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BMW 1 Series

2020 BMW 1 Series

2020 BMW 1 Series
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The little BMW hatchback returns with state-of-the-art tech and new looks

The 2019 BMW 1 Series, also known as the F40, is the third-generation version of BMW’s smallest vehicle yet. Launched in 2019, the F40-generation 1 Series is the first of its kind to feature a front-wheel-drive architecture, as BMW ditched the RWD platform it has been using since 2004. Now underpinned by the UKL2 architecture borrowed from Mini, the 1 Series is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The F40 1 Series replaces a highly dated model in a market that already includes a highly advanced Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the relatively old Audi A3. BMW has yet to announce whether the new 1 Series is coming to the U.S., but chances are we won’t get this generation either. Let’s find out more about the brand-new BMW 1 Series in the review below.

 

Latest BMW 1 Series news and reviews:

See How the BMW M135i Stacks Up Against the Mercedes-AMG A35 in a Drag Race

See How the BMW M135i Stacks Up Against the Mercedes-AMG A35 in a Drag Race

Here are two hot, similarly spec’d German hatches taking a swing at each other on the track

Mercedes-AMG and BMW have two very able hot hatches in their stables – the A35 4Matic and the M135i xDrive, respectively. The M135i xDrive has been on fire lately and is literally racking up victories in most of the races it’s been part of. But, the A35 is no slouch either.

So, what happens when you pit the two against each other in a drag race? The folks at Car Magazine South Africa decided to find out, and you will be quite surprised with the result.

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2019 BMW 1 Series review roundup - has BMW dropped the ball with its new FWD baby model?

2019 BMW 1 Series review roundup - has BMW dropped the ball with its new FWD baby model?

All-new 1 Series may be mostly front-wheel drive, but there’s apparently a lot to like about it

Something needs to be said before even attempting to tackle the problem of figuring out whether the all-new BMW 1 Series is a peach or a dud: in making it front-wheel drive, BMW has made it less of an enthusiast’s car because in sending power to the front wheels, some of the handling purity has been lost. Also lost is the perfect 50/50 weight distribution that ensured the E87 and F20 were poised, predictable and fun to chuck around.

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I Saw the 2020 BMW M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and I'm Impressed

I Saw the 2020 BMW M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and I’m Impressed

BMW showed off the front-wheel-drive-biased M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed

BMW’s new, third-generation 1 Series, internally known as the F40, marks a big departure for the model because it moves from a rear-wheel-drive architecture to one that’s front-wheel drive. This not only has a big impact on how it drives, but it also means it has a new and different aesthetic vibe.

Whereas the previous-gen F20 1 Series, regardless of body style, betrayed the fact that its engine was mounted longitudinally and that power was sent to the rear wheels, the new F40 clearly has the proportions of a front-wheel-drive car. But it’s not a bad looking car by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I got to see the top tier M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and even as I approached the BMW stand I was preparing myself for the worst, but when I actually saw the car, all my fears were dispelled.

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2020 BMW 1 Series vs 2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 1 Series vs 2020 Audi A3

A good case of new vs old

The fourth-generation BMW 1 Series broke cover for the 2020 model, and it seems that the Munich-based company final has a proper competitor for latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class. But these are the only premium hatchbacks on the market. Germany’s third premium automaker, Audi, offers its very own five-door subcompact, the Audi A3 Sportback.

Unlike the 1 Series and the A-Class, the current A3 Sportback is a bit long in the tooth. Launched back in 2012, it’s already seven years old as of 2019, and it won’t stay around for long. But is it too dated for the new 1 Series? Should we wait until the next-gen hatchback breaks cover for a proper comparison? Not really. Although it’s old enough for modern car life cycles, the A3 Sportback still has what it takes to tackle the BMW 1 Series. Let’s find out how these cars stand next to each other in the comparison below.

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A 400-Horsepower 1 Series and a Full-Out X8 M Are Just Two of the Many Things Coming from BMW

A 400-Horsepower 1 Series and a Full-Out X8 M Are Just Two of the Many Things Coming from BMW

There’s no hiding from it so might as well brace for a BMW invasion of M-level proportions

BMW’s M Division is a growing organism within the BMW ecosystem, and it seems like there’s no slowing it down. We already know that BMW has big plans to expand the performance division with more M Performance and M models on the horizon. Now, reports are coming out regarding specific models that are on the docket, including a 400-horsepower version of the 1 Series — the M1, perhaps? — a fully-blown X8M SUV, and a bespoke mid-engined coupé based on the Vision M Next that really does border on the excessive. Turns out, that word isn’t a part of BMW’s vocabulary these days, so prepare yourselves for a coming invasion of BMW M Performance and BMW M models in the near future.

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2020 BMW 1 Series

2020 BMW 1 Series

The little BMW hatchback returns with state-of-the-art tech and new looks

The 2019 BMW 1 Series, also known as the F40, is the third-generation version of BMW’s smallest vehicle yet. Launched in 2019, the F40-generation 1 Series is the first of its kind to feature a front-wheel-drive architecture, as BMW ditched the RWD platform it has been using since 2004. Now underpinned by the UKL2 architecture borrowed from Mini, the 1 Series is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The F40 1 Series replaces a highly dated model in a market that already includes a highly advanced Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the relatively old Audi A3. BMW has yet to announce whether the new 1 Series is coming to the U.S., but chances are we won’t get this generation either. Let’s find out more about the brand-new BMW 1 Series in the review below.

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2020 BMW M135i vs 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35

2020 BMW M135i vs 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35

BMW has taken a leap of faith after looking over the fence at Mercedes and its highly successful A-Class and launched its own front-wheel-drive hatchback, the new 1-Series. Naturally, since BMW is a manufacturer with sporting aspirations, its new 1-Series will be sold as an all-wheel-drive hot hatch too, the M135i that almost perfectly mirrors the formula (and specs) of the spiced up Mercedes-AMG A35.

It’s as if the two rival manufacturers copied each other’s formulas, then went ahead and materialized the idea in their own way and their own style. The result is two highly enticing premium hot hatchbacks with oodles of appeal and bags of charm - but which one do you go for?

There are probably few rival models in the world right now that are so close in so many ways, yet their manufacturers are completely separate entities. If you were to choose one of these cars based on performance, you’d have a very hard time doing so because they are almost identical. But even so, they will undoubtedly be cross-shopped, so a conclusion should be reached as to which one is the better buy - a tall order, no doubt, that will require an in-depth analysis of each taken separately, as well as both together and in the current market context.

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Comparison: 2020 BMW 1 Series vs 2019 BMW 1 Series

Comparison: 2020 BMW 1 Series vs 2019 BMW 1 Series

The new 2020 BMW 1 Series is entirely different compared to the model it replaces

The difference between the new 2020 BMW 1 Series and its predecessor, the2019 BMW 1 Series, is staggering. These two are like a Leo and Aquarius, chocolate and vanilla, like Apple iOS and Android. They are that different. With a paradigm shift in its architecture and layout, the new 1 Series exited the exciting and different and entered the standard and generic. Luckily, today, "generic" among hatchbacks is really good. So much so that the new 1 Series is probably better compared to the old one in every measurable way.

And worse in every immeasurable way.

