BMW’s new baby zeroes in on Fiesta

Sub-1-Series model sets sights on Ford and front-wheel drive will be most frugal BMW

BMW is heading into Ford Fiesta territory! Auto Express has learned that the German firm is readying a new front-wheel-drive supermini, likely to be badged the 0-Series. And our exclusive pictures give you the best view yet of how the compact contender will look.

As its name suggests, it will fill the gap between the 1-Series and MINI – satisfying buyers’ demands for small cars with a premium feel. It’s set to compete with top-end superminis and prestige models such as Audi’s upcoming A1. The hatch will be based on the next-generation MINI platform, making it the first-ever front-wheel-drive BMW.

However, while it might buck the firm’s rear-drive tradition, there’s a clear family influence in the design. The twin kidney grilles and front apron take their lead from the 1-Series and are paired with new lights.

At the rear, a sweeping tailgate and subtle spoilers demonstrate that while this is an entry-level BMW, it still prioritises on driving pleasure and sportiness. To ensure a unique experience, the 0-Series will get hi-tech aids such as an electronic diff and active damping – something that will be reflected in its elevated price tag, which is likely to start from around £16,000.

Customers will be able to choose from the sleek three-door seen here and a more practical five-door. The model could also spawn a compact two-seater for 2013, using shared architecture with the MINI Roadster.

Efficiency is a priority. A range of powerful but clean petrol and diesel motors should make this the most frugal BMW ever. A development of the 161bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel, which debuted as a range extender on the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept, may be among the choices, while an all-electric powertrain will follow at a later date.

The 0-Series will form part of BMW’s Project ‘i’ range – a new breed of ultra-efficient cars featuring electric, petrol, hybrid and diesel variants with two, three or four wheels. Expect the 0-Series to go into production as soon as 2012, meaning a concept car could be as little as 18 months away.

Recommended

BMW 1 Series review
BMW 118i - front tracking
BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series review

The BMW 1 Series is one of the best premium hatchbacks on sale, offering a combination of performance, efficiency and driver thrills
15 Apr 2021
Used BMW 1 Series
Used BMW 1 Series - front
BMW 1 Series Hatchback

Used BMW 1 Series

Our BMW 1 Series buyer’s guide has everything you need to know about the 1 Series Mk1 (2004-2011) and 1 Series Mk2 (2011-2019)
15 Dec 2020
BMW 118i M Sport: long-term test review
BMW 1 Series Hatchback

BMW 118i M Sport: long-term test review

Final report: our BMW 118i hatch offers the upmarket appeal and fun drive that the firm is famous for
29 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling
Volkswagen Polo - front
Volkswagen Polo Hatchback

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling

Revamped Mk6 Volkswagen Polo unveiled with new GTI version coming next year
21 Apr 2021
New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe
Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD - front
Vauxhall

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe

The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD EV reboots the iconic Manta coupe for the electric era
20 Apr 2021
Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range
Stellantis battery
Peugeot

Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range

Four new EV platforms for Stellantis Group, the first of which we’ll see in 2023
20 Apr 2021