2012 BMW 1-Series Hatchback Preview

Follow Viknesh

BMW has come out with a decisively different looking 1-Series for the second generation of the car, yet there’s still some familiarity to the at times awkward looking compact. We’ll leave the styling judgments up to you, though one thing we can all agree on is that BMW has made a good decision in increasing the size of its latest 1-Series.

As mentioned in our previous report, this hatchback version of the new 2012 BMW 1-Series may for the first time be sold in the U.S. The strongest clue indicating such a possibility is the car’s increase girth, with the latest 2012 model being longer and wider than its predecessor--and with a longer wheelbase. However, for now, BMW is remaining tight lipped on the U.S. launch situation.

Overall dimensions come in at 166.7 inches in length, 69.5 inches in width and 55.9 inches in height, which makes it 3.3 inches longer than the outgoing model, 0.7 inches wider and about the same height. Importantly, the wheelbase has been increased by 1.2 inches to a total 105.9 inches, which results in more legroom in the rear--0.8 inches more in fact. Trunk storage space comes in at 12.7 cubic feet.

In Europe, the car will be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel engines, all turbocharged and delivering outputs ranging from 116 horsepower in the base 116d equipped with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel up to 184 horsepower in the 120d. Interestingly, this model features the same 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine as the base 116d but with a more potent tune. Unsurprisingly, this model is also the fastest, with a 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph. The announced gasoline models all come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.

A six-speed manual comes standard, and for the first time in the 1-Series customers will be able to opt for an eight-speed automatic. Later on BMW will launch the high-performance 128i and 135i gasoline models.

Fuel saving measures include several BMW EfficientDynamics technologies such as engine stop-start systems, a gearshift indictor for manual equipped models, brake energy regeneration, electric power steering and low rolling resistance tires.

The redesigned 1-Series Coupe and Convertible should follow in around about one year’s time, with these sportier variants expected to share the Hatchback model’s front end and interior. Further down the track expect to see a high-performance 1-Series M Coupe as well as a base spec model with a front-wheel drive configuration.

In the meantime, look out for the official world debut of the 2012 BMW 1-Series Hatchback at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this September.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Follow Us

Comments (7)
  1. BMW definitely ran out of ideas with this one.. the design theme looks forced.

  2. Guys, I hated it when I saw the leaked shots but now it's already starting to grow on me. It's got this quirkiness to it. Makes it really stand out.
    Kinda like a weird looking chick who's actually hot.
    The angel eyes are starting to get really lame though. They are getting way too bright, almost aftermarket tacky.

  3. I have another theory why they made this model look so different. Think about it – if BMW made this car look just as good as the new 5-Series or as good as I’m hoping the next 3-Series will be, people might start downgrading to the 1.
    Now the more expensive 5-Series and above will remain highly desirable and will serve as halo models for the legions of BMW fans that buy this uglier car.
    In this way, BMW can keep the more established buyers in the handsome 5-Series and above range, while newcomers and wannabes looking for a cheap BMW can buy this, or the upcoming front-wheel drive model.

  4. Wow. It is rare that BMW botches an exterior design but they sure did with this ugly duckling. The new 1 hatchback is sure to win Ugliest Hatchback Award.

  5. From the rear, it looks like someone melted a Mk IV Golf. At least the hatchback configuration helps this 1-Series look a bit more proportional compared to the current coupe, which to me resembles a 3-Series that got shunted from the front and rear.

  6. This BMW looks like a car for the masses. Is there any correlation between this and being unattractive? It looks like it's been done on purpose

  7. I hope the 3-series does NOT look like this! Please BMW do NOT make the 3-series look like this!

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Take Us With You!


Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Research New Cars


Related Used Listings

Browse used listings in your area.

© 2015 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.