New BMW 1 Series relies on front-wheel drive for driving pleasure.

28. March 2019
ca. 4 minutes

Agile, sporty, dynamic – that is the BMW 1 Series. The latest generation also delivers these typical BMW qualities, of course – but with a twist: After 15 years with a rear-wheel-drive layout, the new BMW 1 Series is switching to a modern front-wheel-drive system. This brings many advantages – without compromising the usual quality, dynamic performance and sheer driving pleasure. The new BMW 1 Series is still in the final stages of testing – but we can already take a look at what the change in technology means.

With its sporty design and dynamic handling, the BMW 1 Series has been a poster child for the BMW model family for years. In the completely redesigned upcoming generation, the focus is once again on making the new 1 Series a genuine BMW with outstanding driving performance. In the choice of drive train, we are therefore implementing everything we have learned about modern front-wheel-drive technology in recent years. The goal is for the new BMW 1 Series to set the benchmark for driving dynamics in its class.

The switch to a modern front-wheel-drive architecture offers many advantages: It saves space and weight, for instance, and exploits synergies between BMW and MINI models in the BMW Group’s compact segment. But, most importantly, through its consistently model-specific development, the new BMW 1 Series retains its own distinctive BMW character.


Thanks to intensive integration of all relevant vehicle-dynamic aspects, as well as the innovative new traction control, we are able to create a totally new driving experience. Standard ARB wheel slip control technology, familiar from the BMW i3, will be used for the first time in a vehicle with a combustion engine in the new BMW 1 Series. This transfer of technology from the BMW i brand to the core BMW brand significantly improves traction and enables faster, even more responsive control. The typical front-drive power understeer is significantly reduced.

The optimum driving experience is ensured by BMW Performance Control with dynamic brake intervention, which comes as standard, combined with improved steering feel and increased torsional rigidity.

But the shift to front-wheel drive also brings tangible benefits beyond performance and handling. From a construction perspective, the new BMW 1 Series offers more installation space, as well as more interior space. This gives engineers and designers more freedom – and results in greater spaciousness and comfort. The difference is especially noticeable in the rear.

The test phase has already shown quite clearly: The BMW 1 Series with new front-wheel-drive system impresses across the board and benefits from technology transferred from the BMW i brand. 



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