The 1 Series was first offered to the market in 2004 as a 5-door hatchback. It replaced the BMW 3-series Compact range and is currently the smallest and most 'affordable' vehicle (depending on the engine model) in the BMW range. Unlike its predecessor, the new vehicle is built on its own platform (E87), however, it shares many components with the E90 3 Series. These include MacPherson struts in the front of the car, and a trapezoidal-link rear axle. BMW has stated that it shares over 60% of components with the current BMW 3-series E90.
The 1 Series is built in Regensburg, Germany, with some of the engines coming from the Hams Hall plant in Birmingham, England.
During its first full year on the market in 2005, it became one of BMW's most successful products. 149,493 units were sold, coming in third place: only the 3- and 5 Series sold better.
BMW upgraded the 1-Series for 2007 and introduced a 3-door sports hatch variant. The changes to the model were minor headlight and tail-light revisions, new front & rear bumpers and a minor revisions to the interior. The dashboard has been updated, and a recommended gear indicator is now present on models with manual transmissions.
New technologies include an Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, an electric water pump, and a host of drivetrain modifications designed for fuel economy, increased performance, and lower emissions.
The 1-Series is effectively the first in the world to have mild hybrid technology as standard equipment, although BMW is careful in its marketing not to label it as a hybrid vehicle.
The 1-Series will go on sale in Europe during the Spring of 2007. Ongoing rumours that the 1-Series is heading for the US have still not been confirmed. In Australia, the 1-Series three-door will not go on sale, only keeping the 5-door variant. However, Australia and many other countries may also get a rumoured coupe convertible model.
The engines available for E87 are basically the same as found in the E90/E91, with exception for the 3.0 L inline-6, which is slightly modified to produce more power. The engines below are preceded by their model year introduction.
In early 2006 the 5-speed manual transmission in the 116i and 118i, were phased out. Consequently, all models are equipped with the 6-speed by default.
- 2004- 116i: N45B16 1596 cc I4, 16 valves, 115 hp/85 kW, 150 Nm
- 2005- 118i: N46B20 1995 cc I4, 16 valves, 129 hp/95 kW, 180 Nm
- 2004- 120i: N46B20 1995 cc I4, 16 valves, 150 hp/110 kW, 200 Nm
- 2006- 130i: N52B30 2996 cc I6, 24 valves, 265 hp/195 kW, 315 Nm
- 2006- 125i: N52B30 2996 cc I6, 24 valves, 218 hp, 295 nm
- 2007- 135ti: N54B30 2979 cc I6, 24 valves, 306hp/225 kW, 400Nm
- 2004- 118d: M47TU2D20 1995 cc I4, 16 valves, 122 hp/90 kW, 280 Nm
- 2004- 120d: M47TU2D20 1995 cc I4, 16 valves, 163 hp/120 kW, 340 Nm