6/10/11

BMW’s 2012 1-Series Hatchback Debuts (F20)


The most diminutive of BMW 4-door models, the 1-Series hatchback, has been reengineered from the ground up.

The Bavarian hot hatch gets all new sheetmetal, although the redesign is what I would categorize as mildly progressive in regards to the previous generation. Showing cues from BMWs current design direction, the new 1-er sports a similar grille treatment as the recently updated 7 and 5-Series. The car’s side and rear hatch treatments both show subtly tailored improvements as well. The main item of discussion however is sure to be the headlight design... best judged in person to get the full effect. Overall the car projects the sporty persona that BMW is known for.

Speaking of sporty, the F20 (factory production code) maintains rear-wheel drive, quite possibly the single most important aspect to many BMW aficionados for the handling characteristics this imparts. Two engines in five different flavors will initially be offered. The 116i and 118i use an in-line 4 cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine outputting 136 and 170 horsepower respectively. Three diesel variants, also a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine, will power the 116d, 118d and 120d models.

The interior of the little Bimmer looks to be nicely put together with the expected levels of quality materials and fit and finish. The latest iteration of BMW’s ubiquitous iDrive navigation system will be optional. The car will be available in two pre-packaged configurations, labeled Sport Line and Urban Line.

And now for the bad news… the American contingent will again be bypassed with availability as the decision makers in Munich continue to feel that small premium hatchbacks are not in demand. Maybe we can change their minds..!

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