The drive-train layout, with a longitudinally mounted in-line engine at the front and rear-wheel drive, is unique in the compact segment. This improves the handling of new BMW 1 Series, and is also reflected in its styling, with its distinctive BMW proportions: long bonnet, wide wheelbase and a set-back passenger cell. The new BMW 1 Series is the embodiment of responsiveness and innovative elegance in a compact car, with a youthful, lively design and high-quality features adding to the excitement.
Compared with its predecessor, the new BMW 1 Series is a car that has done some growing up, and that is reflected in its larger dimensions. It is now 8.5 centimetres longer and 1.7 centimetres wider. However, the height has remained unchanged, and the result is a more elegant, elongated profile. Seen from the front and rear views, the powerful stance of this compact model immediately catches the eye.
The front of the car is dominated by the large BMW kidney-shaped radiator grille, boldly shaped headlight units and three-section air intake. The grille is angled forwards, adding emphasis to the challenging stance of this most sporty of compact models, while the surrounding areas catch the light and create a strong sense of three-dimensionality, with four contour lines on the bonnet forming a V that points towards the grille.
The trademark BMW double-round headlights have accent trim across their tops. In combination with the optional bi-xenon headlights, this creates a strongly focused look, powerfully enhanced by the direction indicators set into the inner light rings of the headlights and an LED accent light. This is also the first BMW model to feature side indicator lights built into the exterior mirrors.
From the side, the proportions of the new BMW 1 Series are even more strikingly apparent. The slightly sloping roof line, sporty, angled rear windscreen and flat side windows give the car a coupé-like feel, while the Hofmeister kink – the low forward bend at the back end of the side windows – extends well into the C-pillar, making the door aperture wider and facilitating entry to and exit from the rear seats.
The design quality of the new BMW 1 Series, which is unique in the compact segment, is particularly evident in the distinctive BMW lines and dramatically curved surfaces. The bold, characteristic BMW swage line gives powerful emphasis to the shoulder area. It starts at the front wing and rises continuously to the rear lights, with the door handle integrated neatly into it. An additional character line below the doors flows sharply upwards into the outline of the rear wheel arch. The sill line provides a similarly dynamic touch, running parallel to the ground before rising steeply at the rear wheel arch, and this is nicely echoed by the outlines of the side windows. The size of the rear wheel arches draws attention to its rear-wheel-drive layout, which underpins the car’s excellent driving dynamics.
The wide-set wheel arches reinforce the powerful impression created by the back of the new BMW 1 Series. The rear windscreen extends right across the width of the car, emphasizing its sporty yet compact feel and inviting the viewer to admire the practicality of its flexible luggage compartment. The wide-opening, slightly concave tailgate is opened by pressing the top section of the BMW emblem that sits at its centre.
The rear lights are also set well apart, creating a strong horizontal emphasis that is heightened by their raised surrounds. Where the optional xenon headlights are specified, the rear lights consist of L-shaped banks of LEDs. An additional brake light is set into the roof spoiler. The outline of the rear apron echoes that of the front bumper, while the V-shaped emblem surround leads the eye towards the road surface, visually suggesting the excellent roadholding of the new BMW 1 Series.
Inside, a combination of typical BMW design features and innovative details gives the new BMW 1 Series a fresh, youthful and modern feel, with a focus on spaciousness and driving pleasure. Lines and surfaces are dynamic and forward-leaning, with high-quality, precision-finished materials reflecting the model’s premium specifications. The characteristic BMW driver-focused layout is apparent in the angled displays and controls in the middle of the instrument panel, and the ergonomic contours of the centre console, which is likewise angled towards the driver. The interior surfaces are layered, another innovation which gives the new BMW 1 Series an organic look and feel.
In conjunction with an optional navigation system and the BMW Professional radio, the new BMW 1 Series uses the BMW iDrive control system. This comprises a controller on the centre console, favourites buttons and a freestanding flatscreen monitor. The 6.5 or 8.8-inch high-resolution Control Display, which is integrated into the instrument panel, is used for all information, entertainment, telecommunications and navigation functions.
