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.

2016 BMW 1 Series - Spy Shots

Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Reveals its Interior Spyshots Exterior
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Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Reveals its Interior Spyshots Exterior
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Spy Shots: 2016 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Reveals its Interior Spyshots Exterior
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Although BMW has yet to drop any of the swirly camouflage covering the cars from the waist down, the essential exterior modifications are obvious. The kidney grille is now larger, while the headlamps are identical to those seen on the 2 Series. The taillights are also new, with a slightly revised shape and new graphics with LED technology behind them.

The interior is what’s new with these spy shots. We’ve already seen some cabin details from the 1 Series sedan, and although most of them are present in the hatch as well, the latter gets a few new features of its own. The most notable changes are in the dashboard and the door panel area. The former’s passenger area and center stack design is quite different from what we’ve seen in the sedan. It ditches the chrome strip splitting it in two distinct upper and lower sections on the current-gen car, while the small storage area behind the shifter has been redesigned.

Moving over to the door panels, they feature a larger pocket, a revised button layout, while the handle is positioned closer to the side mirror. The steering wheel and the instrument cluster appear to be identical to the current generation’s, but that might change as the prototype gets closer to becoming a production car.

Why it matters

The next-generation 1 Series won’t bring massive changes compared to the current car, but the good news is that BMW won’t use the same interior for both the sedan and the hatch. An identical interior would help the automaker reduce production costs, so we have to give the Germans credit for trying to create separate identities for the sedan and hatch versions of the third-gen 1 Series.

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