According to Autocar, the new One could, in fact, be underpinned by the new FAAR or Frontantriebsarchitektur platform that is claimed to be an evolution of the UKL, and which supports a completely electric drivetrain with batteries added.
The fourth BMW model to send its grunt to the front after the models mentioned as well as the China only 1-series Sedan, the internally designated F40 will also come with xDrive all-wheel drive for the first time, reported to add some 55 kg compared to the front-wheel drive models, with the move also set to improve space both at the rear and in the boot department.
As previously reported though, the shift in platform would also see the six-cylinder engine in the current M140i making way for a four-cylinder as it has not been adapted to accommodate a six-pot.
While engines in the 1-series will reportedly range from 1.5 to 2.0-litres, the publication claims that a tuned version of the latter could spawn a new performance model called M130i X Performance. Projected to arrive in 2020, the X Performance will rival the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R, Audi S3 and forthcoming Mercedes-AMG A35, with an alleged output of 221 kW and xDrive as its name suggests.
An M1, which would provide BMW with a rival to the rumoured 294 kW Mercedes-AMG A45 and similarly powered Audi RS3, has allegedly been ruled out due to the move to front-wheel drive. A strong possibility though is the inclusion of a plug-in hybrid model that will feature the 1.5-litre mill mated to an electric power like the 225e X Active Tourer sold mainly in Europe.
As a side though, BMW will continue to offer the 2-series, slated to enter its second generation at the same time, with rear-wheel drive on an updated version of the CLAR platform with xDrive being optional on some models. This, therefore, means the M2 will keep its six-cylinder configuration and rear-wheel drive layout.
BMW has so far not provided any details on an expected launch date, though chances are the new 1-series could debut towards the end of this year or in 2019.
IMAGE from autocar.co.uk