I guess consumers today don’t care about that sort of thing - the context, the uniqueness, the distinctiveness. After all, universal laws are for lackeys. Context is for kings!

Just like Capt. Lorca has said! The new 2020 BMW 1 series, however fantastic it may be, is a child of universal laws. That is its principal weakness and one of its strengths at the same time.

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Is BMW Killing the 1 Series by Moving it to a FWD Architecture?

Is BMW Killing the 1 Series by Moving it to a FWD Architecture?

Actually no! BMW knows what it’s doing

BMW recently unveiled the new-generation 1 Series. The German hatchback doesn’t look notably different than its predecessor, but it’s definitely fresh and modern. More importantly, it made the switch from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. Naturally, BMW enthusiasts aren’t very happy about this, but is a front-wheel driven Bimmer such a bad idea? Let’s find out!

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2020 BMW 1 Series F40 - Quirks and Facts

2020 BMW 1 Series F40 - Quirks and Facts

The New 2020 BMW 1 Series is a Good Modern Hatchback, nut There Is No Reason To Care About It Anymore

In a sad, but not a surprising turn of events, BMW revealed a completely reimagined 1 Series. It is a car that threw everything it was known for out the window and accepted plebian driving solutions like a front wheel drive chassis, three-cylinder and four-cylinder transversely mounted engines, and somewhat MPVish styling.

BMW knew that it had to justify its high price (it is more expensive than the A3, and the A-class) and, to do that, Bavarians imagined a lot of cool features to make it easier to drive, more accommodating to be in, and more efficient to travel. It also has the biggest kidney grille of any 1 Series. Probably to remind you that this is a BMW. It needs that sort of thing because you will probably forget about its origins after the drive in a cabin that has a lot of shoulder room, rear legroom, and enough headroom.

In short, you aren’t a hero or a villain if you drive the new 1 Series. You aren’t courageous or adventurous, zealous, or intense. You are... ah, whatever.

This does not mean that the new 1 Series isn’t a masterpiece of contemporary car design and a platform for the latest technologies. It is, and you will see here how!

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2020 BMW 1 Series with M Performance Parts

2020 BMW 1 Series with M Performance Parts

M Performance parts available from launch on for the all-new 2020 BMW 1 Series

BMW has not wasted any time showing off the optional M Performance parts it plans to offer for the all-new 2020 1 Series hatchback. The all-new, front- or all-wheel-drive model has just debuted, but BMW has already showed off what it can look all decked out with official sporty bits and there’s certainly an air of boy racer about it. It actually looks like a traditional hot hatch with all of them fitted.

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BMW Opens a New FWD Chapter For Its Smallest Model, The 2020 BMW 1-Series Hatchback

BMW Opens a New FWD Chapter For Its Smallest Model, The 2020 BMW 1-Series Hatchback

The 2020 BMW 1 Series debuts with front-wheel drive, more compact dimensions and bigger interior

BMW purists, have your rotten tomatoes ready because the all-new 1 Series has just been revealed and, as we were expecting, most models in the 1 Series lineup will be front-wheel drive. Yes, the Bavarian automaker has abandoned the traditional rear-wheel drive formula with a longitudinal engine in favor of a cheaper, easier to manufacture, and more compact transverse engine with power going either to the front wheels or all four, depending on the model.

Its internal code name is F40, and the model it replaces was called the F20. The cars themselves aren’t only different from a drivetrain layout standpoint, but also design, as the new F40 really embraces the proportions of a front-wheel drive car, with a short snout, steeply rising belt line, and slightly smaller exterior dimensions overall. In fact, if you put it alongside the new BMW X2 crossover, the 1-Series will just look like a slightly lower and sleeker version of that, but I doubt non-car people will easily be able to tell them apart.

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2019 BMW 118i - driven

2019 BMW 118i - driven

Grab one new while you still can

BMW will soon stop production of the current, second-generation, F20/F21 1-Series, a model that is a truly unique proposition in the compact hatchback segment. What sets it apart from all other similar rivals is the fact that it has a longitudinally mounted engine and most examples are rear-wheel drive (although some xDrive-equipped models were also sold). This engine and drivetrain layout dominates the driving experience, and it turns the current 1-Series into a peerless car in its segment. And, it’s not rear-wheel drive just for the sake of it, because it handles like a true rear-wheel-drive car should, blending a surprisingly playful rear end when you want it to be, with a reassuring, surefooted feel when you want grip.

My 2019 BMW 118i five-door hatchback tester was also quite an interesting proposition because its power plant only has three cylinders and a displacement of 1.5-liters. However, thanks to turbocharging, the three-pot is surprisingly apt at moving the car and, since the engine is small and light, it improves the car’s overall handling characteristics.

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The 2019 BMW M140i Finale Edition Is Your Last Chance To Get This Hot Hatch With a Rear-Wheel Drive and Six Bangers Under The Hood

The 2019 BMW M140i Finale Edition Is Your Last Chance To Get This Hot Hatch With a Rear-Wheel Drive and Six Bangers Under The Hood

Sorry, folks

The BMW 1 Series is arguably one of the best hatches to drive on the market today. It has the grunt, it has the power, and it has the Bavarian DNA. The 1 Series is due for a new generation this year, however, BMW has no plans to carry the rear-wheel-drive system and the six-cylinder engine over to the next-gen. To mark the end of this journey, BMW is bidding adieu to the M140i to this unique combination with the Finale Edition model.

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BMW sideways carol commercial captures the Christmas spirit

BMW sideways carol commercial captures the Christmas spirit

Singing carols is easy, but not necessarily when you’re sliding sideways in a powerful BMW

Back in 2012, the Swiss arm of BMW created a special Christmas video to thank its local buyers for choosing a BMW, and what resulted is one of the funnier videos I’ve seen in recent years. The help of a racing driver is enlisted, and he’s tasked with driving a BMW 135i around a track with four passengers trying to sing Christmas songs.

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BMW Recalling 1 Million Cars in the U.S. over Fire Risk

BMW Recalling 1 Million Cars in the U.S. over Fire Risk

BMW has been watching the reported problems for a while now..

BMW is recalling a whopping one million vehicles in North America over two separate issues involving fire risks. Both recalls include cars produced from 2006 to the 2011 model years. One recall covers 670,000 3 Series models from 2006 to 2011 model years, while the second recall is issued for 740,000 cars from 2007 to 2011 model years. The latter includes the 128i, 3 Series, 5 Series, X3, X5, and Z4 models. Although these figures amount to more than 1.4 million units, BMW says the recalls overlap and cover about one million examples. Nearly all cars have been sold in the United States, while about 15,000 are from Canada. The recalls may expand to other countries in the future, but no specific announcement has been made as of this writing.