The air vents underneath this monitor, and the controls for the air conditioning and audio system, are wider than usual, visually emphasizing the generous amount of horizontal space in the interior.
The new BMW 1 Series is the first car to feature the new BMW Lines, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for personalization. An exclusive range of interior and exterior equipment options help to show off the dynamic design and technological sophistication of the car to best advantage. The BMW Lines represent an alternative to the standard specification. They can be combined with any of the exterior paint finishes, equipment packages and individual equipment options available for the new BMW 1 Series.
The BMW Sport Line includes sports seats with exclusive coverings, a sports leather steering wheel with red contrast stitching, a red keyclasp, an adjustable armrest, high-gloss black interior trim strips and matt coral red accent strips. The instrument cluster features special Sport numbers and scales. The ambient lighting can be switched between orange and white, and includes additional light sources in the centre console and footwell. Other features of the BMW Sport Line include exclusive 16-inch star spoke light-alloy wheels, black trim for the exhaust tailpipe, and door sill finishers with “BMW Sport” lettering. The bars of the kidney grille, the trim bar in the central air intake, the side intake surrounds and the rear bumper trim are all high-gloss black. Additional options include high-gloss black mirror caps and 17-inch bi-colour light-alloy wheels.
The BMW Urban Line includes special cloth/leather seats, a sports leather steering wheel, an adjustable armrest, and contemporary interior trim finishers in acrylic glass. This has a strong sense of depth and is available in white or black with matt oxide silver accent strips. A striking effect is also provided by the ambient and courtesy lights, which can be switched between orange and LED royal blue and white and royal blue respectively. An additional light source on the B-pillar enhances the effect of the illumination.
The distinctive exterior includes special 16-inch V-spoke alloy wheels or optional 17-inch high-gloss white wheels with an angled surface, and white rear bumper trim. Additional design accents on the front include white kidney bars with chrome-plated fronts and a white trim bar for the centre air intake. The side intake surrounds are painted in the same colour as the car, and the BMW Urban Line also includes door sill finishers with “BMW Urban” lettering and a white keyclasp. White mirror caps are available as an option.
The components of the BMW Lines are matched down to the last detail, and create a striking visual impact. Other individually customizable features include a choice of seat coverings, interior trim finishers, accent strips and light-alloy wheels. The range of Original BMW Accessories for the new BMW 1 Series also includes products specifically designed for each of the two BMW Lines, including bags, floor mats and key holders.
The new BMW 1 Series is also offered with numerous design and material options apart from those included in the new BMW Lines. The standard specification includes interior trim finishers in satin silver and Move cloth seats, while options include additional interior trim finishers and accent strips, and Dakota leather seats in a choice of two colours. All upholsteries are also available for the optional sports seats. There are currently three non-metallic and eight metallic exterior paint colours to choose between.
At launch, the new BMW 1 Series will be available with a choice of five four-cylinder engines, all of them incorporating BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. In the new-generation petrol engines of the BMW 116i and BMW 118i, this combines instantaneous power delivery with exemplary fuel consumption and emissions figures. And a comprehensive array of updates to the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines in the new BMW 116d, BMW 118d and BMW 120d enable these models too to extend their fuel-efficiency advantage over competitor compact models.
The new BMW 1 Series is the first and only car in its class to offer the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission. A driving experience switch is fitted as standard, enabling vehicle set-up to be changed to suit individual preferences – the precise drive-train and suspension parameters affected vary depending on the specification of the car. The defining characteristic of the driving experience in the new BMW 1 Series is its responsiveness, and this is primarily due to its rear-wheel drive layout and almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Sophisticated suspension technology enables it to deliver a ride that is noticeably more comfortable than that of its predecessor. For even sportier handling – without sacrificing any of this ride comfort – there is also the option of Adaptive Suspension with electronic damper regulation.
