BMW’s next-generation 1 Series hatch is well on its way, as shown by these camouflaged spy pictures. Set to enter the South African market in 2018, the new 1 Series will have to contend with a different landscape than when it first launched, and will have to adapt and even innovate to stay ahead. Part of this adaptation is the wide use of front-wheel-drive, and even all-wheel-drive.
While BMW has always prided itself in building rear-wheel-drive cars, lately there are more and more Bavarians coming out pulling with their front wheels, a trait that allows for more legroom and better use of space generally. It also gives a better sense of safety as cars tend to understeer (cutting speed) more than oversteering (much less control). As for the all-wheel-drive option, it is rumoured to be part and parcel of the high-performance M models like the M240i. It might even make the M2.
What will make the 1 Series is a smoother body, will far fewer convexes and concaves, thus further distancing the company’s future designs from the Chris Bangle era. Also, new engines, including the 1.5-litre turbo, the 1.0-litre turbo and an M2 that will go nearly 300kW. Interestingly word coming out of Germany is that car will use not a 3.0-litre like the current model, but a smaller 2.0-litre turbo. Let’s wait and see.