BMW working on electric 1 Series for 2021 debut

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Words: Nile Bijoux
8 Oct 2019

BMW is reportedly readying an electric 1 Series model for launch in 2021.

AutoExpress reckons it will be largely identical to the combustion-powered 1 Series in terms of design but without a functional radiator grille or engine behind it, and a brighter colour scheme, hinting at its electric powertrain.

BMW can achieve the quick turnaround thanks to its modular UKL2 architecture, based on the CLAR platform. Both of these were designed to accommodate electric and hybrid powertrains, meaning everything from the 1 Series to the new X7 could eventually be electrified to some extent.

“Even in the front-drive architecture you will see fully electrified cars,” Robert Irlinger, boss of BMW’s i division, told the publication. “You will see electrification in our whole portfolio. We can rework our front-wheel drive as well as the rear-wheel drive platforms and both are able to show all technologies – our customers have the power of choice. Whatever they demand they can get – a plug-in hybrid X3, a fully electric 4 Series, too. That’s a big step and a big change in our strategy.”

The electric 1sie could get both single and dual-motor versions, the latter offering all-wheel drive to scrap it out with Tesla’s Model 3. It might get the i1 moniker, following BMW’s trend of giving electric cars the ‘i’ suffix.

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