16 January 2007

One, two, three

BMW reveals new three-door version of its 1-Series hatch

BMW 1-Series

How do you make the 1-Series even less practical as a small hatchback?

It's not a question that's had us losing sleep, but it's obviously been bothering BMW's engineering types, who have come up with a solution and done away with the rear doors of the One. Genius.

The three-door 1-Series arrives at the same time as some revisions for the entire range.

These updates include a larger BMW 'kidney' grille, reprofiled front and rear bumpers, and a darkened headlamp glass cover.

The three-door model does without window frames for a more coupe-esque appearance when its doors are opened.

To cap it all in the practicality-free stakes, BMW will sell the three-door 1-Series as four-seater, with the no-cost option of choosing a normal rear bench seat.

On a more encouraging note, the 118d model now turns in 60.1mpg combined economy and all models will use BMW's regenerative braking technology to help charge the battery more effectively.

Every model except the 130i will also come with automatic stop-start to save fuel while waiting at the traffic lights.

We'll have to wait until the Geneva motor show in May to see the revised 1-Series range in the metal and the car goes on sale in the UK in March, with prices announced closer to the time.

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