The 1.6-litre petrol engines making their debut in the BMW 116i and BMW 118i models use BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, consisting of a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control. This design is based on that of the multi-award-winning 225 kW/306 hp in-line six-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo found in models such as the BMW 135i and BMW 135i Convertible. Like that engine, the new four-cylinder units too are part of BMW’s EfficientDynamics design strategy, which aims to continually increase driving pleasure while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The forced-induction system of the new BMW 1 Series uses the twin-scroll principle, with separate ducts both in the exhaust manifold and the turbocharger itself, each serving one pair of two cylinders. This enables more efficient use to be made of the exhaust pressure waves to drive the turbocharger, so in typical BMW fashion the engine responds instantly to any movement of the throttle. Output is also boosted by VALVETRONIC variable valve control, which is fully integrated into the cylinder head, and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust sides. The patented BMW VALVETRONIC technology steplessly adjusts intake valve timing, rendering the throttle valve of earlier engines obsolete. The amount of air required for combustion is regulated within the engine itself, minimizing throttling losses during gas exchange and improving engine efficiency. The new engines are unusually fuel-efficient, thanks mainly to High Precision Injection. The fuel supply is precisely regulated by magnetic-valve injectors with a maximum injection pressure of 120 bar, positioned centrally between the valves directly next to the spark plug.
The four-cylinder engine of the new BMW 118i, which has an all-aluminium crankcase, has a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp at 4,800 rpm, and a maximum torque of 250 Nm at between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. It is exceptionally responsive, accelerating the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 225 km/h. Improved efficiency is reflected in combined-cycle fuel consumption of 5.8 to 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 134 to 137 grams per kilometre (EU test figures, variations due to differences in the tyres fitted).
The four-cylinder engine of the new BMW 116i too provides significantly improved driving dynamics compared to the predecessor model. It has an output of 100 kW/136 hp at 4,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 220 Nm between 1,350 and 4,300 rpm. What is more, the overboost function temporarily increases this torque figure to 240 Nm between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm, for an extra surge of acceleration. The car takes 8.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standing start, and has a maximum speed of 210 km/h. Fuel consumption over the combined cycle is 5.5 to 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres, and CO2 emissions are 129 to 132 grams per kilometre (EU test figures, variations due to differences in the tyres fitted).
Wide-ranging design modifications have enabled the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines in the new BMW 1 Series to build on their competitive advantage in the areas of output and fuel efficiency. These include aluminium crankcases, reduced engine friction, thermodynamically optimized turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, and next-generation common-rail direct injection with magnetic-valve injectors.
The new BMW 120d represents a significant advance on its predecessor, with a 5 kW increase in maximum output to 135 kW/184 hp at 4,000 rpm, and maximum torque boosted by 30 Nm to 380 Nm between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. It reaches 100 km/h from a standing start in 7.2 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 228 km/h. Combined-cycle fuel consumption has been reduced to between 4.5 and 4.6 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of 119 to 122 grams per kilometre (EU test figures, variations due to differences in the tyres fitted).
The four-cylinder diesel engine of the new BMW 118d has a maximum output of 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 320 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 212 km/h. Its combined-cycle fuel consumption is 4.4 to 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of 115 to 118 grams per kilometre (EU test figures, variations due to differences in the tyres fitted).
The new entry-level BMW 116d, meanwhile, has a maximum output of 85 kW/116 hp at 4,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 260 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.3 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Its combined-cycle fuel consumption is an outstanding 4.3 to 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions an equally impressive 114 to 117 grams per kilometre (EU test figures, variations due to differences in the tyres fitted).
The standard six-speed manual petrol and diesel versions of the new BMW 1 Series offer efficient power transmission and precise gear changes. In addition, the BMW 1 Series is the only compact car also available with the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission, offering fast, smooth gear changes and excellent fuel efficiency. The innovative architecture of its wheel set allows more gears and a better spread of ratios, with barely any increase in weight over the existing six-speed automatic gearbox for the BMW 1 Series. In fact, the unusually high efficiency of the eight-speed automatic transmission means that fitting it to the most powerful new BMW 1 Series models actually results in lower fuel consumption and CO2 figures than with a manual transmission.
