BMW 1 Series

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BMW 1 Series
BMW F40 Leonberg 2019 IMG 0019.jpg
Body and chassis
ClassSubcompact executive car (C)
LayoutFR layout (2004–2019)
Front-engine, front-wheel drive (2019–present)
Front-engine, all-wheel drive (2011–present)
PredecessorBMW 3 Series Compact
SuccessorBMW 2 Series (for coupé/convertible)

The BMW 1 Series is a range of subcompact executive cars (C-segment) manufactured by BMW since 2004. It is the successor to the BMW 3 Series Compact and is currently in its third generation.

The first generation was produced in hatchback, coupe and convertible body styles. Since the second generation (introduced in 2013), the coupé and convertible models have been marketed as the 2 Series, therefore the 1 Series range no longer includes these body styles. A sedan model became available for the Chinese market in 2017.

The 1 Series is BMW's entry level of model range. Unusually for a small car, the 1 Series range was mostly rear-wheel drive, (except for the F52 sedan, which is front-wheel drive). This changed in September 2019 when BMW launched their new model, switching to front-wheel drive.[1]

An M version was produced for the first generation: the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, which was succeeded by the BMW M2.

First generation (E81/E82/E87/E88; 2004–2013)[edit]

E87 5-door hatchback
E82 2-door coupe

The first generation of the 1 Series consists of the following body styles:

  • 3-door hatchback (E81)
  • 5-door hatchback (E87)
  • coupe (E82)
  • convertible (E88)

This generation was produced from 2004 to 2013 and is sometimes collectively referred to as the E8x. The E8x replaced the 3 Series Compact as the entry level models of the BMW range.

All models were rear-wheel drive, which was a rare configuration in the hatchback market segment, where most cars use front-wheel drive. The engines available were four-cylinder turbo-diesel, four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol, six-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol and six-cylinder turbocharged petrol (the latter only available on coupe and convertible models).

The 1 Series M Coupé is powered by the BMW N54 turbocharged inline-six engine and uses a six-speed manual transmission. It was produced in only the coupe body style and is considered the predecessor to the BMW M2.

Following the introduction of the F20/F21 1 Series in 2011, the E81/E87 hatchback models began to be phased out. However, the E82/E88 coupes and convertibles remained in production until 2013, when they were replaced by the F22/F23 2 Series models.

Second generation (F20/F21; 2011–2019)[edit]

F20 5-door hatchback
F21 3-door hatchback

The F20/F21 is the second generation of the 1 Series, which was released in 2011.

The body styles of the F20/F21 range are a 3-door hatchback (model code F21) and a 5-door hatchback (model code F20).

For the second generation of 1 Series, the coupe and convertible models were spun off to create the BMW 2 Series range.

The F20/F21 was initially powered by four-cylinder petrol, four-cylinder diesel and six-cylinder petrol engines. In 2015, three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines were added to the model range. All engines are turbocharged.

Unlike most hatchback competitors, the F20/F21 uses a longitudinally-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive (instead of front-wheel drive) for most models. The F20/F21 is the first 1 Series to offer an optional all-wheel drive (called "xDrive" by BMW).[2]

Facelift (2015)[edit]

The 1 series went through a significant face lift in 2015 which mainly consisted of a re-design of the shape of the front and rear light clusters along with changes to the front and rear bumpers to accommodate the new clusters accordingly. They also released a M140i which had a 6-cylinder, 3.0-litre engine producing 340 hp.

1 Series sedan (F52; 2017–present)[edit]

F52 4-door sedan – front
F52 4-door sedan – rear

The 1 Series (F52) is a four-door sedan that began production in 2017 in China. It is made by BMW Brilliance, a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto. The F52 uses the front-wheel-drive UKL platform shared with the X1 (F48) and Mini Hatch.[3][4] The car is also sold by BMW in Mexico starting in 2018.

Third generation (F40; 2019–present)[edit]

F40 5-door hatchback

The 1 Series was redesigned for 2019 models, featuring the UKL2 front-wheel-drive platform which is shared with the F48 X1 and the F60 Countryman. It will be offered with 5 engines; the base model is the 116d, while the range-topping model is the M135i xDrive. Transmissions include a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual clutch automatic and an eight-speed automatic.[5]


  1. ^ "The all-new BMW 1 Series - The perfect synthesis of agility and space". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  2. ^ "BMW Group PressClub Global". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  3. ^ Horatiu Boeriu (21 November 2016). "BMW 1 Series Sedan makes world debut at Auto Guangzhou 2016". BMWBLOG. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  4. ^ Stefan Ogbac (18 July 2016). "2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan Revealed for Chinese Market". Motor Trend. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  5. ^ Golson, Daniel (28 May 2019). "The New BMW 1-Series Is a FWD-Based Hot Hatchback with 302 HP". Car and Driver. Retrieved 28 May 2019.