BMW’s next-gen 1-series (2011): full details

Published: 19 January 2009

This is an engineering mule for the next-generation BMW 1-series, snapped testing for the first time. The new 1-series (internally dubbed F20) arrives in mid-2011, sticks with rear-wheel drive, and will offer engines from a 1.3-litre four-pot all the way up to a 300bhp hardcore flagship. You can see an exclusive sketch of the car in the new February 2009 issue of CAR Magazine – out now.

Tell me about these new BMW 1-series engines

There will be both four- and six-cylinder power units, the demand for the smooth six-cylinder engines in the current coupe and cabriolet having convinced BMW to keep the big engines and, crucially, the rear-wheel drive layout. Engineers had looked at making the new One front-wheel drive, twinning it with the Mini to reduce costs.

New to the range will be a downsized 1.3-litre turbo petrol four that’ll power the 116i and 118i. There’ll also be a turbocharged 2.0-litre and the 3.0-litre straight-six. Diesel power will also come from a 2.0-litre four-pot, with one or two turbos.

The engine line-up will be:


116i – 136bhp
118i – 184bhp
120i – 218bhp
130i – 272bhp


118d – 150bhp
120d – 184bhp
123d – 211bhp

Six-speed manuals and twin-clutch automatics will send the power rearwards.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the new E30 M3 successor

Is it still a four-model line-up?

The existing two hatchback bodystyles and the coupe and convertible are confirmed, but BMW is consdiering other bodystyles this time round. A three-door shooting brake is the most likely, but a business case still needs to be stacked up.

Will we see a new M1?

No, but we could see a successor to the original E30 M3. Using the coupe shell, BMW wants a 300bhp hardcore 1-series, powered by a new twin-turbo 2.2-litre petrol and clad in carbonfibre and composite panels. Expect it in 2012 – and you can see our exclusive sketch in the latest issue of CAR Magazine, out now.

If that’s too extreme, then there will be M-Sport options available for the regular cars, but the next generation of BMW’s EfficientDynamics tech is in the pipeline too. Start/stop will work with automatics, there will be NOx-trapping diesels and on-demand oil and water pumps, plus other lighter componentry. And we should see an electric range extender and plug-in hybrid later in this new One’s life.

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