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Spy Shots: 2010 BMW 1-series test mule

Spy Shots: 2010 BMW 1-series test mule


BMW released an updated version of the 1-series compact late last year but a suspicious prototype of the hatch is still running around German streets. At first appearance the car looks like an ordinary 1-series hatchback but look closer and you’ll notice several key features that reveal this is something very different.
The car pictured here is in fact an early test-mule for the next-generation 1-series hatch due most likely due in late 2011 or early 2012. Makeshift fender flares reveal the new model will sport a widened track both front and rear, confirming the next 1-series will be bigger than the current model. The larger footprint will also improve the car’s dynamics and road-holding abilities.
Earlier this month BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer revealed that the four-cylinder engines used in the next-gen 1-series will be the same compact units developed jointly by BMW and France’s PSA Peugeot-Citroen for the Mini and a number of French models. The engines will range from 1.4 to 2.0L in displacement and will be available in both turbocharged and naturally aspirated forms. Expect to see BMW’s award-winning straight six engines also appear in the line-up.
The current 1-series has often been criticized for having a back seat no full-sized adult would be comfortable in, however the rear seat room in this new model is expected to be much improved. This will also allow BMW to finally release a hatchback version of the 1-series in the all-important US market. This 1-series should also help boost BMW’s sales in emerging markets due to its low entry price.
Expect to see stop-start and electrical-regenerative systems carry over into the new series as well as possible new EfficientDynamics technologies such as heat-recovery systems and solar panels. BMW revealed yesterday that initial testing of thermoelectric generators and solar panels on its cars showed savings of up to 5% in fuel consumption.

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