BMW has taken the wraps of its entry level hatchback the 2012 BMW 1 Series. The new model was set to debut during the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year but the images of the car apparently leaked on to the interweb a few days back and this might have prompted the management to reveal the car officially ahead of the actual launch.
The new 1 Series is based on the 3 Series platform and is now larger than the old model except for the height which remains the same as the model it replaces. The front kidney grille is now more vertical as seen on all the latest cars from the BMW stables. The designers also seem to have spent a fair bit of their time working on the interior. The interior fit and finish has improved over the last car and now feels more upmarket.
BMW has announced a range of four-cylinder engines for the baby-beemer as of now but, expect a list of higher capacity engines being introduced later on. For now, the range includes two naturally aspirated, direct injection petrol engines: 1.6 litre with 136 bhp and 170 bhp. A range topping turbocharged petrol with 245 bhp on tap will go under the hood of 128 iS which replaces the current six-pot 130i. A 1.5 litre 3-pot gasoline as well as a turbo diesel will also be offered. As far as diesels are concerned, three 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel motors with power ranging from 116 bhp to 184 bhp will be offered.
The powerplants are coupled to a six-speed manual or 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. As expected, fuel saving technologies like start-stop and brake energy regeneration will go into the car and so will a few bells and whistles in the top of the like variant which include lane departure warning, automatic traffic sign recognition, automatic headlights with auto leveling high beam and of course, BMW’s i-Drive in-car interface.
In India, most premium automakers are planning to enter the premium small car segment. Audi is rumoured to be considering the Audi A1 for India. BMW too might bring the Mini or the 1 Series to our shores. Of course, if the 2012 1 Series does make it to India, it will lack most of the bells and whistles of the European spec cars. But, what’s more important is the engine options that BMW could offer to its Indian customers. In Britain, the basic 116i costs £19,375. From the UK pricing at least, it seems unlikely that BMW India might bring 1-Series. Hence, the Mini could be a better bet if the company is pondering a small car for India.