BMW Unveils Fourth-Generation 1 Series with Significant Upgrades

BMW is gearing up for a major shift with the launch of the fourth-generation 1 Series, including a new M Performance variant. Despite retaining its front-wheel-drive architecture, the new iteration brings a host of cosmetic and technological upgrades while hinting at a future shift in nomenclature by dropping the “i” from its petrol model names, starting with the M135.

M135 xDrive

Performance and Powertrain Options

The M135 will be available at launch, powered by the latest iteration of the B48 engine. This 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivers 296hp in regions with stricter emissions regulations and 312hp elsewhere. Torque is consistent at 400Nm, enabling the M135 to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 250km/h.

Other engine options include a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder mild-hybrid in the 120, producing 168hp and 280Nm of torque. This variant can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 225km/h.

For diesel enthusiasts, there’s the 120d with a 2.0-litre turbo engine, generating 161 horsepower and 280Nm of torque, achieving 0 to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 222km/h. A more affordable 118d variant offers 148hp and 360Nm of torque, completing the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.3 seconds and matching the 120d’s top speed.

Exterior and Design Evolution

The new 1 Series maintains its recognisable silhouette, but with sharper, more aggressive headlights and taillights reminiscent of the latest X2. The M Performance version, the M135, stands out with a quad exhaust system borrowed from the X1 M35i and X2 M35i, and the signature M-specific side mirror caps and kidney grille badge. The M135 also features plenty of glossy black trim and a sportier grille with horizontal slats.

The standard 1 Series models, whether equipped with the M Sport Package or not, sport a unique grille design with interlaced vertical and oblique lines. Notably, the new 1 Series is BMW’s first model to offer a contrasting roof finish in glossy black. Wheel sizes range from 17 inches up to 19 inches for the M135, which can also be equipped with optional compound brakes.

Interior Upgrades and Technological Enhancements

Inside, the 2025 1 Series offers a dramatic departure from its predecessor. It now features BMW’s latest iDrive 9 infotainment system with dual screens- a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch touchscreen. The interior design emphasises minimalism, evident from the removal of most conventional buttons and even the traditional iDrive rotary knob.

M135 xDrive

A new gear selector replaces the chunky gear lever, and the cabin boasts a fully vegan interior as standard. The M135 variant comes with additional sporty touches, including body-hugging front seats with an illuminated M logo and standard shift paddles for its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

BMW’s fourth-generation 1 Series introduces significant upgrades in both design and technology while maintaining the core attributes that have made it popular. The inclusion of a high-performance M135 variant and a range of efficient engines ensures there is a model to suit a variety of preferences. As BMW continues to evolve its lineup, the new 1 Series sets the stage for future innovations and improvements in their entry-level segment.

M135 xDrive

1 Series

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