The first recall for the 3 Series models only will address a wiring issue for heating and air conditioning system. According to the company’s report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the systems may overheat and could increase the risk of a fire in the car. BMW has reportedly been monitoring the issue since 2008 and has made some improvements in 2011, but some incidents from 2015 and 2016, which led to injuries, prompted a mass recall. The second recall is about a valve heater issue that may cause damage to the engine compartment. No injuries or crashes related to this problem have been reported so far. All cars involved will have their wiring harnesses and valve heaters replaced at BMW dealers, free of charge.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW's Peddling Three Special Edition Models To Highlight Launch Of Updated BMW 1 Series

BMW’s Peddling Three Special Edition Models To Highlight Launch Of Updated BMW 1 Series

Take your pick from the Edition Sport Line Shadow, Edition M Sport Shadow, and M140i Edition Shadow

Despite being the runt of the BMW family, the 1 Series has actually had a good run ever since it debuted back in 2004. It’s actually in the sixth year of its second generation and yet, the 1 Series remains an integral part of BMW’s overall lineup. Ahead of the refreshed 2018 1 Series’ release, BMW is giving fans of the model an opportunity to get more than just a standard-issue 1 Series with three special edition models that provide aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades to the compact sedan. All three special edition models share the “Shadow” nomenclature, but each version is different in its own unique way. Friends and folks, these are the BMW 1 Series Shadow Special Editions.

These three special edition models are identified by their names and features. The first of these three is the Edition Sport line Shadow, while the other two are called the Edition M Sport Shadow and the M140i Edition Shadow. All three models do share some notable features other than sporting the “Shadow” name. All three feature blacked-out grilles and black inserts on the LED headlights as nods to the shared designation. That said, the shared features only go so far since BMW still wants these three special edition 1 Series models to stand out opposite the other two, hence the reason why they’re packaged as three separate offerings. All in all, the three models are nice bows to the continued and well-deserved success of the BMW 1 Series.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series

2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series

This is your last chance to get a RWD 1 Series

Unveiled back in 2011, the second generation of the 1 Series is now part of a growing family of BMW compact models, having been accompanied by the 2 Series Coupe, Cabriolet model and Active Tourer variant back in 2014. Available in either three-door or five-door guises, the smallest BMW model is rivaled by the likes of the Audi A3, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the Lexus CT, but unlike any of the aforementioned models it is the only car in its segment to be based on a rear-wheel drive architecture. Its engine lineup consists of a host of turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines, paired with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF, while all-wheel drive xDrive traction is available on selected models.

With the model now a little over three years old, the Bavarian carmaker has recently facelifted its five and three-door range, restyling much of its controveral exterior design and refreshing the entire engine lineup. Bringing a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 12 percent, new 1.5-liter three-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines now constitute the base models, having been borrowed from the latest MINI. The model with the lowest fuel consumption in the entire range will now be the 116d EfficientDynamics Edition, whose 116 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque are paired with a combined fuel economy of just 69.2 mpg. The biggest surprise comes on the outside though, as the new BMW 1 Series Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) shows an completely different look. Gone are the "Angry Birds" headlights, having been replaced by restyled ones that are more in line with the current BMW design theme. Small improvements to the front and rear bumpers have also been made, while the square-ish taillights are now L-shaped, just like on pretty much every other BMW model.

Update 5/9/2017: BMW will update the current 1 Series Hatch one last time before it ushers in a new-gen, FWD model to replace it. Check out our special section below to see the new spy shots and to learn more about it.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series

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2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

The battle in the compact premium sedan market is about to get serious

The second-generation 1 Series has been around since 2011, when BMW redesigned the compact it first introduced in 2004. Unlike its predecessor, the current 1 Series consists of only three- and five-door hatchbacks since the two-door coupe and convertible was renamed the 2 Series back in 2011. In 2017, a third body style was added to the lineup, in the form of a four-door sedan.

Based on the Concept Compact Sedan that BMW showcased at the Guangzhou Motor Show in 2015, the 1 Series Sedan is a China-exclusive model and it’s manufactured as part of the joint venture between the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd in Shenyang, alongside the long-wheelbase versions of the larger 3 Series and 5 Series.

The logic behind BMW’s decision to sell the 1 Series Sedan in China is pretty simple. The German firm sold over half a million cars in the country in 2016, which makes China BMW’s biggest market. The need of a smaller sedan based on the 1 Series appeared following customer requests of a more compact, yet premium vehicle for the crowded streets of China’s largest cities. Of course, the 1 Series Sedan is also a response to the popular Audi A3 Sedan, but BMW won’t be able to compete properly against its German rival unless it brings the new sedan to Europe and the United States too.

It remains to be seen whether this will change sooner or later, but until it happens, let’s have a closer look at the BMW 1 Series Sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan.

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2018 BMW 1M Sedan

2018 BMW 1M Sedan

The 1 Series lineup could soon expand to include a high-performance sedan

The second-generation 1 Series went on sale in 2011 as a redesigned version of the compact that BMW first introduced in 2004. But, unlike its predecessor, the current model consists of only three- and five-door hatchbacks, while the two-door coupe and convertible are being sold under the 2 Series. Pretty much a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3, the current 1 Series stands out as the only vehicle in its niche to use a rear-wheel drive architecture. In 2016, BMW unveiled the first sedan version of the 1 Series and word has it that an M-badged performance version will follow.

Although styling cues are similar, the platform underneath the sedan model is not. Unlike the hatchback, the four-door sedan rides on a front-wheel drive platform shared with the Mini Cooper; the same that will underpin the third-generation 1 Series. This is what makes an M version somewhat complicated due to the traditional RWD layout of the nameplate, but BMW definitely needs a competitor for the hot Audi RS3 Sedan.

Although BMW said that the sedan won’t be sold outside China for the time being, we do believe that the four-door will eventually find its way into other markets, including Europe and North America. When that happens, the German brand will expand the lineup to include more trims, including performance oriented versions. This could happen as early as 2018, but nothing has been confirmed so far. An M-badged version would definitely be in the works in that scenario, which is why we went ahead and asked our designer to come up with a 1M Sedan. More about its design features and what it may bring to the table in our speculative review below.

Keep reading to find out more about the 2018 BMW 1M Sedan.

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2017 BMW M140i

2017 BMW M140i

BMW’s range-topping hatchback gets a new engine, but no upgrades inside and out

BMW introduced the second-generation BMW 1 Series in 2011, when the redesign also brought a split between the hatchback and the coupe models. While the former continued to use the 1 Series badge, the latter was renamed the 2 Series. The new 1 Series had a fresh design, updated technology, and revised engines. However, unlike the first-gen car, the F20/F21 models didn’t get a proper M variant. Instead, BMW launched the M135i, which was equally powerful despite not being a full-fledged BMW M.

While Munich doesn’t seem very eager to build a new 1M anytime soon, it has just updated its range-topping 1 Series for the 2017 model year. It goes by the name M140i and comes with extra horsepower, optimized fuel consumption, and improved performance. On the flipside, the new badge changes nothing in terms of exterior design and interior features, leaving the performance-oriented hatchback unchanged for the 2017 model year.

The bad news is that BMW still doesn’t want to bring the second-generation 1 Series to the United States, and as a result we won’t find the updated M140i in dealerships. This leaves us with the similarly sized M240i Coupe that BMW launched alongside the hatchback or the absolutely wild M2. Until BMW decides otherwise, let’s have a closer look at its most powerful hatch to date.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M140i.

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2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance

The German tuner has brought out the vicious side of the revered sports coupe

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe is one of those cars that will last the test of time. I’m calling it as early as now, even though it’s only been four years since BMW stopped production of the car in 2012. In total, only 6,309 units of the 1 Series M Coupe were made and despite having exited from our lives, the sports car is still revered as one of the finest works to come out of BMW.