The Steptronic function used in the automatic transmission allows gear changes to be initiated manually using the electronic selector lever. A further option for the BMW 120d is the eight-speed sports automatic transmission, which enables even more dynamic gear changes, and includes shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The new BMW 1 Series boasts best-in-class suspension technology, with a double-joint cross-strut front axle with MacPherson struts and sway bars, and a five-link rear axle. The high aluminium content of the front axle structure effectively reduces the unsprung mass, while noise levels have also been reduced and crash performance improved. Both the front and rear axles have double elastic bearings and extra-large bearing blocks for improved responsiveness, and a significantly more comfortable ride compared with the predecessor model. The car also handles better, and especially in combination with the optional Adaptive Suspension, this makes for a more involving driving experience. The new BMW 1 Series has a wider track than its predecessor, and the almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution helps to translate the dynamic advantages of the rear-wheel drive layout into an exciting and agile ride.
Fitted as standard, the driving experience switch on the centre console of the new BMW 1 Series allows adjustments to be made to vehicle set-up. These affect the engine programming, the settings of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and optional Servotronic, and the shift points and timing of the optional automatic transmission. On standard-specification models, there are three modes to choose from – COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO. On BMW Sport Line models, and on cars fitted with the optional eight-speed sports automatic transmission or variable sport steering, there is also a fourth mode, SPORT+. Where the Professional Navigation System is fitted, drivers can see the current power and torque output of the engine on the Control Display.
The new BMW 1 Series has electromechanical power steering as standard, combining typical BMW precision with very low energy consumption. The optional Servotronic function provides speed-dependent power assist. Variable sport steering, also available as an option, reduces the number of steering wheel rotations required to make sharp turns. In this mechanical system, steering ratios are adjusted using a variable steering rack. Parking and turning are safer and easier, requiring minimal steering effort, but the typical BMW steering precision and directional stability at high speeds are maintained.
Also available as an option on the new BMW 1 Series is Adaptive Suspension. The system’s electronically regulated dampers automatically adjust to the current driving style and road conditions. Their behaviour changes depending on which of the three driving experience modes are selected – COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+ – with the latter in particular giving a much stiffer ride. The Adaptive Suspension is 10 millimetres lower than the standard suspension, but this has no effect on the improved ride comfort when the car is in COMFORT mode.
As an alternative to the standard 16-inch wheels, the new BMW 1 Series is also available with 16, 17 and 18-inch light-alloy wheels. The car owes its instant responses to the combination of a powerful, reliable braking system and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), which is fitted as standard. Proven features such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), CBC (Cornering Brake Control) and DBC (Dynamic Braking Control) are now augmented with braking assistance, fading compensation, brake drying and hill assist. DTC mode increases the intervention thresholds of DSC, making it easier to gain traction when driving on loose sand or deep snow. By allowing slight slippage of the drive wheels, it also facilitates controllable oversteer. DSC Off mode activates the electronic rear axle differential locking system. If either of the drive wheels suffers wheelspin while accelerating through tight bends, brake force is applied to this individually, so that the opposite wheel maintains grip.
Ever since 2007, the BMW 1 Series has offered a very contemporary take on Sheer Driving Pleasure, thanks to an unrivalled array of technologies to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, all fitted as standard. The new BMW 1 Series takes these BMW EfficientDynamics technologies even further: the standard Automatic Start/Stop function is now also available in conjunction with an automatic transmission, and the new ECO PRO mode increases the potential for an economical driving style.
The key to the low fuel consumption of the new BMW 1 Series range is the efficiency of its engine. A new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology sets a new benchmark for the combination of fuel economy and driving enjoyment. The outputs of the BMW 116i and BMW 118i are 10 and 20 kW higher than their respective predecessor models, yet at the same time, fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 10 per cent. A systematic programme of modifications to the BMW TwinPower Turbo diesel engines likewise increases the fuel-efficiency advantage that these have over their competitors.
The two new four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engines have outputs of 100 kW/136 hp (BMW 116i) and 125 kW/170 hp (BMW 118i). Both feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, including a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control.
