The BMW 1 Series may have undergone a very slight refresh for the 2012 model year, but it appears that engineers are already hard at work for the next-generation of BMW's current entry-level machine. Here, we see a five-door hatchback version out testing in the snow-laden cold, complete with a set of chains on its rear tires.
Though it appears that the size of the 1 Series hasn't changed much, we can see that the front fascia has been slightly redesigned, probably taking on a shape more akin to what's been done to the larger 5 Series sedan. This prototype is still pretty heavily camouflaged, so it's hard to tell exactly what design tweaks are in store.
As for what's under the hood, your guess is as good as ours. However, BMW's latest commitment to four-cylinder turbocharged engines leads us to believe that the base car will have four-pot power, while the top-end 135i will still likely use the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that we currently enjoy.