The model makes sense: spend less, charge more, make more profit. Improving the value of the 1-series while at the same time pushing it a bit further up-market will enable BMW to clear more cash per car sold - an important thing to do on a higher-volume car like the 1.
But how will BMW get there? Possibly by sharing many more components, and even platforms, with the 3-series. Sharing the costs across both ranges would improve the economies of scale for the 3-series too, but it runs the risk of making the 1-series too much like its next-step-up sibling. Offering a different range of body styles, including possibly a shooting brake variant, plus new engines and feature sets will be the way to distinguish the slightly-smaller 1-series, it seems.
Speaking of engines, fuel efficiency will also play a key role in the next-gen 1-series, with Europeans getting an all-new three-cylinder turbo petrol unit rated at an estimated 110hp (82kW), according to Auto Motor & Sport. The new engine, along with new technology applied to the 116d's diesel engine, will enable more models than ever to lay claim to CO2 emissions under 100g/km. This set of goals mirrors closely those of BMW's Project i city car. The usual suspects of naturally aspirated and turbo fours and sixes will also be on tap.
Keeping the value up will be a new range of 'driver assistance' technologies trickled down or derived from the 7-series and 5-series sedans. A forward-looking camera that aids lane detection and collision hazards and a HUD night-vision display are both possible candidates for inclusion in the next 1-series.
A host of new features are also expected for the next-gen 3-series, including a new GT body style not unlike the much-reviled BMW 5-series GT Concept.