The second generation of the BMW 1 Series consists of the BMW F20 and BMW F21 compact cars. The F20/F21 generation was produced from 2011 to 2019 and is often collectively referred to as the F20. For the second generation of 1 Series, the coupe and convertible models were spun off to create the new BMW 2 Series nameplate. The F20/F21 was initially powered by four-cylinder petrol, four-cylinder diesel and six-cylinder petrol engines. In 2015, three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines were added to the model range. All engines are turbocharged. Unlike most hatchback competitors, the F20/F21 uses a longitudinally mounted engine and rear-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive for most models. The F20/F21 is the first 1 Series to offer an optional all-wheel drive called "xDrive" by BMW. The F20 has seen use in the British Touring Car Championship, winning the Constructors Championship and Teams’ Championship. In China and Mexico, the BMW 1 Series F52 4-door sedan was also sold alongside the F20/F21 in the 1 Series range. However, the F52 is largely unrelated to the F20/F21 range, as it uses the BMW UKL platform, which is front-wheel drive and shared with the MINI, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and X1. In July 2019, the BMW 1 Series F40 began production as the successor to the F20.
BMW 1 Series (E87)
The first generation of the BMW 1 Series consists of the BMW E81, BMW E82, BMW E87 and BMW E88 compact cars. The E81/E82/E87/E88 generation was produced from 2004 to 2013 and is sometimes collectively referred to as the E8x.
The E8x replaced the 3 Series Compact as the smallest and least expensive vehicle in the BMW range. The engines available were four-cylinder diesel and four- and six-cylinder petrol, in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms. Unlike most hatchback competitors, the E81/E82/E87/E88 uses rear-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive. The 1 Series accounted for nearly one-fifth of the total BMW sales in 2008.
Following the introduction of the F20/F21 1 Series in 2011, the E81/E87 hatchback models began to be phased out. However, the E82/E88 coupes and convertibles remained in production until 2013, when they were replaced by the F22/F23 2 Series models.
1. Development and launch
Initially, BMW considered adopting the Rover R30 design program into the upcoming 1 Series; however, it was eventually decided to develop the 1 Series alongside the E90 3 Series. The E81/E82/E87/E88 shares approximately 60% of components with the E90, including front and rear suspension, structure, chassis, powertrain, hardware and electronic elements.
The 1 Series was developed under design director Chris Bangle, In 2002, the CS1 Concept previewed the 1 Series design at the Geneva Motor Show. with Christopher Chapman leading the exterior design for the hatchback models.
The first 1 Series production models – in the E87 five-door hatchback body style – were launched at the Paris Motor Show in September 2004.
2.1. Body styles 5-door hatchback E87
The 1 Series was launched globally in September 2004 as the E87 five-door hatchback.
The E87 was produced from 2004 until 2011, with the model range consisting of the 116i, 116d, 118i, 118d, 120i, 120d, 123d and 130i. Kerb Weight: 1340 kg.
2.2. Body styles 3-door hatchback E81
The E81 three-door hatchback models were produced from July 2007 until 2012.
As per the five-door body style, the model range consisted of the 116i, 116d, 118i, 118d, 120i, 120d, 123d and 130i. The overall length is the same as the five-door models, and the kerb weight is 10 kg 22 lb lighter.
2.3. Body styles 2-door coupe E82
The 1 Series Coupe E82 was unveiled in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale on 24 November 2007.
The model range consisted of the 118d, 118i, 120i, 120d, 123d, 125i, 125se, 128i, 135i and the M Coupe. In North America, the E82 went on sale in October 2007 with the 128i and the 135i models. The E82 was produced until August 2013.
2.4. Body styles 2-door convertible E88
The E88 convertible models were produced from 2007 until June 2013. The model range consisted of the 118d, 118i, 120i, 120d, 123d, 125i, 128i and 135i.
The E88 uses a fabric roof unlike the E93 3 Series convertible, which uses a folding metal roof.
In early 2006, the 5-speed manual transmission was phased out in favour of the 6-speed gearbox.
The automatic transmission option was a 6-speed ZF 6HP transmission for the 135i, GM 6L50 transmission for the 128i, and GM 6L45 for 116i. For the 135i 2011 and up model, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission "DCT" was also available.
4.1. Models Petrol
* Only sold in Canada and the United States.
In most countries, the 135i is the top model of the coupe and convertible range excluding the limited production 1M Coupe. From 2007 to 2010, the 135i was powered by the N54 twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. From 2010, the 135i engine was upgraded to the N55 single-turbo 3.0-litre engine with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The differential fitted to the 135i uses double-helical ball bearings, which operate at a lower temperature and reach operating temperature quicker, due to a reduction of fluid required in the differential. The 135i brakes are 6-piston front calipers and 2-piston rear calipers, with disk sizes of 338 mm and 324 mm respectively.
