BMWtests 1 pro­to­type

The Ger­man brand may be brew­ing a new 1 Se­ries, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

CLEARLY, this isn’t just an­other 1 Se­ries from BMW. The body is the wrong size and shape, there are fake back doors and the cam­ou­flage tells the world it is some­thing new.

Carparazzi says it’s a first look at a pro­to­type of a three-door 1 Se­ries, ex­pected in show­rooms in the sec­ond half of next year.

But could it also hint at BMW’s plans for a front-wheel drive baby car, com­plete with a hy­brid pow­er­train?

Or even the first use of the three­cylin­der turbo en­gine that will set the new bench­mark for pow­er­train ef­fi­ciency at the Ger­man brand?

The un­der-the-skin stuff is stay­ing se­cret for some time, but the 1 Se­ries pro­to­type shows clearly that BMW is evolv­ing its cur­rent baby. It al­ready has a five-door hatch, as well as a coupe and con­vert­ible, but wants more from the 1 Se­ries.

The new three-door hatch­back body is a lit­tle sleeker, with a more ex­tended look, tak­ing away some of the cur­rent model’s chunk­i­ness. The fake rear doors are re­ally only a taped out­line. An an­gled B-pil­lar shows where the doors re­ally end. The rear win­dow shape is also new for the car.

Euro­pean sources say the new 1 Se­ries will be ready for pro­duc­tion next year, but prob­a­bly in the sec­ond half as a 2012 model.

For the lat­est Carparazzi pho­tos, go to www.cars­guide.com.au

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