This is the first time that four-cylinder engines have been fitted with BMW TwinPower Turbo, which represents an exceptionally fuel-efficient way of boosting output. In normally aspirated engines, responsiveness could only be enhanced to the same degree by significantly increasing capacity, and therefore weight and fuel consumption. The design draws on the BMW engineers’ long experience of building high-performance turbo engines. The BMW 2002 turbo, launched in 1973 with a four-cylinder, 125 kW/170 hp engine, was the first European production car to be fitted with an exhaust gas turbocharger, and is still regarded as the template for a compact, high-performance driver’s car. In 1983, the first turbocharged engine ever to win a Formula 1 world championship was a Brabham BMW driven by Nelson Piquet.
Thanks to the inclusion of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, the three four-cylinder, 2.0-litre diesel engines, with outputs of 85 kW/116 hp in the BMW 116d, 105 kW/143 hp in the BMW 118d and 135 kW/184 hp in the BMW 120d, all extend their lead over the competition in the area of fuel efficiency. Innovations such as aluminium crankcases, reduced engine friction, thermodynamically optimized turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, and next-generation common-rail direct injection with magnetic-valve injectors all help to improve low-rev pulling power and fuel economy. A centrifugal-force pendulum built into the dual-mass flywheel compensates for rotational irregularities, and so ensures a smooth ride at low revs. These enhancements represent the latest stage in the success story of BMW four-cylinder diesel engines, which earned the predecessor of the new BMW 118d the title of “World Green Car of the Year”.
All BMW 1 Series models make extensive use of intelligent energy management systems, including Brake Energy Regeneration, automatically disconnecting ancillary components, and electromechanical power steering. Depending on the model, they may also be fitted as standard with an Optimum Shift Indicator, a high-efficiency rear differential, a map-regulated oil pump, a pressure/rev-regulated electric fuel pump, a self-disconnecting air-conditioning compressor and tyres with reduced rolling resistance. The Automatic Start/Stop function, which switches off the engine when it is stationary at traffic lights or in slow-moving traffic, is included as standard on the new BMW 1 Series with both manual and automatic transmissions.
The optional eight-speed automatic transmission also contributes to improved efficiency. Internal friction is exceptionally low, and torque converter slip is very slight, essentially occurring only when the car pulls off. The wide spread of gear ratios and intelligent gear selection mechanism facilitate economical driving at low revs. In fact, BMW 118i and BMW 120d models with the automatic transmission actually use less fuel and produce less emissions than models with manual transmission. And all diesel models in the new BMW 1 Series range emit less than 120 grams per kilometre of CO2 when fitted with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
ECO PRO mode is activated by the driving experience switch. It adjusts the engine map, heating, air conditioning, and mirror/seat heating to minimize fuel consumption. The resulting increase in range is shown on a display. It also provides helpful prompts to help make driving style more economical, which appear in the instrument cluster and, where fitted, the Control Display. In particular, the ECO PRO display in the lower part of the rev counter helps the driver to regulate throttle usage so that the engine continues to operate fuel-efficiently.
As a result, the new BMW 1 Series embodies the concept of fuel-efficiency like no other premium car, building on the strengths of its predecessor in this area. At a later date, the range will be expanded with the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Edition. This will be powered by a four-cylinder 1.6-litre diesel engine, and feature a number of fuel-saving and emission-reducing technologies, including solutions to further optimize drive-train efficiency, improve aerodynamic performance and reduce rolling resistance. The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Edition will have an output of 85 kW/116 hp, with fuel consumption of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometre over the EU combined cycle (provisional figures).
The commitment of the BMW 1 Series to high technology is reflected in an impressive range of driver assistance and mobility services which is unique in a compact car. The BMW ConnectedDrive options link driver, vehicle and outside world to improve comfort and safety while providing a wide spectrum of information and entertainment.
The Adaptive Headlight function incorporated in the adaptive xenon light option adjusts the illumination depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and rate of turn. At low speeds, the turning lights built into the fog lamp illuminate the road in the direction of travel. High-beam assistance is also included in the package. Other options available for the new BMW 1 Series include a rain sensor with automatic activation of the driving lights, and cruise control with braking function, which automatically manages the engine, brakes and automatic gearbox to maintain the speed set by the driver.
