What’s this? A BMW 1-series facelift?
Sort of. The 1-series has only been available as a five-door since its launch in 2004 – until now. The three-door was unveiled today and packs in longer, coupe-style frameless doors, but you won’t exactly mistake it for anything other than a 1-series. That said, the whole range of Ones has been gently massaged, with a fleet of new engines and a mild facelift. There’s a larger kidney grille, a reprofiled front spoiler and a darker headlamp cover on all 1-series. Of rather more interest is what’s under the bonnet – including some pretty radical new environmental technology.
New engines? What do they do?
BMW has unveiled some pretty interesting new technology on the revised 1-series. All manual models (except the 130i) now switch off automatically at a standstill when the driver selects neutral; the engine restarts instantly the moment the driver presses the clutch pedal. And the company’s new Brake Energy Regeneration system is seen for the first time. It disengages the alternator when battery recharging isn’t needed; traditional alternators are constantly pulling power from the engine. It also harnesses energy wasted on the over-run to charge the battery. New direct-injection engines are also introduced to the 1-series range – in some cases, managing economy improvements of up to 24%. The new engines are: 118i, 143bhp (+14bhp), 47.9mpg (-24%) 120i, 170bhp (+20bhp), 44.1mpg (-17%) 118d, 143bhp (+21bhp), 60.1mpg (-19%) 120d, 177bhp (+14bhp), 57.6mpg (-16%)