Proof of that lies in the number of aftermarket programs that are still being made for it. Yes, it’s 2016 and yet, there are still tuners like Alpha-N Performance that are taking the time to build kits specifically for the car. That tells you all you need to know about the stature of the 1 Series M Coupe.

Alpha-N Performance’s program for the sports coupe is a real treat considering the length by which the tuner developed that engine mod. The tuner did so in lieu of making any exterior and interior changes, but what it was able to bring out of the car’s 3.0-liter twin turbo straight-six engine is utterly impressive. I’m not going to spoil the actual number Alpha-N managed to get out of that N54 engine, but I will say that it well exceeds the output of some of today’s sports cars. In other words, it’s beyond ridiculous and is fitting, I might add, of a car that’s been described in the exact same words.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 1 Series M Coupe By Alpha-N Performance.

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BMW Considers RWD Next-Gen 1-Series

BMW Considers RWD Next-Gen 1-Series

BMW has had to do some very deep soul-searching when it comes to the 1 Series. On the one hand, its rivals are all front-wheel-drive, and the rear-wheel-drive 1 Series suffers by comparison when it comes to interior space, something which is important in a hatchback. But this is a BMW, not a Mini, and while all-wheel drive is a generally acceptable alternative to rear-wheel drive, the purists would not be happy with a car that sends power to just the front wheels. Of course, Porsche has shown that sometimes ignoring purists is the most profitable option.

There is some good news for those purists though, as BMW has a new board member, Klaus Frohlich. Frohlich seems very much of the opinion that the emotional element of BMW’s cars is very important, and that means rear-wheel drive “from the 7 Series down to the 1 Series.” BMW has a new scalable rear-wheel-drive architecture, making its production debut in the new 2016 BMW 7 Series, which will make implementing rear-wheel drive in the 1 Series easier. Luggage space will still suffer, but Frohlich is confident that other BMW vehicles can fill that roll.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW Showcases Predictive Gear Shift Technology In 1-Series Commercial: Video

BMW Showcases Predictive Gear Shift Technology In 1-Series Commercial: Video

Leave it to BMW to brag about a technology that goes against its previous "driving pleasure" credentials, but this is how marketing rolls these days. In short, the latest 1 Series facelift commercial showcases the predictive gear shift technology found in the model when equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission. Using GPS information from the satellite navigation system, the transmission can change gears down before a corner and then back up once through the apex. This happens automatically, to create a smoother driving experience through the twisties.

I’d love to try it, but there are two problems with the ad. The commercial suggests that the technology is new, when in fact it debuted in 2013. And it was initially developed for the Wraith by a Rolls-Royce engineer, and it only recently trickled down to BMW models. In its defense, BMW owns Rolls-Royce, so technology-sharing between the two companies is to be expected.

Both the 1 Series and the Wraith use eight-speed automatic transmissions sourced from ZF, while their satellite navigation systems are very similar, so it was a no-brainer for the tech to be passed onto BMW models eventually. In the Rolls it is called "Satellite-Aided Transmission (SAT), while BMW calls it "Predictive Gear Shift Technology," but they work in the exact same way. Interestingly, an earlier version of the system was developed by a BMW engineer working for the now-defunct Williams-BMW F1 team, but he was since snatched up by Roll-Royce.

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2018 BMW 1 Series Sport Cross

2018 BMW 1 Series Sport Cross

Just when it starts to look like BMW has created a car to fill just about every niche it could possible conceive, rumors begin to emerge about a future niche-filling model in development. Where could the German automaker go beyond Gran Coupe, Grand Tourer, Gran Turismo and coupe-inspired crossovers? If Automobile Magazine is right, BMW is working on a new off-road version of the 1 Series that could wear the Sport Cross name.

Going after the active-lifestyle crowd who demand a somewhat capable vehicle that isn’t too expensive or harsh on the environment, the BMW 1 Series Sport Cross is expected to be ready for European customers by 2018. It will essentially split the difference between the existing 1 Series hatchback and the X1 crossover, while having its own distinctive look and feel. It’s not likely that the 1 Series Sport Cross will be the Ultimate Off-Road Driving Machine, but BMW could definitely have a nifty soft-roader on its hands when this thing debuts.

Note: Standard BMW 1 Series pictured here.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 1 Series Sport Cross.

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BMW 1 Series Sedan Caught Winter Testing: Spy Shots

BMW 1 Series Sedan Caught Winter Testing: Spy Shots

With Audi and Mercedes-Benz both gaining a foothold in the premium compact-sedan segment, courtesy of their A3 sedan and CLA, respectively, BMW is planning to jump on the bandwagon with a sub-3 Series sedan as well. Sporting the 1 Series Sedan moniker, the future BMW model will take over from the 3 Series as the company’s entry level sedan when it goes on sale. A pre-production prototype of the model was recently spied cold-weather testing in the northern parts of Scandinavia, where most German carmakers establish testing bases during the winter season.

Being a smaller sedan than the 3 Series is not the only novelty that the new model brings, as it is also the first ever BMW sedan with front-wheel-drive, something that the brand’s die-hard aficionados will certainly frown upon. Based on the UKL architecture, the new BMW 1 Series Sedan will share its underpinnings with the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, next 1 Series hatchback, next X1 and every future Mini model.

Apart from FWD, which will be standard on most lower-powered versions, a FWD-based all-wheel-drive system will also be available either as an extra or as standard when paired with the top engines. Speaking of which, the engine lineup will likely vary from a 1.5-liter three-cylinder mill to 2,0-liter four-cylinders – both gasoline and diesel - all of them being turbocharged and paired either with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Continue reading to learn more about BMW’s FWD plans.

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2015 BMW M135i

2015 BMW M135i

The BMW 1 Series arrived for the 2012 model year, and the following year, the wild M135i hatch made its debut, giving Bimmer the hot hatchback that Europeans crave so much. As we head into the 2015 model year in Europe – they are one model year behind us – the M135i is receiving a slight update that gives it cues similar to the rest of the BMW lineup. On top of its new looks, the 2015 M135i also gets a slight power bump and the option to send the ponies to all four wheels.

With this refresh, it is obvious that BMW is looking to do more than simply make the M135i look like the rest of its lineup. The extra power and the addition of all-wheel drive is a sign that Bimmer is playing keeping up with the Joneses with the A45 AMG 4MATIC and the upcoming Audi RS3, both of which feature all-wheel drive and quicker acceleration times. So, can the extra power and xDrive all-wheel drive close the gap enough to allow the Bimmer hatch to keep pace with the its Mercedes and Audi competitors?

Click "Continue Reading" to read my full review of the 2015 M135i to find out.

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Watch This Frightening Attempted Carjacking of a BMW X5 in South Africa: Video

Watch This Frightening Attempted Carjacking of a BMW X5 in South Africa: Video

Two people driving a BMW X5 in South Africa are very fortunate to be alive after a botched carjacking by a group of men posing as police officers. Rekord East, the local newspaper for Pretoria East, reports that the white BMW 1 Series hatchback was equipped with blue lights and the men were wearing jackets, bulletproof vests and had weapons that made the couple believe they were police officers, and most of the terrifying incident was caught on video by an eyewitness.

