garnishes, which, let’s face it, look especially tawdry. Even Mercedes, in the AMGs, uses fake exhausts.
Regarding the interior, nothing to tell, there are no images on which to base our speculations, but it is logical to think that it will take some details from the latest releases. Let no one doubt the disappearance of the few physical buttons that remain, placing touch surfaces instead or directly making everything controlled from the screen. That is, something similar to what is seen in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
Under the hood there will be no notable changes, it will maintain the same engines that are offered now, including diesel, but it should receive a version with a hybrid powertrain, perhaps the same powertrain as the BMW 225e, which announces 245 hp. A version with an electric motor is ruled out, at least for now, it will be seen when the fourth generation of the 1 Series arrives, but at the moment, there will be no BMW electric compact.