ON A CHARGE: New BMW 1 Series range brings sharper looks and more value through increased standard kit.
ON A CHARGE: New BMW 1 Series range brings sharper looks and more value through increased standard kit. Mark Bean

New BMW 1 Series takes fight to small Mercs and Audis

THE new BMW 1 Series takes on a decidedly Australian hue and with good reason.

The story goes that Sydney-born designer Calvin Luk once had a dream to leave his mark on a BMW and this 1 Series is a realisation of that dream with his stroke to be seen in the new look and shape of the updated model.

A sporty grille and stance are the hallmarks of this revitalised offering along with a larger kidney grille, new headlights, larger air intakes and dynamic contours.

LED technology, both front and back, is available as standard across the range for the first time, as is completely redesigned tail lights that add impetus to the sporty look.

2015 BMW 1 Series Photo: Contributed
MORE TOYS: BMW says its new 1 Series features up to $14,000 of extras for the modest $900 price increase. Mark Bean

The big news for this 1 Series is the inclusions list with BMW hoping to lure buyers away from the entry model with high-value niceties with price increases of $900 more than balanced by a claimed $14,000 of new extras.

The 1-Series gets eight-speed automatic transmission, rear view camera, connected drive real time traffic information and rain sensors as standard across the range

"We are certainly aware that we have a lot of ground to make up in this competitive segment," said Head of Product and Market Planning Shawn Ticehurst at the launch this week.

"We need to show the market this hidden gem which is why we have significantly enhanced customer value in the cars, improved handling and given buyers both an excellent entry into the range and in the 125i and M135i cars that driving enthusiasts will love."

2015 BMW 1 Series Photo: Contributed
POCKET ROCKET: New M135i is the flagship with sub-five seconds 0-100kmh sprint time. Mark Bean

There is more power and low down torque across the range as well, necessitating a renaming and repositioning of the choices on offer.

The 116i is replaced by the 118i (from $36,900), the former 118i is now the 120i (from $41,900). A 118d (from $40,300), 125i (from $48,900) and M135i (from $62,900) complete the range.

The new 118i features a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 100kW and 220Nm of torque with outputs for the BMW 120i at 130kW and 250Nm.

The 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder unit in the BMW 125i generates 160kW and 310Nm of torque, and accelerates from 0-100km in 6.2 seconds.

The flagship M135i (0-100kmh in 4.9sec) brings boiling hot-hatch options with adaptive M suspension and a range of sporty enhancements to offer a ride out of the ordinary.

There have been enhancements to the interior, too, with improved high-quality materials, new seat upholstery and detailed trims.

2015 BMW 1 Series Photo: Contributed
SHARP LOOKS: Exterior changes include a larger front grille and air intakes, new headlights and LED lights all round. Mark Bean

The New BMW 1 Series

- 118i (100kW and 220Nm) - from $36,900

- 118d (110kW and 320Nm) - from $40,300

- 120i (130kW and 250Nm) - from $41,900

- 125i (160kW and 310Nm) - from $48,900

- M135i (240kW and 450Nm) - from $62,900