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BMW's new baby on the way


The 1 Series baby Beemer hatchback will emerge in October to head BMW's new grab for Aussie buyers.

THIS is the car that BMW is banking on to bring a fresh bunch of buyers to the brand.
The 1 Series, a five-door hatchback, makes its Australian debut at the Sydney Motor Show in October and will be in showrooms shortly after.
Two models will be available initially, 116i and the 120i, with prices likely to start around $37,000.
The 1 Series, something of a gamble for the white and blue propellor, takes over from the 3 Series Compact at the entry-level unit of the BMW family.
It is likely the Compact will be dropped when the German manufacturer introduces its next generation 3 Series late in 2005 or 2006.

The baby Beemer is certain to reignite the debate on styling triggered by the controversial 7 Series and which has continued with the arrival of the 5 Series and the Z4.
BMW persists with the complex mix of of concave and convex surfaces which have polarised opinion the world over.
A long nose, short front overhang and high waistline give the hatchback a distinctive profile.
The wheelbase of the 1 Series is 65mm shorter than the 3 Series and, at 4230mm, overall length is 240mm shorter.

The base model has a 1.6 litre, in-line four cylinder heart which puts out 85kW and 150 Newtons of torque, sufficient to get the 1205kg hatch from 0-100km/h in 10.8 sec.

The 120i's 2.0 litre engine, also used in the 3 Series, is good for 110kW and 200Nm. To fire up the 1 Series, the driver must put a 7 Series style key into the ignition slot and then use a start stop button on the dash.

Transmission choices in the 116i are a five-speed stick shift or a six-speed auto. The 120i gets a six-speed manual.

Both models run on 16-inch, run-flat rubber which means there is no spare tyre. The MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension is straight from the new 3 Series.

What sets the 1 Series apart from the other premium hatches, such as the VW Golf and the Audi A3, is that drive from longitudinally-mounted engine is fed to the rear wheels.

The one compromise here is interior space but BMW was not prepared to sacrifice driving dynamics for a more sapce efficient front drive layout.

A six-cylinder model is likely to follow and there's a turbo diesel variant, now a must for many European markets. At this stage, BMW Australia has no plans to bring in the oil burner, even though Audi Australia will have a turbo-diesel in its new A3 lineup.

However, the 1 Series family will grow. A three door hatchback is in the pipeline and there will be coupe and cabriolet variants by 2006.
This duo will carry the 2 Series badge.

And high performance M models are also on the drawing board but it could be up to three years before they arrive.

The 1 Series gets a full complement of BMW's active and passive safety features but the controversial I-Drive multi-function controller will, in Europe, at least, be an option.

BMW Group Australia believes the newcomer will have little effect on existing 3 Series sales. "The two cars attract different buyers," said media relations manager Nadine Giusti, who expects to retail up to 1,000 1 Series units in the first twelve months of market availability.



A Note on this article...

This article does not represent the original creative work of bmwfirst; please check the appropriate reference for details. This article is written from an Australian perspective: prices and specifications in your local region may vary.
1 Series Profiles (Click to Enlarge)



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Last Updated:
Saturday, May 19, 2007 18:41 WST

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