Talks of the cheapest BMW in town began when the X1 was supposed to make its debut in here. It was the cheapest of any SUVs from the German brigade. Infact, the Honda CR-V pricing seemed totally unreasonable especially seeing that it had a petrol only engine. Now, the new thing which is going to explode into the Indian market scene and from the Blue and White propeller badge would be the 1 series. Yes, the baby brother of the 3 series, the 1 series is going to be here in India very soon. Expected here by latest 2013 or as early as the latter half of 2012, the 1 series is set to redefine the brand and dispel the myth that BMW cars are expensive, atleast so in India. Globally, the 1 series was supposed to be a very expensive thing, however the 2012 BMW 1 series in India would be a toned down version of the expensive thing with proposed local content going into it. Here is a sneak preview of the 2012 BMW 1 series.
As far as the looks part goes, this one looks similar to the Z4 model which is on sale currently in India. Why the Z4, even some shades of the 650i is also visible in the styling part. The kidney grilles get a new partition theme as also the air intakes are an all new proposition. For the first time, BMW would be putting in fog lamps as well. The Corona head lamps are now a toned down thing and can hardly be called as Corona now, especially considering that it is surrounded by LEDs. It is said that dimensionally the car is bigger than the older version (for India, it would be the launch of the 1 series for the first time). For this model, BMW have put in a new design of the alloys as well. The BMW 1 series is actually a hatchback which would be priced nearly at the price of a Skoda Laura L&K variant. At the rear, BMW has adopted a Audi like approach with the tail lamps. A big waft of chrome also streamlines the rear bumper. Single tail pipe is what BMW would be offering this car with, in India.
Unless one is particularly tall (darn, there goes my chance of owning a BMW), the seats are reasonably comfortable. Moreover, the interior quality, atleast for the models abroad is typically BMW – top notch. The steering wheel is borrowed from the 5 series and there would be audio, Bluetooth and some other controls on it. The aircon controls and other stuff feel like typical BMW fare. At the rear, passengers get their own dedicated aircon controls. The rear seats split asymmetrically and this aid in increasing the luggage space from 360 liters to 823 liters. BMW would be providing the latest generation iDrive system in this 1 series and it would also feature navigation maps specific to India. For the diesel variant, the fuel gauge is clearly marked as diesel. Even if the battery is charged or not can be checked out from the display.
It is said that the 2012 BMW 1 series in India would sport a toned down suspension keeping in mind the Indian roads. We can safely expect some sort of pliant behavior from it. Internationally, it is said to be the best suspension amongst BMWs. As for the handling, it is there for owners to explore. As with any BMW, even this one would be the benchmark as far as handling for hatches is concerned. The NVH levels are said to be also on the lower side. These details can only be checked out once the car is launched in India. BMW have persisted with their new found love for electric steering mechanism and expect the same in the new 1 series as well. The maneuverability quotient of the new BMW however has been widely criticized by all the international users. This plus the limited visibility towards the rear means that this would be cumbersome in traffic.
The engine options would be one petrol and one diesel. We have the details of the diesel one, since it would be doing majority of the sales in here. It would be the 2.0 liter turbocharged unit belching out 184 Bhp of power and 380 Nm of torque. Transmission options would strictly be an 8 speed auto with paddle shifters on the top end variant. The diesel engine is said to be a diesel locomotive and the kerb weight of 1500 kgs not withstanding, it would hit the ton in less than 8 seconds. Hot hatch, anyone? Not only this, as a part of their EfficientDynamics, BMW would also provide an eco mode called Eco Pro which would lookout for the best possible temperature for the car and also the ventilation of the seats (redundant in India). The fuel efficiency figure would also be a startling factor as far as BMW are concerned and it would hover around the 18 kmpl mark.
The 2012 BMW 1 series price in India is said to start from Rs 17 lakhs onwards. This price may vary as and when the government thinks of regulating the excise duty norms and also provide more sops to the foreign countries so that they can bring in their products into India in an uninhibited and in the process rake in some moolah for themselves as well. An expected launch date would be towards September 2012.