To make manoeuvring and parking easier and more accurate, there is Park Distance Control and a rear view camera, the feed from which is shown in the iDrive Control Display. And another option, Park Assistant, aids parallel parking by identifying suitable spaces and steering the car into them if required.
The Lane Departure Warning system of the BMW 1 Series now incorporates Collision Warning. It uses a camera at the bottom of the rear-view mirror to monitor the road markings and help avoid unintended changes of direction. The camera also monitors the position of other vehicles and, if required, alerts the driver to the danger. There are two levels of urgency to its warning: when a possible collision risk is first detected, a warning light comes on in the instrument cluster; and if evasive action is needed, the light flashes and an alarm sounds.
The Speed Limit Info system has also been upgraded in the new BMW 1 Series. The car’s camera now recognizes not only roadside and overhead speed limit signs, but also no-passing signs. Symbols in the instrument panel then advise the driver of the current speed limit, and whether overtaking restrictions are in force.
Innovative technology has been used to facilitate the integration of Apple iPhones and other smartphones and music players, including online services. BMW Apps allow iPhone users to receive web radio stations and display Facebook and Twitter posts on the vehicle display. The new BMW Live function uses the data connection of the driver’s mobile to access selected content from the BMW Online service, including weather and news updates and Google Local Search. And in conjunction with the Professional Navigation System and BMW Assist, the new-look BMW Online portal provides even more detailed information on the current route and destination, with weather reports, details of parking space availability and the Google Local Search tool, plus news, email and address book functions. The new BMW 1 Series is also still the only car in the compact segment to offer Internet access.
Another new option is Real-Time Traffic Information. Available in conjunction with one of the optional navigation systems, this provides up-to-the-minute details of congestion on motorways, arterial roads and key urban routes. It suggests alternative routes, and recalculates journey times to reflect the current traffic conditions.
The larger dimensions and even stronger bodywork of the new BMW 1 Series mean that it represents a significant advance on its predecessor in terms of both interior safety and crash protection. Carefully selected materials and innovative construction techniques enable it to meet the highest standards in passive safety while keeping weight to a minimum. And in situations where a collision is unavoidable, an array of safety components, all designed to work seamlessly together, guarantees an excellent level of protection for the occupants. As a result, the BMW 1 Series is in a position to achieve top marks in all the world’s major crash testing regimes.
The overall length of the new BMW 1 Series is 85 millimetres greater than that of its predecessor, at 4,324 millimetres, while the wheelbase has been lengthened by 30 millimetres to 2,690 millimetres. The car also looks more powerful, as its overall width has increased by 17 millimetres to 1,765 millimetres while its height has remained unchanged at 1,421 millimetres. The rear seats have 21 millimetres more legroom, and the luggage compartment is now 30 litres bigger at 360 litres.
The new BMW 1 Series also offers much more storage space, with large door pockets, two cupholders on the centre console, a roomy glove compartment, and a compartment under the armrest. Bottles of up to one litre can be fitted into the lower door panel sections. The optional storage package includes compartments in the rear doors and nets on the front seatbacks. The luggage compartment expands to a maximum of 1,200 litres by lowering the 60/40 split-folding rear seats, giving a flat surface extending all the way to the front seats. The optional through-loading system has 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats.
The use of intelligent lightweight construction techniques in the body of the new BMW 1 Series improves both its responsiveness and the level of protection it provides for the occupants. High and ultra-high-strength steels are used at strategic points to maximize both the torsional rigidity and structural integrity of the passenger cell, without adding unnecessary weight. The average strength of the materials used is higher than in the predecessor model, meaning that the body can be made stiffer while actually using less materials, and therefore weighs less. The benefits of this are felt in terms of safety, responsiveness and fuel economy.
As a result, in spite of its increased levels of crash protection and an enhanced specification that now includes air conditioning as standard, the weight-to-power ratio of the BMW 1 Series is now as much as 14 per cent better than that of its predecessor, depending on the model. For example, the figure for the BMW 116i has been improved from 13.9 to 12.9 kg/kW, and for the BMW 118i it is now 10.4 instead of 12.1 kg/kW.