By the time the video starts, the male passenger had already been placed in the back seat of the 1 Series, and the woman was attempting to get away from two of the men. Initially, the eyewitnesses thought the carjackers/kidnappers were legitimately the police and commented that woman shouldn’t try to get away. It soon became clear that the situation was more serious than they had imagined.

At some point, the woman from the X5 realizes the men are not police officers, and she tries to run away before being dragged back to her vehicle, punched and then thrown in the back seat. The women recording the video then realize something is wrong when the two cars just begin to drive off and the man jumps from the moving hatchback. This creates a diversion and the woman escapes from the back seat of the X5 and she runs toward the witnesses, who are now on the phone with the real police.

The car speeds off with all the men in the car, and the X5 and its occupants left behind. The report goes on to say that two shots were fired in this incident, but there were no injuries reported. Police later found the 1 Series abandoned with all of the weapons and police equipment still inside. It doesn’t sound like any of the men have been caught.

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BMW Teases 1 Series Facelift ; Will Unveil it Tomorrow: Video

BMW Teases 1 Series Facelift ; Will Unveil it Tomorrow: Video

Launched back in 2011, the second-generation BMW 1 Series is about to receive a facelift, or as BMW likes to call it, a "life cycle impulse (LCI)." We’ve known that for a while and almost four years into the model’s cycle seems an appropriate time for a refresh, but the latest official information about the matter points toward the unveiling of the 1 Series’ facelift occuring on January 16, which is obviously tomorrow. BMW made that rather clear by posting what is probably one of the shortest teasers ever on their UK YouTube account.

Less than a third of the 14-second-long video shows a pair of BMW’s trademarked "Angel Eyes," which are definitely engulfed in a pair of redesigned headlights for the facelifted 2016 1 Series. As it can be seen from both the footage above and by guessing the features on some camouflaged prototypes being tested in recent times, the refreshed 1 Series will get all-new headlamps, losing the controversial Hammerhead shark-like design of the original model. As expected, it is the front end that will mostly get under the knife, with the facelifted model looking a bit less contentious, while the side and rear will only be mildly refreshed.

As far the technical modifications are concerned, the engine lineup will receive a host of three-cylinder engines that were until recently only found on MINI models, with some of the old powerplants receiving small boosts of power and an improvement in fuel economy. All in all, whether you love it or hate it, the current-generation BMW 1 Series will be the last one offered with rear-wheel drive, as the next generation will switch to a version of MINI’s UKL platform, rendering it either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive exclusively. In other words, this will be the final chance to grab a compact, rear-wheel-drive BMW, if that matters for anyone anymore.

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Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Reveals its Interior

Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Reveals its Interior

The 2016 BMW 1 Series, which is set to become BMW’s first front-wheel-drive compact, is shaping up into a production vehicle as testing continues toward the end of 2014. After seeing the base and M135i hatchback models as well as the sedan earlier this year, a hatch equipped with the M Sport package has hit the streets. Thankfully, our trusty paparazzi were right on site to catch it in action and send some photos our way. The sportier version was joined by another base model and although both of them were camouflaged, our spy photographers managed to snap a picture of the interior. This is big news, as it’s our first glimpse of the 1 Series’ revised cabin.

As expected, changes aren’t massive. The interior mirrors the compact’s mild exterior modifications, with only a few nips and tucks changing the already familiar layout. Both the hatchback and the sedan are scheduled to break cover sometime next year, with the former likely to show up at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January. Read on after the break for the latest details surrounding the next 1 Series hatch and stay tuned to TopSpeed for further details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW 1 Series.

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Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series Sedan Reveals its Interior

Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series Sedan Reveals its Interior

It’s been two months since our paparazzi spotted the brand-new BMW 1 Series Sedan testing on public roads, and the upcoming four-door returned to show us some of its interior. It’s the first time we’re able to take a peek at the vehicle’s cabin, which also means we’re looking at the interior set to find its way into the next-generation 1 Series hatch. The latter is scheduled to arrive in showrooms for the 2017 model year, one year after the 1 Series Sedan, using the same UKL front-wheel-drive platform.

Before we take a closer look at the photos we just received in our inbox, we’ll remind you that the upcoming 1 Series Sedan is BMW’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3 Sedan, two vehicle also offered with all-wheel-drive as standard. We expect it to look like a shrunken 3 Series with some styling cues borrowed from the regular 1 Series and 2 Series and hit dealerships with a range of 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and 2.0-liter, four-pot engines. A high-performance M version is likely out of the question given its FWD configuration, but a slightly souped up M125i is very likely.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series Sedan.

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New Forza Horizon Release Trailer - Play The Demo Next Week

New Forza Horizon Release Trailer - Play The Demo Next Week

The time is fast approaching, and I can’t wait. Forza Horizon 2 hits store shelves in just a few weeks, and now we have the official launch trailer as well as news on the arrival of a demo version you can play early. First, just take a look at this trailer. All of the footage in this is straight gameplay from the Xbox One version of the game and it looks stunning. The cars, modifications and scenery are all top notch.

September 30th cannot come soon enough.

Thankfully we don’t have to wait for the release date to bomb around the great European countryside as there will a demo released on September 16th on the Xbox One. I think I *cough* may be sick *cough* next week. According to some reps, the demo will be a timed affair with a few select cars from the game just like the demo for the original Forza Horizon was.

If you are an Xbox 360 player, yes the game is coming to you too, but we have no word on a demo for your system. I am sorry.

When you do pick up the new game, Turn 10 and Playground games have announced that there will be a special reward system that will grant you some fancy cars to start the game with if you are a returning fan. If you have played any Forza game before you are likely familiar with the Forza Rewards system. Essentially, Turn 10 keeps track of how much you play and you gain points based on time played, miles driven, cars owned and more. If you have enough points when you fire up Forza Horizon 2 for the first time you will get a selection of cars that range from the BMW 1 Series M to the Huracán and the McLaren P1. You can find a full list of cars, their unlock tier and a link to the Forza site to check your standings after the break.

So to recap; we have a great new trailer to watch, a demo coming out in just a few days, and a way to unlock a small collection of awesome cars before the game even launches. Can I get a “hell yes?”

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Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Sedan Begins Testing

Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Sedan Begins Testing

There’s been a lot of talk about the next-generation BMW 1 Series moving to front-wheel drive, but we have yet to see the current model in its facelifted guise out in the open. We’ve already seen camouflaged versions of both the 1 Series hatch and the M135i, but those weren’t too telling. The exterior modifications are not much of a mystery, but there’s a brand-new piece to the 1 Series puzzle that will require some extra patience as we await the official details.

We’re talking about the 1 Series Sedan, which won’t arrive as part of the upcoming facelift, but as the very first 1 Series to ride on the company’s UKL platform and feature front-wheel drive. While such a configuration will ruin the 1 Series for some BMW enthusiasts, it will enable the sedan to compete against the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3 Sedan, two vehicles offered with front-wheel drive as standard. Read on to find out what we know so far about the 1 Series Sedan.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series Sedan

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Spy Shots: 2015 BMW M135i Caught Testing

Spy Shots: 2015 BMW M135i Caught Testing

BMW is currently working on a number of facelifts and redesigns for its current lineup, and the second-generation 1 Series is one of them. The updated compact is scheduled to arrive in dealerships for the 2015 model and, as the latest batch of spy shots we received in our inbox reveals, work is well underway.