The 135is coupe and convertible model was sold from 2013 in the United States and Canada in other markets, the next generation F20 1 Series had replaced the E82/E88 by this stage. It is powered by an upgraded version of the N55 engine which produces 322 bhp 240 kW and 317 lb⋅ft 430 N⋅m. Other upgrades include sports suspension, an M Sport body kit, and 18-inch wheels. Transmission options were – as per the 135i – a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The 130i is the top model of the E81/E87 hatchback range and was released in September 2004. It is powered by the N52 3.0-litre naturally aspirated engine and transmission choices were a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.
5. 1 Series M Coupe
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe often referred to as the "1M" is the high-performance model of the E82 coupe range, developed by BMWs motorsport branch BMW M. While BMW naming convention would have called the car the "M1", the name "BMW 1 Series M" was used instead, to avoid confusion with the original BMW M1.
At the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show, BMW unveiled the "BMW 1 Series tii Concept", which was thought to be a preview of the M version of the 1 Series. However, the eventual M model appeared four years later and with significant differences, such as a six-cylinders instead of four. BMW officially announced the making of the M variant of the BMW 1-Series Coupe in December 2010.
The 1M coupe was BMW Ms second turbocharged engine after the S63 V8 which debuted in the X6M. Since the 1M Coupes N54 engine was also used in the E89 BMW Z4 sDrive35is, the 1M Coupe is the first M model to use an engine originally released in a non-M model. The outputs for this engine are 250 kW 335 bhp at 5900 rpm and 450 N⋅m 332 lb⋅ft from 1.500 to 4.500 rpm. An additional 50 N⋅m 37 lb⋅ft is produced during overboost taking overall peak torque to 500 N⋅m 369 lb⋅ft. The only available drivetrain is a six-speed manual gearbox with an M limited slip differential.
The front and rear track widths were widened by 74 mm 2.9 in and 46 mm 1.8 in respectively. As a result, the overall width is 1.803 mm 71.0 in. The curb weight is 3.296 lb 1.495 kg.
Initial plans were to limit production of the 1M Coupe to 2700 units; however, the final production total was 6309.
The 1M Coupe placed third in Evo Magazines 2011 Car of the Year eCOTY awards. It also featured on Top Gear on 26 June 2011 and recorded a time of 1:25.0 around the Top Gear test track under damp conditions. and received "Richard Hammonds Car of the Year 2011" award in the Top Gear magazine.
6. OBD thefts
In 2012, 1 Series vehicles were stolen by programming a blank key fob to start the car through the on-board diagnostics OBD connection. The primary causes of this vulnerability lie in the lack of appropriate authentication and authorization in the OBD specifications, which rely largely on security through obscurity. BMW offered all owners a free fix through a software update, and all newer vehicles have upgraded software that fixed this vulnerability.
7. ActiveE electric car trial
The BMW ActiveE is a demonstration electric car based on the E82 coupe. It is the second vehicle after the Mini E to be developed under BMW Groups Project i. The electric drive system is the latest addition to BMWs EfficientDynamics program. The US Environmental Protection Agency official range is 151 kilometres 94 mi, with an energy consumption of 33 kW h/100 miles, and the agency rated the ActiveEs combined fuel economy at 2.3L/100 km 102 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent.
Deliveries of the ActiveE for field testing in the U.S. began in January 2012, after the Mini E trial ended. A total of 1.100 vehicles were produced participate in the program worldwide, with 700 allocated for the U.S. trial and 35 for a trial in China.
8. Model year changes
In March 2007, the E87 five-door hatchback received a facelift also called LCI. Changes included the N43 four-cylinder engine replacing the N45 and N46 engines, various changes to improve fuel economy marketed as EfficientDynamics, electric power steering replacing the traditional hydraulic power steering, revised bumpers and interior changes.
In May 2007, the E81 three-door hatchback models were released.
In November 2007, the E82 coupe models were released, followed by the E88 convertible models soon after.
In 2011, the E82 coupe and E88 convertible models received a facelift. Changes included headlights and taillight revisions, new front/rear bumpers and minor revisions to the interior. For the 135i model, the N55 engine replaced the N54. Even though many engines are same, the facelifted 1 Series fuel consumption is slightly higher in some models such as the 123d, and slightly lower in some models such as the 120i.
In May 2005, in a commercial for the 1 Series Hatchback, Kermit the Frog was shown driving a BMW 1 Series around in a desert making figure eights, showcasing the cars agility. In the United States, the 1 Series Coupe was marketed as a successor to the BMW 2002.
10. Critical reception
Reviews of the 1 Series exterior styling were mixed, with the unusual proportions of the hatchback model often receiving criticism.
The BMW 118d won the World Green Car Award in 2008 as a performance-oriented car with CO 2 emissions and fuel consumption comparable to Toyota Prius.
In 2006, a BMW 120d modified with a BMW customer racing kit entered by "Schubert Motors" placed 5th at the Nurburgring 24 Hours in a field of 220 cars.
Ignition coil and fuel injector problems have been reported on models using the N43 engine. Timing chain failures can occur on models using the N47 engines. The extended oil change intervals specified by BMW are believed to be a contributing factor for increasing chain wear.