High-strength load-bearing elements, large crumple zones and advanced restraint systems regulated by state-of-the-art electronics are the key to the excellent level of passive safety in the new BMW 1 Series. The energy of an impact is channelled along precisely defined load paths, so that as much as possible can be absorbed by the crumple zones before it even reaches the highly rigid passenger cell. The load-bearing elements along these load paths at the front, side and rear of the car make extensive use of multi-phase and hot-formed steels.
Reinforcements to the B-pillars and side skirts, high-strength side impact beams and sturdy seat cross-members reduce deformation depth and intrusion speed in side impacts. And the reinforced pillars and roof members ensure the passenger compartment is able to provide a survival cell for the occupants even if the vehicle rolls over.
The standard safety equipment includes front airbags, side airbags built into the seatbacks, front and rear head airbags, three-point automatic belts in all seats, front seatbelt tension limiters and pre-tensioners, and an ISOFIX child seat mounting system in the rear. A Tyre Defect Indicator is also fitted as standard; this is able to identify any loss of tyre pressure by monitoring the rotational speed of each individual wheel, and if any problem is detected, a light in the instrument cluster warns the driver.
To minimize the risk of collisions, the new BMW 1 Series is also fitted with dynamic brake lights. If the car brakes unusually hard or the ABS system intervenes, the brake lights flash, so the drivers of following vehicles know that they need to brake harder.
The new BMW 1 Series offers all the excitement of premium-quality, pioneering technology and exceptional driving pleasure in a compact car, with many superior features as standard and a wide range of attractive options. The driving experience switch, fitted as standard on the central console, adjusts the car’s set-up to the driver’s personal preferences, by modifying the engine programming, the settings of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and optional Servotronic, and the shift points and timing of the optional automatic transmission. The standard specification of the new BMW 1 Series also includes remote-controlled central locking, height-adjustable front seats, electric exterior mirrors, electric front and rear windows, a BMW Business CD radio with six speakers and an AUX-IN connection, and air conditioning.
Options include two-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically adjustable and heated seats, a multifunction steering wheel, rear-view and exterior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle function, fog lights, an electric glass sunroof, and a trailer tow hitch with removable ball head. The engine of the new BMW 1 Series can be switched on simply by touching the Start/Stop button when the radio key is inside the car, so it is no longer necessary to insert and turn the key. The optional comfort access system locks and unlocks the car automatically.
Both the Business and Professional Navigation Systems use on-board memory to store their map data – a Flash drive in the case of the Business system, and a hard drive in the case of the Professional system. The latter also has up to 12 gigabytes of free memory for the owner’s music library. Other entertainment options include a DVD changer, DAB radio receiver, and a 360-watt, 12-speaker Harman Kardon hi-fi system with digital amplifier.
The Original BMW Accessories range for the new BMW 1 Series also offers a Tablet DVD System for the rear, a USB audio interface and a Portable Navigation System. Carrying capacity can be increased with a rear-mounted rack, a roof rack base support system with various attachments, BMW roof boxes, a ski and snowboard bag, storage nets for the footwells and luggage compartment, and a universal holder which is attached to the headrests.
The five-door version of the BMW 1 Series has been produced at the company’s Regensburg assembly plant ever since the first generation of this entry-level model went on sale in summer 2004. The new BMW 1 Series too will be made here in eastern Bavaria, at this site which regularly receives top marks for the quality and reliability of its products in independent tests and customer satisfaction surveys. The expansion and modernization work carried out ahead of the start of production for the new BMW 1 Series will enhance both process efficiency and product quality. Flexibility and productivity will also be improved by the use of standardized components and processes across various models, ensuring exceptional build quality and optimum utilization of available capacity.
The Regensburg plant uses the so-called single-line system for both BMW 1 Series and BMW 3 Series models. This means that a single assembly line can produce BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series Saloon, Coupé and Convertible, and BMW M3 Saloon, Coupé and Convertible models in any order. Since 2009, the Regensburg has also been the site of production for the BMW Z4 Roadster.