Along with the regular model, which has yet to show its face on public roads, the facelifted 1 Series range will also include a slightly upgraded M135i. The refresh won’t bring many changes to the hatchback, which is scheduled to remain on sale for another three model years until the third-generation 1 Series arrives, but will help keep it fresh in the eyes of potential customers.

Only the front and the rear fascias of the M135i appear to have undergone surgery, and this pretty much explains why the vehicle spotted by our paparazzi is wearing very little camouflage. More changes will occur under the compact’s skin, where BMW will add a number of improved gadgets and more environmentally friendly engines.

Click past the jump to read more about the facelift BMW 1 Series.

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BMW Crushes ActiveE Electric Test Cars

BMW Crushes ActiveE Electric Test Cars

You’re looking at a flatbed trailer full of "slightly used" BMW 1-Series ActiveE electric test cars that recently paid a visit to the crusher. The saddening sight of low-mileage Bimmers spray painted, pancaked, and parked atop each other is an unexpected part of the automaker’s initial testing of fully electrified vehicles in preparation for the i3 and i8 models.

BMW launched the testing program in 2010 with some 700 1-Series in a massive real-world field study with regular owners (that BMW termed electronauts) behind the wheels. BMW studied everything from driving habits to the cars’ performance over time while the owners reported back their thoughts and findings. However, now that the production version of the i3 is available and the i8 coming in limited numbers,, BMW ended the extended lease program.

The automaker announced it would be sending many of the used cars to a car-sharing service in California, but only 70 units have been allotted. The remaining cars’ fates were left in question as the owners turned in their cars for new i3 vehicles. That is, until this pictures surfaced recently on Facebook.

Granted, the ActiveE cars were all pre-production models that could never legally be outright sold to a regular buyer, but we can’t help but wonder why BMW isn’t donating these leftover cars to high school and college technology programs around the country. Perhaps we’ll take solace in knowing this flatbed represents only a small portion of the 700 ActiveE electric cars and the rest might receive happier fates.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW ActiveE.

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2013 BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign

2013 BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign

The first-generation BMW 1 Series hatchback, be it a three-dour or a five-dour, wasn’t exactly appealing from the styling point of view. The 1 Series Coupe, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Marketed as a successor to the iconic 2002 model, which was built between 1968 and 1975, the 1 Series Coupe received a much-praised M Performance version that carried the 1M moniker. The coupe was discontinued last year, as BMW was readying its successor, the 2 Series Coupe.

Although production of the 1 Series was halted about eight months ago, the Coupe, as well as its high-performance 1M cousin, are still popular among BMW enthusiasts. Some have labeled it as the best vehicle Munich has made in the 21st century, while others have seen its launch as a sign that BMW wants to return to its roots.

As with most compact, ankle-biting BMWs, the 1 Series Coupe and the 1M Coupe have been quite popular with tuning companies like Leib Engineering, Sportec and Vorsteiner.

Each of them are cool in their own way, but none are as intriguing as the one developed by the folks over at TJ Fahreugdesign.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series M CSL By TJ Fahrzeugdesign.

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2014 BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition

2014 BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition

The Middle East no stranger to seeing special edition vehicles, but it did look strange to us that BMW Abu Dhabi would go the route of preparing a special edition version of the M135i. It’s called the "M Performance Special Edition," and to be fair, it does look sprightly, especially the way the Mineral Grey metallic hue combines well with those red and orange accents.

Racing stripes with a checkered flag design also run down the middle of the M135i, which is a nice touch and fits in well with the whole special edition identity BMW Abu Dhabi is trying to convey. Carbon-fiber mirrors add a touch of sporty exclusivity to the mix, as does the new set of M alloy wheels.

All the exterior and interior changes to the M Performance Special Edition are impressive. But that’s the extent of it, because the model doesn’t carry any engine upgrades. Instead, customers will get the same 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that develops 320 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.

BMW Abu Dhabi has an interesting M135i in its hands, but how much attention will it really get in a market so used to getting its supercar on?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition.

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2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 By Manhart Racing

2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 By Manhart Racing

While the world’s attention is focus on the recently launched M235i sports coupe, the German tuner Manhart Racing came with a very cool update for the old M135i. The tuner’s package is called MH1 400 and is a clear indication of the engine’s new output: 400 horsepower.

In order to obtain the extra power, the tuner remapped the 3-liter, straight six-cylinder engine’s ECU and installed a new, stainless steel exhaust system with two end pipes measuring 90 mm (3.54 inches). As a result the M135i is now delivering a total of 403 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.

The only problem is that the speed limited was not removed, so the new MH1 400 still goes up to 155 mph.

In order to handle the extra power, the car was equipped with a new, KW Clubsport-coilover suspension system and new, 380 mm (14.96 inches) and 356 mm (14.01 inches) brake discs gripped by eight and four-piston calipers respectively

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing.

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2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing

2013 BMW M135i MH1 400 by Manhart Racing

The 2013 Essen Motor Show has just concluded, giving us a sense of what’s going on in the European tuner car scene. Manhart Racing had very special car on display, much like other tuners who had gathered at the annual exposition. But, before we come to that, let us give you a brief background of the donor car.

The BMW M135i has captured the imagination of every auto enthusiast on this planet. A small, affordable hatchback with a pokey little in-line six-cylinder engine developing loads of power and bucket full of adrenaline.

Manhart has taken the M135i and turned it into a rear-wheel drive drift maniac. How have they done it and why are we so excited about it? Well, we think 400 horsepower would answer all your questions.

Yes, this tiny BMW M135i now produces 403 PS (397 horsepower) and 561 newton meters (413 pound-feet) of torque from its six-cylinder engine. That’s 63 PS more than the standard car. So, you have 403 horses driving the 19 inch OZ Ultraleggera wheels. What could go wrong, apart from lots of tire smoke.

Click past the jump to read more about the Manhart Racing’s BMW M135i

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Video: BMW Will Unveil the 2 Series on October 25th

Video: BMW Will Unveil the 2 Series on October 25th

BMW unveiled its first teaser video confirming that the 2 Series Coupe will make its world debut on Friday, October 25th. As no surprise, the video reveals nothing about the car, but we only have a few more days to wait, so stay tuned!

The 2 Series Coupe comes in to replace the outgoing 1 Series Coupe, and it will deliver a sportier driving experience. For the European market, the 2 Series will be offered with four- and six-cylinder engines in both diesel and gasoline variants. For the American market, BMW will only offer two versions.

The base model in the U.S. will be the 228i, which will be powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower, while the top version — the M235i — will get a 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 322 horsepower.

Rear-wheel drive will be standard, but an all-wheel-drive system will be offered as an alternative.

More details on the new BMW 2 Series Coupe will follow this Friday!

