OFFICIAL: The new BMW 1 Series hatch

BMW 1 Series hatch (F20)

Here are the official words and images for BMW’s new world order 1 Series. For now, we’re still in rear-wheel drive mode, but don’t forget there is a front-wheel drive 1er is on the way, too.

The slightly bloated F20 1 Series is 85mm longer and 17mm wider than the E87 model it replaces. Overall height remains the same. Other measurements of note to change include the wheelbase, 30mm longer, and, significantly, the front track is now 51mm wider and the rear track has had 72mm added. All that means there’s now an extra 21mm legroom for rear seat passengers and the rear cargo area now offers 360 litres of space, up from 330 litres.

Five four-cylinder engines are offered in this initial release and, for the first time in the compact class, an 8-speed auto is available. The 135kW 120d is the quickest model announced to date and can reach 100km/h in 7.2 seconds. You can thank a generous 380Nm of torque for that.

There are two other diesel engines provided, as well. The 118d has 105kW/320Nm and reaches 100km/h in 8.9 seconds. The entry-level 116d offers 85kW/260Nm and requires 10.3 seconds to reach the speed limit. All feature common rail injection, TwinPower Turbo technology and use around 4.5 litres of diesel per 100km.

Completing the engine range is a 125kW/250Nm 118i (7.4s 0-100) and a 100kW/220Nm 116i (8.5s 0-100). Like the diesels, the petrol engines rely on forced induction and boast fuel consumption in the high 5s per 100km.

So far it looks like the new 1 Series isn’t winning many fans for its looks. We’re still convinced feelings will soften once we start seeing the 1er on the road, but tend to agree it’s certainly not the prettiest car BMW has ever made.

After the break there’s a concise press release and a massive image gallery of 85 pics to help you get used to the new look.

UPDATE: The press material released by BMW Australia only lists info on the 118i, 116i and 118d; surely giving a hint to their model plans for the F20. They’ve also offered a far more detailed press release, which has now been added below.

UPDATE 6 June: BMW Australia is expected to launch the new 1 Series some time after October this year.


2012 Audi A3 revealed in sketch form

Audi A3 sketch

Five sketches have emerged detailing the look of the new Audi A3 hatch and sedan. Next year the third generation A3 hatch will be released; it will be the first model built on the platform which will underpin the Golf VII and many other Volkswagen Group products. In 2013 the A3 sedan will follow, which we know will be launched in the US and Germany. We can only assume the sedan model will reach other markets, but this is yet to be confirmed.

We don’t really see anything in these sketches that we shouldn’t expect. The lines have been sharpened up a bit, but really, we’re seeing an evolution of the current 8P shape here, rather than revolution. Of course, we were given a big preview of what to expect with the A3 concept “notchback” at Geneva last month.


New BMW 1 Series (F20) hatch under development

BMW 1 Series (F20) hatch

Development of the next generation (F20) BMW 1 Series hatch is well underway as this video from the Nürburgring shows. There appears to be at least five development cars at the company’s Nürburg facility.

Aside from the evolutionary development of the love it or hate it five door hatch body style there’s not much else to learn from this clip. BimmerFile tells us the F20 1er will be seen in or near production ready form by the end of next year.

Check out the clip after the jump.



MY11 Subaru WRX STI information

MY11 Subaru WRX STI

Subaru UK has released new info on the 2011 WRX STI. We’ll update you with local details as soon as Subaru Australia has something to say, but for now you can check out the UK release after the break.

The key points with the MY11 WRX STI are a stiffer chassis, a lower ride height with “Spec C” suspension improvements, lighter alloy wheels and enhanced exhaust note. The 300PS 2.5 litre boxer engine now meets Euro 5 emissions standards, as well.

Cosmetic changes have been made to the bumpers and the rear quarter panels have been beefed up a bit more. Inside the car, Subaru say they have improved the quality of materials along with adding some new Recaro bucket seats.

And, of course, the new WRX STI (yes, they have intentionally dropped the Impreza badging) is fast. It currently lays claim to being the fastest four-door production car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.


Impreza STI sedan sighted at Nurburgring

Subaru Impreza STi sedan

One of the great things about living and working in Nürburg is getting to see what the manufacturers are up to during their test sessions at the famous Nordschleife. Dale from Bridge to Gantry, and also RSR Nürburg, doesn’t like to waste such opportunities. As well as his BMW ‘M1’ sighting, he also saw this Subaru Impreza STI sedan throwing its hat into the Ring, so to speak.

Apparently the driver was lapping with plenty of aggression, and interestingly, in the video clip below was also tailing an Audi TT RS. A coincidence, or something more?

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]


Mazda3 hatch sneak peak

Mazda3 hatch

Following the release of Mazda3 sedan images and details, the Japanese manufacturer has released a few teaser images for the new Mazda3 hatch. The hatchback will have a full reveal at the 2008 Bologna Motor Show at 9am on 3 December (7pm AEDST).

The December 2008 issue of Wheels magazine also reports of a new Mazda3 MPS currently under development. It is said the new MPS will produce the same power  (190kW), but techno-boffins have been working to improve on getting all that power through the front wheels with more success. A revised torque management system is being tweaked, which Mazda hopes will improve real-world driveablity throughout the rev range.

Other engine news sees the 2.2 litre diesel from the Mazda6, complete with a Euro5 emissions seal of approval, to be used in the Mazda3. Presumably this option will make it down under, but don’t lock it in just yet.

Stay tuned for the world premiere on 3 December with more images, no doubt.


SEAT León Linea R

SEAT Leon Linea R

It’s fresh, it’s funky, it’s fast, and its not available in Australia! This is the SEAT León Linea R. Okay, so the Linea R range is not much more than a fancy body kit, and it’s only fast if you tick the 147kW 2.0 TSI engine option from the three choices available—but it does look the business. The other engines have been raided from the VAG parts bin and include the 125kW 2.0 TDI (as seen in the Golf GT) and the 118kW 1.8 TSI (as seen in the Audi A4).

The León Linea R also gets a bunch of goodies thrown in such as 18″ ‘Supercopa’ alloys, dual zone climate control, TCS (traction control), ESP and, of course, the funky body kit, complete with Linea R badging.

While the exterior of the León Linea R makes you take notice, the inside is not quite up to Golf standards. It looks sporty enough, but the fine detail is just not there and the low placement of the Sat Nav unit is questionable, to say the least. Never mind that, SEAT’s generally drive just as well as their Volkswagen cousins, and normally offer more bang, for less buck. You gotta be happy with that!

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo 149 shows its face

Alfa Romeo 149

AutoExpress has published two images of Alfa Romeo’s upcoming 149, the replacement to the 147 model. Featuring strong styling cues from the MiTo and 8C Competizione the little Alfa has, again, sucked in plenty of admirers. Personally, I will reserve my judgement as, like the 8C, while there is definitely plenty to like about the styling, I’m not so sure the front end is as successful as it could be. One thing is certain, the Golf-sized hatch will stand out from its rivals, and that is often half the battle when trying to win customers from other brands.

Power will come from usual petrol and diesel variations, with entry level models expected to have around 90kW (120bhp) up to 186kW (250bhp) for the range topping hot hatch. The higher powered 149s are also expected to have an electronic Q2 diff to try and reign in all that power on a front wheel drive chassis. The 149 will be available for European sales in mid 2009.

Source: AutoExpress