The BMW 1 Series is poised to recapture market share from the Mercedes A-Class with its upcoming redesign, which includes a revamped body and interior featuring a sizable multimedia screen with dual displays. The 2023 version of the entry-level model from the Bavarian automaker will undergo restyling four years after its initial release.
Despite losing the 6-cylinder and rear-wheel drive in its third generation, the BMW 1 Series has emerged as a formidable competitor in its segment. The Compact model adopted the same approach as the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class (with only 4-cylinder and front-wheel drive options), with the exception of the Audi RS3 which still adheres to the 5-cylinder setup.
The updated BMW 1 Series will adopt the latest styling cues from the Munich-based manufacturer’s lineup, which has been characterized by a more extravagant approach lately. This means a larger front grille to accommodate the number plate, but with a more refined aesthetic. The exterior appearance will also be enhanced to include more prominent side vents on either side of the front bumper. This facelift will be complemented by updated wheels and a modernized rear light signature.
Inside the cabin, frequent BMW 1 Series drivers will notice significant changes, as the car will feature a large digital instrument panel like its larger sibling, the Series 3, and two consecutive screens. This significant investment necessitates a complete overhaul of the dashboard, following the lead of recent models such as the 2 Series Active Tourer and X1, both of which are based on the same platform. These details, as reported by Tracednews.com, provide a more in-depth look at the final design of the vehicle.
The engine and its accompanying technical data have been a subject of much interest and discussion in automotive circles. The discerning observer will note that the 3-cylinder engine boasts superior fuel injection efficiency, a highly desirable trait. As for the 4-cylinder engine, it is slated for conversion into a more compact 48V hybrid, a move sure to enhance its already impressive capabilities.
It remains to be seen whether the Series 1 will introduce any charged hybrid variants, given the potential issue of battery size arising from the model’s modest dimensions. Such a consideration, while understandable, must be regarded as a minor hurdle when one considers that the A3 and A-Class have had hybrid technology for some time, not to mention the fact that a host of other mainstream players in the segment, including the Peugeot 308 and the Renault Mégane, have long since incorporated this technology into their designs.
At the athletic echelon, the 128 ti and M135i xDrive, boasting an impressive 265 and 306 bhp respectively, may warrant a mild revitalization. Yet, the recently spied models of the new 1 Series suggest it may finally square off with Audi RS3’s 450 HP and Mercedes-AMG In 45 S’s 421 hp.
Regrettably, the design precludes the use of a 6-cylinder engine, which is a missed opportunity when compared to the recently introduced 2 Series Coupe, which deftly adopted the abbreviated chassis from the 3 Series. The refreshed BMW 1 Series is anticipated to make its debut later this year with an elevated price point, commencing at approximately 31,000 euros.