Although a new car in a new premium segment, the 1 Series has the traditional BMW design trademarks – the front kidney grille, double headlamps and ‘Hofmeister kink’ on the C-pillar all feature. These punctuate a genuinely head-turning styling that ensures the new 1 Series will stand out amongst its competitors.
After slipping behind the wheel and firing up the engine via a starter button, the driver will go on to enjoy BMW’s renowned 50:50 weight distribution and front engine, rear wheel drive set-up – unique in this class. Coupled with a technically elaborate aluminium front axle and five-link rear suspension, this ensures optimum handling and traction, and the most invigorating drive in the compact executive segment. A drag coefficient of just 0.29 helps the new BMW 1 Series slip through the air with maximum efficiency and the minimum of noise. Standard fit 16-inch run-flat tyres also mean the days of motorway hard shoulder tyre changes are over.
Measuring just 4.23 metres long, but with a relatively long wheelbase of 2.66 metres, driving dynamics have been cleverly worked into a practical four-seater. The new 1 Series offers ample shoulder and legroom for rear passengers and, thanks to split fold rear seats that fold virtually flat, a similarly generous luggage capacity of between 330 to 1150 litres of storage space.
Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Electronic Differential Lock help ensure the 1 Series provides the highest standards of active safety without impacting unnecessarily on driving enjoyment. An airbag system that includes head airbags for all occupants means the new BMW 1 Series also meets the most stringent passive safety requirements.
The high level of standard safety features combined with structural integrity means that the new 1 Series is clearly aiming for five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.
Meanwhile, optional extras include Bluetooth capability, sports seats with backrest width adjustment, acoustic Park Distance Control at the front and the rear and Bi-xenon headlights. The pioneering iDrive controller when mated to a navigation system is also an option. Keyless access and voice-activated radio and navigation systems will appear after launch.
Prices for the all-new 1-Series will be announced later in the spring.Published 23 March 2004