The all-new BMW 1 Series brings major changes to BMW’s baby hatchback, and here’s what we know with regards to the new car and Singapore
CarBuyer has more details about the new 2019 BMW 1 Series for Singapore, which is expected to be launched here in September.
As we reported earlier, the new third-generation model of BMW’s baby brings major changes, chief among which is the switch from rear-wheel-drive (RWD) to front-wheel-drive (FWD).
At launch, BMW will offer the 118i and the top-spec M135i variants, so there’ll be one to satisfy both the mass market buyer and the performance enthusiast.
The 118i will be the volume seller, and will be powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 140hp and 220Nm of torque. Power will be sent to the front wheels (yes) via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the powertrain is essentially the same one as seen in the X1 and X2 sDrive18is models.
The M135i meanwhile will be the top-spec high performance model, and sees a big change from the M140i it replaces. The inline six engine is out, replaced by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot that churns out 306hp and 450Nm of torque. The new M135i also gets BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system as standard, and power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Those are the sole petrol variants available for now at launch, but BMW is also offering three diesel models for the European market: the 116d, 118d and 120d xDrive. Of those, the first one will hold particular interest to Singaporeans, as the previous version sold extremely well here due to its low emissions attracting some pretty generous CEVS rebates from the authorities.
Now that the criteria for rebates have shifted, BMW is reconsidering whether to bring in the 116d once more. As of now, there are no plans to introduce the diesel models to Singapore.
The main reason for the 1 Series’ switch to FWD is to address customer concerns regarding interior packaging, especially for rear passengers. To that end, BMW has redesigned the car to be more passenger-friendly, and yet keep the car compact, nimble and easy to manoeuvre.
The new car is actually 5mm shorter than the old one, and wheelbase has been reduced by 20mm. Despite that, BMW claims that knee room for rear passengers has been increased by 33mm.
Boot space has also been upped by 20 litres to 380 litres, expandable to 1,200 litres with the rear seats folded down.
BMW has kitted out the new 1 Series with some interesting new tech, despite its status as the brand’s entry-level model. For instance, all variants get BMW’s ARB (actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation) technology, first seen in the BMW i3S, which allows wheel slip to be controlled much more sensitively and swiftly.
Actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation works in close tandem with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to reduce understeer, giving the 1 Series safer and more secure handling manners.
On the inside, BMW will offer a series of neat features for the 1 Series that we’ve already seen on its larger siblings, such as the new 3 Series. These include the BMW Digital Key, which allows for locking and unlocking of the car with a smartphone using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
The 1 Series will also have the BMW Intelligent Assistant, which can recognise and respond to verbal commands spoken in a conversational style (like, “Hey BMW, I’m feeling warm” to turn on the air con). Both these functions will be optional extras on the 1 Series, with costs to be finalised closer to the car’s launch date.
BMW Asia has confirmed that the new 1 Series will make its bow in Singapore in September, with the 118i being offered in two trims, Luxury and M Sport. The difference between the two will be down to alloy wheel designs, interior trimmings and upholstery options, but the latter also gains an M Sport kit that throws in sports suspension and an aerodynamics package.
Pricing will start from around $160,000 including COE for the 118i, putting it in a straight fight with the Mercedes-Benz A 200.
The M235i meanwhile will have an estimated pricing of about $235,000 with COE, which is also roughly where the new Mercedes-AMG A 35 will land when it arrives at the end of the year.