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Order books open for new BMW 1 Series (gallery)

BMW has opened the order books for its new 1 Series hatchback ahead of the arrival of the first UK deliveries in September.

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Prices for the third generation of the premium hatchback start at £24,430 for the entry-level 118i SE and top out with the 306PS M135 xDrive, at £36,430.

For the first time, the 1 Series is front-wheel-drive and BMW claims it also offers more interior room, greater efficiency and performance.

Among a range of technology which has been introduced to the 1 Series range in its latest iteration are: BMW Head-Up Display, BMW Digital Key, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Plus.

At launch it will be available with a choice of three diesel and two petrol engines.

The manufacturer saying improvements in their efficiency mean they offer higher real-world fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions than before.

In the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powering the entry level 118i, modifications have cut CO2 emissions by 29g/km at the same time as boosting maximum power output by 4PS to 140PS.

This now offers combined fuel economy of 47.1-40.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 123-114g/km.

Upgrades to the diesel engines have reduced fuel consumption by around 5%.

The 116d is powered by a 1.5-litre 116PS engine which returns 61.4-54.3mpg, and emits CO2 of 103-100g/km.

The 118d has 150PS and returns 60.1-51.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 111-108g/km. The all-wheel drive 120d xDrive, meanwhile, has 190PS and offers fuel economy of 51.4-48.7mpg which emitting 119-117g/km of CO2.

The model will be available in SE, Sport and M Sport trims, as well as the range-topping M135 xDrive.

SE comes with matt black air guide grilles on the front bumper, while Sport adds exclusive air inlets finished with a high-gloss back, the kidney grille features a chrome frame with high-gloss black struts.

M Sport features aerodynamic bodystyling as well as satin aluminium struts in the grille while the seat upholstery is Dakota leather with contrast stitching. Its M Sport suspension means a 10mm reduction in ride height.

Standard safety equipment across the range includes cruise control with braking function, collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, which also alerts the driver to the presence of cyclists, and lane departure warning.

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