BMW will launch the 1-Series in India on the 3rd of September 2013. The 1-Series will become BMW’s entry level car in India, offered with both petrol and diesel engines. The German automaker has already started a campaign for the BMW 1-Series called “DYNAMIC1” where the focus is on driving pleasure. The BMW 1-Series is a rear wheel drive vehicle whereas its key competitor, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a front-wheel drive car. Thus BMW is emphasising on driving involvement as the 1-Series offers very little rear seat space.
BMW offers a range of engines on the 1-Series globally, including 114, 116, 118, 120 and 125 available in i and d versions (i for petrol and d for diesel, there is no 120i). There are M models too like the M135i (available with all-wheel drive as an option). For India though, BMW is likely to offer the 1-Series in 116i and 118d variants. The 118d uses the same 2.0-litre diesel engine which powers the X1 and 3-Series but in a different set of tune producing 143 HP of power at 4000 RPM and 320 Nm of torque between 1750-2000 RPM. The BMW 118d sprints from 0-100 km/hr in just 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 212 km/hr.
The BMW 116i uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine to produce 136 PS of power between 4400-6450 RPM and 220 Nm of torque between 1350-4300 RPM. This motor propels the 1-Series to 100 km/hr from naught in just 8.5 seconds. Top speed is 210 km/hr and all engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The 116d is not coming to India but is very frugal, returning a claimed mileage of 36.5 km/l. The 120d with 184 HP and 380 Nm might be launched early next year. Highly frugal 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will soon debut in this entry level BMW but an India arrival is still uncertain.
The company is offering first 100 customers ‘BMW Service Inclusive Plus’ as complimentary, which is a maintenance package. Bookings for the 1-Series are now open across all BMW showrooms in India. The BMW 1-Series runs on 195/55/16 runflat tyres and is expected to come with a starting price of Rs. 20 lakhs for the base variant (ex-showroom, Delhi). BMW has recently announced a price hike of up to 5 percent for its entire range (including MINI) with effect from 15th August. Expect the 1-Series to give tough competition to the A180s.
BMW will locally assemble the 1-Series at its Chennai facility, using CKD kits. The company is already working on a mid-life facelift for the second generation 1-Series (F20) while the next gen model will share platforms with MINI (ULK front wheel drive platform), due by around 2016.