The BMW 1 Series has been around for 13 years now, and it has managed to stand out from its eminent competition in the class with its rear-wheel drive layout and six-cylinder engines. However, with the third-generation model, which is now in the works, all that’s going to change. The third-gen compact hatch from Munich, of which we have the first spy shots now, will ditch the rear-drive layout in favour of the front-wheel drive UKL platform derived from Mini. It will also likely be powered by a four-cylinder engine, thus being mechanically very different to the current model.

The different layout, as well as the transversely mounted four-pot will mean a significantly roomier cabin. And as you can see from the photos, the bonnet appears shorter than that of the current 1 Series and in profile, the roof seems to slope more prominently towards the rear. However, apart from adopting styling cues seen in the new 5 Series, the 1er isn’t expected to look drastically different from its predecessors.


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