THESE images may not tell you an awful lot about the final design of the new BMW 1 Series - but we can tell you that this fourth generation of the premium brand's hatchback is going front-wheel-drive.
It's not due to be revealed until much later in the year, bur these photos show a heavily camouflaged pre-production model undergoing testing at the BMW proving ground in Miramas, Southern France.
It's taken five years of intensive development work by BMWs engineers and designers to come up with the car's new front-wheel drive architecture and the car is now entering the final phases of an extensive testing programme aimed at refining agility and dynamics.
And BMW is already claiming that the new front-wheel-drive 1 Series achieves greater agility than its rear drive predecessor.
"Our customers will directly feel the fast and precise responsiveness that provides for an optimised driving experience. The BMW 1 Series will be a genuine BMW with an individual character," says Peter Langen, head of driving dynamics at the BMW Group.
One of the keys to that will be a new traction control system the technology for which has been adapted for combustion-engined models from a system already fitted to BMW's i3s electric car.
The technology features a slip control system which is positioned directly in the engine control unit instead of in the control unit for the dynamic stability control.
BMW claims that the system will provide faster response times and significantly reduce the power understeer usually experienced with front-wheel drive vehicles. The new system will be fitted as standard to the new 1 Series as will a system to control yaw through dynamic braking intervention.
"Through this extensive integration of all driving dynamics-related aspects as well as the new, innovative traction control feature, we are creating a completely novel driving experience," says Holger Stauch, BMW 1 Series project manager.
BMW also says that the new front-wheel-drive 1 Series will offer significantly more space inside with an extra 3.3cms of rear legroom and an increase of almost two centimetres in back-seat headroom. Boot space also increases by 20 litres to 380 litres.
The switch to front wheel drive doesn't mean waving goodbye to all-wheel-drive or high-powered sporting versions of the 1 Series, however, and the flagship model will feature BMW's most powerful two-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with TwinPower turbo technology pumping out 306 hp to all four wheels via BMW's x-Drive system.