CARtoday.com recently published photographs of disguised BMW 1 Series models being tested in SA... The car will make its world début in the third quarter of the year, but BMW AG sprung a surprise on Tuesday by releasing official pictures of the car.

CARtoday.com recently published photographs of disguised BMW 1 Series models being tested in SA... The car will make its world début in the third quarter of the year, but BMW AG sprung a surprise on Tuesday by releasing official pictures of the car.


BMW AG's foray into the executive subcompact market, the 1 Series, will feature four engines, three gearboxes and rear-wheel drive. A 86-kW 1,6-litre petrol engine, which produces 150 N.m of torque at 4 300 r/min, powers the entry-level BMW 116i. BMW claims the 116i will achieve the zero to 100 km/h time in 10,8 seconds and reach a top speed of 201 km/h.


The performance four-cylinder petrol model will be the BMW 120i, fitted with a 112 kW two-litre Valvetronic petrol engine producing 200 N.m at 3 600 r/min. Due to its reduced weight, the 120i should sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 8,7 seconds before achieving a maximum speed of 217 km/h, BMW claims.


The BMW 1 Series launch line-up will be completed with two versions of the Munich company's two-litre common rail diesel engine. The 91 kW BMW 118d is claimed to achieve a zero to 100 km/h time of 10 seconds and reach a top speed of 201 km/h. The performance claims for the higher-performance 122 kW BMW 120d is 7,9 seconds (0-100 km/h) and 220 km/h. "Instant turbo power delivered smoothly to the red line", BMW says, is the reason that the 120d outperforms its two-litre petrol equivalent.


Both diesel models produce maximum torque of 280N.m and 340 N.m from a low 2 000 r/min, respectively. Both diesel-engined derivatives and the two petrol units are EU4 emission compliant.



Power is delivered to the road via a six-speed manual in 118d, 120d and 120i models and the 116i has a five-speed manual gearbox. An optional six-speed automatic will also be offered on 120i and 120d models.


As expected, the 1 Series retains the traditional BMW design trademarks - the front kidney grille, double headlamps and 'Hofmeister kink' on the C-pillar.


A 1 Series model's engine fires up at the push of a starter button. Fitted with an aluminium front axle and five-link rear suspension, the 1 Series has 50:50 weight distribution and a drag coefficient of 0.29. Sixteen-inch run-flat tyres are standard.


The cars are 4,23 metres long, but have relatively long wheelbases of 2,66 metres. That's why BMW claims that the 1 Series, despite its rear-wheel drive layout, offers "ample shoulder and legroom for rear passengers and, thanks to split fold rear seats that fold virtually flat, a similarly generous luggage capacity of between 330 to 1150 litres of storage space".


Safety systems include dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, dynamic brake control and electronic differential lock and head airbags for all of a 1 Series model's occupants.


The high level of standard safety features combined with structural integrity means that the new 1 Series is aiming for five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, a BMW spokesman said.


Meanwhile, optional extras include Bluetooth capability, sports seats with backrest width adjustment, acoustic Park Distance Control at the front and the rear and Bi-xenon headlights. iDrive controller, when mated to a navigation system, is also an option. Keyless access and voice-activated radio and navigation systems will appear after launch, the company said.


BMW SA spokesman Clynton Yon last year told CARtoday.com that the 1 Series would be launched in South Africa "around the end of 2004".