Technology moves on the new BMW 1 SeriesBy Chris Walsh
July 20, 2011
Over the years, we’ve come to associate BMW as a manufacturer that loads its cars with all sorts of new advances in technology and safety.
And the new, second generation, BMW 1 Series is certainly no exception.
Having said that, it’s nice to see that some of the original elements, which made the first generation 1 Series such a success, are still present.
One of the main focuses for the BMW designers was to make sure the car still occupies its traditional niche to carry over its sales success. So as a result, the new BMW 1 Series is still the only rear-wheeldrive car in its class. With a range of advanced TwinPower petrol and diesel engines, the new BMW 1 Series offers a sportier and more fuel-efficient engines choice too – boosted by BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies as standard. Longer and wider than the model it replaces, the new car provides a sleeker and sportier styling, while a new interior offers increased cabin dimensions and improved comfort.
BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology features the use of intelligent energy management systems, including an Auto Start-Stop function in both manual and automatic transmissions and an ‘ECO PRO’ mode, activated by the Drive Performance Control (included as standard).
When in ‘ECO PRO’ mode the throttle response is adjusted to encourage a more economical driving style. The extra economy created is fed back to the driver, with the in-car displays showing the additional number of miles achieved. At a later date, the 1 Series range will be expanded with the introduction of the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics model.
This will feature a more detailed list of fuel-saving technology and will capable of achieving 74.3 mpg and come with an estimated CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km.
The entry-level 116i, four-cylinder petrol engine has 136bhp and has been fitted with TwinPower Turbo technology, which is a first for a four-cylinder BMW.
The all-alloy construction features a twin-scroll turbocharger, a High Precision Direct Injection system, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control resulting in a 49.6mpg figure. In addition to the petrol range is the 118i, which boosts power to 170bhp while maintaining a similar mpg figures. The 116d, 118d and 120d diesel engines offer around 62.8 mpg each and have an output of 116, 143 and 184 bhp respectively.
The interior of the new BMW 1 Series features a fresh combination of BMW design features. With surfaces created from high quality, precision-finished materials, the characteristic BMW driver focus is apparent in the angled displays and controls of the central instrument panel, while the interior surfaces are layered, giving the interior more of an organic look and feel.
Given the additional length and width of the new model, the interior provides more comfort and convenience than its predecessor by offering an extra 20mm of legroom for rear-seated passengers. In addition, storage space has been given careful consideration, with large front door pockets, two-cup holders on the centre console and a roomy glove compartment.
The new BMW 1 Series has an additional 30 litres of luggage space compared to its forerunner, taking the total to 360 litres. Lowering the 60/40 split rear seats increases that to a maximum of 1,200-litres.
BMW’s iDrive system is available as standard with SE specification and above.
Comprising of a centre console controller, favourites buttons and a high-resolution, 6.5” flatscreen monitor, the iDrive system is used for all information, entertainment, telecommunications and navigation functions, should satellite navigation be specified.
The new BMW 1 Series goes on sale in the UK on September 17, 2011 and prices start from £19,375 OTR for a BMW 116i ES.