The third-generation BMW 1 Series is due for a design update. The model debuted in 2019, and recent spy shots have revealed that BMW is preparing to give it a thorough styling refresh. Previous spy shots had caught the car’s heavily camouflaged exterior, but the latest batch shows off the interior for the first time.
BMW does its best to hide the new cabin, with cloth covering the entire dash. However, the edge of the dash-mounted infotainment screen pokes out, and it looks identical to the screen that debuted in the new 2 Series Active Tourer. The new 1 Series also rocks new centre console controls with the gear selector nub, another bit borrowed from the new 2.
Gallery: BMW 1 Series Redesign Spy Shots
The updated interior, which will likely include the brand’s latest iDrive 8 infotainment software, will complement a redesigned exterior. Thick camo and cladding suggest that the 1 Series will receive a thorough makeover. BMW hides most of those new styling details, but the car appears to feature redesigned headlight internals and a new grille, which both sit over a new bumper. We expect BMW to redesign the taillights and rear bumper.
BMW will offer the 1 Series with a variety of powertrains, just like the current car, but it’s unclear if BMW will make any changes from the current lineup. The range-topping M135i will return, as spy shots have captured the model with a lowered ride height and quad exhaust pipes sticking out the back. The car’s current engine, a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four, makes 302 bhp (225 kilowatts). There are rumours of a plug-in hybrid, but don’t expect a fully electric version.
BMW hasn’t set a debut date for the refreshed 1 Series, but we don’t expect the automaker to reveal it until sometime in 2023. The future of BMW’s small cars is up in the air, too, as the automaker considers what its product lineup will look like at the end of the decade. Increasingly stringent emissions regulations mean that BMW will have to add more electrification to its models, and that could be difficult to do with such small vehicles like the 1 Series.