The BMW 1-Series hatchback has always been somewhat of an oddity in the world of compact cars, as it has always been offered with a sporty rear-wheel-drive layout and available inline-6 engines. That won’t be the case for the third-generation modelthat BMW plans to unveil later in 2019 and has previewed in new teaser shots.

The automaker confirmed in March that the new 1-Series hatchback will ride on a front-wheel-drive platform, specifically BMW Group’s FAAR platform whose first application will be the new hatch. The platform is an update of the UKL design found in the BMW X1 and X2, with improvements made to the weight reduction and compatibility with electric powertrains.


BMW 1 series Hatchback interior dash

By using the FAAR platform, the new 1-Series hatchback will see improvements in space thanks to transverse engine mounting and a low center tunnel. BMW said that space is up both in the cabin and the trunk compared to the outgoing 1-Series hatch. The automaker has confirmed 1.18 inches more knee room in the rear and an extra 0.7 cubic feet in the trunk.

A downside of FWD vehicles compared to those with rear drive is understeer, where a vehicle tends to turn less into a corner as the front wheels are the first to lose grip. Among the solutions aimed at preventing this is what BMW calls actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation, or ARB for short.

A debut of the new 1-Series hatchback is confirmed for the fall, meaning an appearance at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September is likely. While the car isn’t expected on sale in the United States, we should see its same technologies featured on those BMWs based on its FAAR platform sold locally. One of these will be a 2-Series Gran Coupe confirmed for November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

The good news for fans of RWD is that BMW is committed to offering it in the next 2-Series coupe. And yes, the car will once again spawn an M2 variant.

BMW 1 series Hatchback exterior