Car reviews - BMW - 1 Series - range
Lots of hits and a few misses for BMW as new 1 Series shifts to front-drive platform
5 Dec 2019
AT THE launch of the original BMW 1 Series in 2004, I bet no one could’ve foreseen this. A front-drive 1 Series owing more to its Mini cousins – and the designs of its German competitors – than any hallowed classic from BMW’s storied past.
Instead of a modern take on the brand-defining 02-series (1966-’77), which is what the original 1 Series attempted to be, the third-generation model draws a line in the sand for BMW passenger cars. It completes BMW’s transition away from rear-wheel drive for its mainstream entry-level models, mainly because 80 per cent of previous 1 Series owners didn’t even know which wheels were doing the driving!
As a result, the crucial new-gen 1 Series switches to a more space-efficient front-drive layout shared with BMW’s current X1, X2 and 2 Series Active Tourer, as well as Mini’s Clubman and Countryman.
But does that make the F40 1 Series smarter or simply more confused?
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