The start of production of the new BMW 1 Series will see a further increase in the use of shared processes, in both body pressing and assembly, as BMW moves towards even more integrated production for its future models. Since 2009, a total of some 300 million euros has been invested at the plant in innovative manufacturing technologies such as a new generation of production robots, structural improvements to the body pressing and assembly operations, greater logistical efficiency, and new finish and overall quality assurance processes. A further investment of around 370 million euros is planned for 2011/12 to increase the number of models manufactured in Regensburg and further expand production capacity.
The expansion of the pressing shop that was completed in 2010 significantly increased both capacity and efficiency. As a result of the installation of a second pressing line, maximum output is now around 80 per cent higher. Every day, some 400 metric tons of steel and aluminium are made into bodywork components. The tool changes required when switching to the manufacture of a different part are carried out automatically. The new pressing shop also supplies doors, bonnets and side panels to other plants in the BMW Group’s global network of production sites, where they are assembled using a standardized process on shared machinery with “Best Fit” technology.
The introduction of shared processes means that in future, floor pan components for the BMW 1 Series and other BMW models can all be made using the same tools. The three-layer design of the bodywork too has commonalities with other models, meaning that integrated manufacturing on a single main production line is possible. The new BMW 1 Series also features a new hinge design, which requires fewer mounting parts and simplifies the process of fitting the doors to the body of the car.
The fully automated painting line of BMW’s Regensburg assembly plant sees the car bodywork undergo a multi-stage process. After rigorous cleaning, it is immersed in a cathodic dip tank, where it is turned and rolled to ensure even adhesion of the paint to the electrostatically charged metal. Next comes the sealing of the panel joins and underbody spraying, followed by the application of first the primer and then the coloured topcoat layer – this is done by a high-speed rotary bell atomizer that operates at up to 40,000 revolutions per minute. At this stage too, the bodywork is electrostatically charged to ensure the most efficient possible use of the available paint, thereby minimizing wastage and environmental impact.
The application of the fourth coat, the clear lacquer, involves a unique, environmentally sound process for dealing with the exhaust air. A combination of dry-scrubbing and air circulation reduces wastewater production by four per cent and energy consumption by four per cent compared to conventional processes. Any overspray which does not adhere to the bodywork is blown onto filters coated with powdered stone, meaning no water is consumed in its disposal. The used powdered stone can be sold on for use as a raw material in the cement industry.
Ahead of the start of production of the new BMW 1 Series, BMW’s Regensburg assembly plant is also introducing a set of shared processes in the area of assembly, which will help to increase productivity and cost-efficiency. It will also enable the plant to respond more flexibly to variations in demand, and by making optimum usage of available capacity it will reduce lead times for delivery to customers. The use of latest technology makes the assembly lines more ergonomic, with height and tilt-adjustable conveyor belts enabling virtually all the work to be carried out in the more comfortable standing position.
One of the changes that has made the biggest impact on assembly efficiency is the relocation of the marriage station, where bodywork and drivetrain are joined together. Standardized processes and shared machinery are used for the mounting of the front end and axles, the installation of the fixed side windows, and seat and suspension set-up. The processes developed for the manufacture of the new BMW 1 Series will provide a template for those used to make future models, both in Regensburg and at other BMW Group production sites.
BMW’s Regensburg assembly works currently employs around 8,000 people. With 300 trainees in four different areas, it is also playing an important role in developing the next generation of skilled workers. Production capacity is approximately 1,100 vehicles per day, and in 2010 a total 243,982 BMW were made in Regensburg.
A number of events are being held this year, both before and after the start of production of the new BMW 1 Series, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Regensburg plant. It opened in November 1986, just two years after the foundation stone was laid. Since then, ongoing investment with a total value to date of over 3.2 billion euros has kept the site at the cutting edge of manufacturing technology and continuously increased its capacity. In 2008, the four millionth BMW car to be manufactured in Regensburg rolled off the production line.