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2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk

2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk

Tuner, tuner on the wall, who is fastest of them all? Tuningwerk from Germany just launched its upgrades for the factory BMW M135i hatch, a body style and trim name not sold in America. This upgrade goes far beyond engine management, with big changes under the hood, in the suspension and on the limited-slip diff out back.

Power is a quoted 355 horsepower for the light upgrade, and a whopping 443 horsepower with everything included. From a posh commuter car, this Tuningwerk M135i is a triple threat with its monster sprint pace, high-speed overtaking power that is on par with supercars, and its track and racing prowess

In the magic world of aftermarket performance, verified claims are always hard to nail down.

Even so, an extra 50 or more Tuningwerk horsepower creates quite a handful of a sports car, and one that is so powerful that driving it safely on the road can become part of the thrill and challenge.

Tuningwerk really cranks up the menace of the BMW 1 Series, and this humble hatchback is suddenly a lot more like the ‘breadvan’ Z3 M Coupe as a real banshee of power over-steer.

All good things. After all, hatchback car guy is grumpy when trouncing big Audi’s or Porsche’s in stoplight drag races.

Click past the jump for a mega photo gallery of the 2013 BMW M135i by Tuningwerk.

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2014 BMW 1 Series

2014 BMW 1 Series

It looks like BMW is preparing a surprise for all its 1 Series fans, as our spy photographers have caught a 1 Series five-door prototype that carries a mild facelift. Of course, you shouldn’t expect big changes to the model, thanks to its youth, the facelift will be drastic enough to care for some of the model’s shortcomings and to keep it fresh.

As you can see from these spy shots, updates will will include a redesigned front spoiler with larger air intakes and a slightly revised the kidney grille. A real sore spot for buyers are the outdated Bimmer headlights that do not continue all the way to the grille and it looks like this revision will bring the headlights to the grill and re-size them to better fit the smaller front end of the 1 Series.

We don’t anticipate any under-hood changes to the 1 Series, so most likely the revised 1 Series will carry the engine lineup from the current model. This means the U.S.-spec models will carry a series of 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engines with power ranging from 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque in the 128i to 320 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque in the 135is.

We anticipate this revision coming as a late-2014 addition to BMW’s lineup. This may explain the delay in seeing the 2011 1 Series here in the States.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series.

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Video: Chris Harris Reviews the Mercedes A45 AMG and BMW M135i

Video: Chris Harris Reviews the Mercedes A45 AMG and BMW M135i

If you ask us, the best BMW model ever built is the M3 E30. Mercedes has yet to match the perfect balance that Bimmer pulled off with the M3 E30, even the C63 AMG falls short. But the newly launched A45 AMG certainly gives our latest BMW favorite, the M135i, a run for its money. And who better to put the two head to head than Chris Harris?

So, what does Chris Harris think about two of the latest German models: the BMW M135i and the new Mercedes A45 AMG? In the latest episode of Drive he put the two sports hatchback through every test he could muster up and tried to find out which one is the best. He tried them on the road, the track, compared the lap times and the standing start acceleration times in an attempt to see which one is better: Stuttgart or Munich?

As usual, Harris brings us a nice mixture or crazy driving, limit pushing, sarcasm and intelligence to his comparison to make it all the more interesting. Check out the video to see what Chris thinks of the two German hot hatches.

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2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec

Even though it has been out of production for over a year now, the 1 Series M Coupe remains one of the coolest models ever offered by BMW. To sweeten the pot even more, BMW built just 2,700 units, making it one of the most appreciated BMW models.

German tuner, Sportec, obviously loves the 1 Series M, as it is serving up a pair of upgrades for the compact Bimmer. In its natural state, the 1M Coupe is plenty powerful, as it delivers a total of 335 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. This is enough to launch the compact coupe to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds.

In Level 1, Sportec reprogrammed the ECU to push the output to a total of 385 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. By our estimation, Level 1 should drop the naught to 60 mph time to about 4.3 seconds.

Level 2 is more complex, as and includes a larger oil cooler, a downpipe with 100-cell metal catalytic converter and a sports air filter. As a result, the TwinPower 3.0-liter in-line-6 engine delivers a total of 420 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which we estimate to drop the 0-to-60 time to just over 4 seconds.

Click past the jump to see the BMW 1 Series M Coupe by Sportec in action and other details on this custom 1 Series M.

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Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series GT Seven-Seater Caught Again

Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series GT Seven-Seater Caught Again

Earlier this week, we brought you the first spy shots of a seven-seat version of the upcoming BMW 1 Series GT and today, the car was caught again, but this time it’s on public roads.

In the last images, we only caught profile shots of the seven-seat 1 Series GT, but this time our spy photographers managed to catch it from multiple angles. From these new angles, we can see - as far as the camouflage allows - that the seven-seat version will look nearly identical to the standard 1 Series GT version, except the longer rear doors, the overhang and upright rear.

The two versions will share the same BMW UKL1 platform and both will be offered with a front-wheel-drive setup. The engine lineup will include a new three-cylinder engine, a hybrid three-cylinder drivetrain and four-cylinder engine.

We expect the seven-seat 1 Series GT to arrive about a half-year after the standard version hits the market.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series GT with seating for seven.

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2014 BMW 1-Series GT Seven-Seater

2014 BMW 1-Series GT Seven-Seater

The standard BMW 1-Series GT was caught testing many times, but this is the first time our spy photographers managed to catch the longer, seven-seat version. To be completely honest with you, the car was not really “testing;” rather, was just parked inside a BMW test facility.

This makes it pretty easy to spot the differences between the new, seven-seat version and the standard 1-Series GT. Up to the B-pillars, the two cars look the same, but this is where the changes come. The rear doors are longer and the overhang at the back is also longer on the seven-seat model. The back is also more upright, offering more room for the rear passengers.

The seven-seat version will be built on the same UKL1 platform as the standard 1-Series GT and will be offered with a front-wheel-drive setup. Under the hood, the engine lineup will again be shared with the standard version and will include the new three-cylinder, hybrid three-cylinder and four-cylinder powertrains.

The standard 1-Series GT will make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and the seven-seat version is expected to arrive six months later.

Updated 05/23/2013: Our spy photographers managed to caught the upcoming 1-Series GT Seven-Seater out for another testing session.

Click past the jump to read more about the seven-seat BMW 1-Series GT.

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M Division CEO "Absolutely Sure" the 1-Series M Coupe will Have a Successor

M Division CEO "Absolutely Sure" the 1-Series M Coupe will Have a Successor

If you didn’t have the chance to buy one of the 2,700 1-Series M Coupe units that were built, you will be happy to know that BMW has decided to offer a successor for the new compact sports coupe. The announcement was made by M division CEO, Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, himself in an interview with BMW Blog.

He said that the "M Performance" lineup is a new category of models for BMW and the company plans to expand it. The current M135i - offered as a successor for the 1M Coupe - is currently a very successful model, even if it is not really a pure M car.

Nitschke said in the interview: "We haven’t made a decision yet, but the 1M coupe was so successful, that in my opinion, I am absolutely sure we will build a successor."

He offered no other details on the upcoming successor, but we are hoping for something delivering at least the same performance figures at the 1M Coupe: 335 horsepower, a sprint from 0 to 60 mph made in 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph.

