New BMW 1-Series range includes three-door

BMW has not only facelifted and thoroughly overhauled its smallest model, but also brought out a three-door. A variety of energy-efficient petrol and diesel engines are available, including the range-topping 265bhp 130i that gives the car a top speed limited to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

Brake Energy Regeneration (iGR), Automatic Start-Stop and Electric Power Steering make the new 1-Series one of the most fuel and energy efficient small luxury cars available, with the first feature re-charging the battery via an alternator only when the car is under braking or on the over-run. The Automatic Start-Stop can be switched on or off and will stop the motor when the gear lever is in neutral, automatically re-starting when the clutch is engaged, while the Electric Power Steering results in a 90 per cent energy saving compared to a conventional mechanical hydraulic steering system.

The 130i is the world’s lightest six-cylinder production engine with VALVETRONIC and Bi-VANOS technology that achieves zero to 62mph in 6.0 seconds (five-door is 6.1 seconds) and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Output is 265bhp while peak torque is 315Nm. Combined fuel consumption is 34.0mpg and CO2 emissions are 197g/km. As a comparison, the the BMW 118d posts the lowest ever CO2 emissions of any BMW recording - 123g/km.

BMW’s designers have refreshed the interior and exterior styling of the five-door model. The 1 Series now features a larger kidney grille for improved airflow to the engine. The lower front spoiler has also been reprofiled to create a larger air intake, while the spoiler protrudes further for a more pronounced, sporting look. The headlamp cluster remains the same size but a darker cover gives a subtle, more distinguished front end.

At the rear a restyled bumper gives the impression of a wider, lower car. The rear lamp cluster now features a new arrangement of lights, but retains its original shape.

The new three-door 1 Series features the same styling cues but its side view is naturally different. The passenger doors are longer than those on the five-door model and are also frameless in the style of a coupé. Inside, customers will also be able to choose between either a four-seat or a five-seat configuration. In the four-seat arrangement rear passengers are separated by a central storage compartment and sit in more sculptured seats. As a no-cost option the five-seat layout offers the traditional bench seat standard on the five-door 1 Series. The introduction of higher quality materials and minor changes to the layout of the interior enhance customer comfort and practicality.

The new three- and five-door BMW 1 Series models will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show in March and go on sale in the UK at the same time.

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: BMW

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