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2013 BMW M135i by Sportec

2013 BMW M135i by Sportec

There was no way Swiss tuner, Sportec, was going to miss the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. And why would they considering that, given it’s right in their own backyard.

Presenting its new program for the BMW 135iM, Sportec treated it to a comprehensive performance upgrade that has made the fierce sports hatchback even more powerful than it already is from the factory. That’s a huge task, especially since the stock model’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine already boasts of 320 horsepower. But thanks to Sportec, that output has now been bumped up to 380 horsepower with an improved 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 171 mph, significantly faster than the 155 mph the stock 135i comes with.

Complementing the massive power raise are many new components fitted on the sports hatch, including: a new flap exhaust system with titanium tailpipes and a set of lightweight 19-inch forged SP10 alloy wheels.

It’s not the sexiest tuning program at Geneva but for sheer purpose and thrills, this Sportec-tuned BMW 135i just got a lot scarier.

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2013 BMW 116i Fashionista

2013 BMW 116i Fashionista

BMW has just announced a new special edition 1-Series for the Japanese market. Built on the 116i version, the new "Fashionista" will be offered exclusively in a five-door body and will be limited to only 370 units. The model is now on sale at a starting price of ¥3,460,000 (around $37,500 at the current exchange rates).

The new special edition is distinguished by a stylish and sophisticated design, and can be ordered in three exterior colors: Crimson Red, White III Arupin and Deep Sea Blue metallic. Each color will be combined with chrome kidney grille bars and a black finish for the window surrounds. The model will sit on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels in a Y-spoke design, which further emphasizes the elegant and sophisticated appearance of the car.

For the interior, BMW offers Oyster Dakota leather for the seats, sections of the doors and the handbrake. The leather is offered in warm colors and it is combined with a gloss off-white finish for the dashboard, lower center console and door arms.

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BMW Launches M Limited Edition Models in Australia

BMW Launches M Limited Edition Models in Australia

The Land Down Under is fixing to get an infusion of M awesomeness after BMW’s Australian division launched a series of limited-run M Sport models as part of the company’s "Festival of M".

That’s really great, made even more so by the fact that the M Sport lineup will feature a number of models, each coming with their own unique modifications. The biggest of the bunch is the X5 M Sport Limited Edition and BMW Australia decked with a bevy of new components. The M Sport body kit is obviously fitted into the SUV, as was a chrome M Sport tailpipe finisher, bi-xenon headlights and a set of 20-inch M double spoke alloy wheels. Looking at the photo of the SUV, though, there doesn’t appear to much of a difference from the standard model.

Meanwhile, the interior is dressed up too, at least to a certain extent. There’s the M leather-wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles and electric seats. Other components include a Navigation Professional package, an automatic tailgate, a rearview camera, voice control and anti-dazzle exterior mirrors. This one isn’t exactly our cup of tea, at least compared to what the other M Sport limited edition models.

The next two are the 5-Series and Z4, both of which will receive an M Sport package that includes an M Sport suspension, a new aero kit, a leather steering wheel, a set of bespoke 18-inch alloys, blue leather-piped velour floor mats, chrome-plated "Limited Edition" door sill finishers, an anthracite headliner for the coupe, and blue-stitched upholstery. Now this is more like it. The mixture of aesthetic and aero upgrades is definitely right in our wheelhouse. If you can get aftermarket performance upgrades on that Z4, then you really have something there.

Finally, the 1-Series and 3-Series Coupe and Convertible have received M Sport Plus packages, comprising of an aluminum glacier silver interior trim with glossy-black kidney grilles. The 3er, in particular, also has new sport seats, black exterior mirror caps, and stainless steel foot pedals.

If given a choice, we’re definitely rolling with the Z4 M Limited Edition. Its program is comprehensive enough without being too tacky.

Check out the price list of all M Limited Edition models after the jump.

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BMW 1-Series Coupe gets 1M look from Prior Design

BMW 1-Series Coupe gets 1M look from Prior Design

The BMW 1-Series Coupe is no doubt a pretty impressive car, but the gap between it and the 1-Series M Coupe is huge. So it’s mystery why many tuners have tried to update the standard 1-Series Coupe to look as much like the 1M as possible.

One of these tuners is Prior Design, which developed a pretty impressive wide-body kit that completely transforms the look of the 1-Series. The kit includes new front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper, front fenders and rear widenings, plus an optional trunk spoiler. All components are made in PU-RIM, except the rear widenings which are made from DURA-FLEX.

The price for the full update is €2999 ($3,989 at the current exchange rate), and for the trunk spoiler you will have to pay another €299. Unfortunately, the tuner is offering no updates under the hood, so if you were hoping to enjoy the same 340 horsepower as in the standard 1M Coupe, sorry, but you’re on your own with that one.

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Video: "Jingle Bells" Drfiting, Courtesy of the BMW M135i

Video: "Jingle Bells" Drfiting, Courtesy of the BMW M135i

It’s no surprise that most car manufacturers try to get into the spirit of Christmas and wish their fans and customers, happy holidays. Each brand tries their best at sending a holiday message to the viewer, be it hilarious, jaw-dropping or simply just "Merry Christmas.”

In response to Mercedes AMG’s Christmas message, which was pretty good, the boys at BMW decided to make one of their own. This has more to do with competition than celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

The volunteer chosen to spread the wishes is the fantastic BMW M135i. Being a 2-minute-long video with a performance car starring in it, one can expect that this is no ordinary message.

They put a dignified a capella band in the BMW M135i and DTM Champion Martin Tomczyk behind the wheel. With Martin torturing the Bimmer through some intense twist, the band had to sing “Jingle Bells.” Singing Jingle Bells itself is a pretty simple task, but when you’re drifting through the apex of a turn, it can be a little, shall we say, “difficult.”

Valiant effort, BMW, but the Mercedes AMG vid is still better. What do you think?

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2013 BMW 1-Series M Coupe by Schwabenfolia

2013 BMW 1-Series M Coupe by Schwabenfolia

No matter how difficult it is to say or write their name, you can always be sure that German tuner Schwabenfolia will release programs that will definitely catch your attention.

Their latest run on the factory saw them take a BMW 1-Series M Coupe, as tidy a compact sports car as they’ll come, and gave it a show stopping program. The most obvious thing you’ll notice about the program is the Lime Green foil wrap that will definitely steal its share of eye balls. From there, the German tuner also added a black foil wrap on certain sections of the 1-Series M Coupe, including the iconic BMW double kidney grille, the side indicators, and the roof. Carbon mirrors were also added at an extra cost, as are the new set of powder coated alloy wheels with its own lime green accents.

In terms of performance, Schwabenfolia added a new sports suspension system from Bilstein, a titanium exhaust system, and a new engine kit that improves the 1-Series M Coupe’s output from 335 horsepower to 420 horsepower.

Schwabenfolia has listed pricing details for the program, of which the lime green foil wrap costs €2,150 (US$2,900), €800 ($1,100) for the wheels, €99 ($130) and €109 ($145) for the front and rear wheel spacers, €2,499 ($3,300) for the Bilstein suspension, €2,299 ($3,000) for the titanium exhaust, and €1,299 ($1,700) for the engine kit.

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