• Jan 13, 2008
click above for more high-res live shots of the BMW 1 Series Convertible

The final reveal in BMW's three-movement press conference was a drop-top version of its perfectly-sized 1 Series. While some in the audience might have preferred that the preceding female dancers had instead lost their tops, this vehicle was not a bad consolation prize.

Available in naturally-aspirated (128i) and forced-induction (135i) flavors, the 1 Series 'vert offers wind-in-your-face motoring in a mere 22 seconds by virtue of its electrohydraulic power soft top. Technical goodies abound, such as VALVETRONIC, an on-demand electric water pump that uses only 1/10th the power of a standard water pump and only runs when required, and pop-up roll bars to protect the occupants in case the vehicle goes rubber-side up. Additionally, the 135i gets an electronically-controlled limited slip differential to help cope with its additional 70 HP, as well as six-piston calipers up front to bleed off all of that speed.

BMW made note of the boat-like shape of the "shoulder" (the character line just below the 1 Series' beltline), and we gotta admit that it looks this way in person. More important than how design features are described is how well the overall package works, and the 1 Series is indeed attractive as a convertible. Consider approved by Autoblog. A variety of M Series options are available on both cars to spruce up the exterior and interior, with the 135i already getting a version of the M Aerodynamics Package as standard equipment.

Oh yeah, the price: the 128i Convertible will start at $33,875 while the hopped up 135i will break your bank at $39,875. Yikes!



PRESS RELEASE:

PRICING ANNOUNCED FOR THE ALL-NEW BMW 1 SERIES CONVERTIBLE AT ITS WORLD DEBUT DURING THE 2008 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - January 13, 2008... Those whose definition of pure driving pleasure includes wind in the face and sunshine above now have even more to smile about, as pricing was announced today for the new BMW 1 Series Convertible during its world debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The vehicle, which goes on sale in time for summer, will start at $33,875 for the 128i model and $39,875 for the 135i model. The 1 Series Coupe arrives in dealerships in March.
The 1 Series Convertible and the 1 Series Coupe follow the tradition established by the iconic BMW 2002 sport sedan. The essence of such driving purity - a responsive six-cylinder engine positioned within a rear-drive chassis to provide balanced, sporty dynamics - is at the heart of this compact four-place coupe and convertible.

The 128i Convertible will be powered by BMW's 3.0-liter, 230 horsepower inline six-cylinder engine generating 200 lb-ft of torque. Like its fixed-roof stablemate, the 128i Convertible will feature Valvetronic valvetrain management and aluminum/magnesium cylinder block construction-core elements of BMW's EfficientDynamics.

The 135i Convertible features BMW's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,400 rpm. With its direct piezo gasoline injectors, twin low-mass turbochargers and air-to-air intercooler, optimum performance and economy is achieved with no loss in engine response. For the 135i Convertible, acceleration from 0-62 mph is accomplished in 5.4 seconds and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Both engines feature on-demand engine coolant pumps that improve fuel economy and reduce parasitic losses for increased efficiency.

Additionally, in a mere 22 seconds-even on the move at speeds up to 25 miles per hour-the occupants within the 1 Series Convertible can go from encapsulated comfort to top-down exhilaration. If conditions dictate, the electro-hydraulically-operated softtop can be raised within the same 22 seconds, producing a distinctive silhouette enhanced by long frameless doors. The characteristic features of the BMW kidney-shaped grill, front skirt, door sills and rear skirt are identical to those of the 1 Series Coupe.


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  • 41 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Umm guys... why are there two different interiors... It sure seems like one of the pictures has the integrated nav screen and the others all have the flip up version a la X3 or Z4.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Doh! A pic from my X6 gallery got mixed in due to operator error. Sorry for the confusion.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had high-hopes for the 1series to become a modern 2002 - I had also hoped it would be sub 30kCND... the price is just mindboggling.

      No thanks. Maybe nothing matches the 1series in terms of overall package.... but there are better rides for ME out there for the money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        it is really tempting- pricing not too bad and is far more attractive than the bloated, keeping up with the joneses, look at what a cute little yuppie i am 3 series. I like it except for the placement of the turbocharger. Kind of like a biturbo that might last more than 50k miles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why would Bmw do that lard-ass version of the 3 series? It is inflation-more like a "4-series"...What happened to the Nissan 300zx? It became a boulevardier, getting big and soft. Same thing for the 3 series. Now the Quandts want to duck under the tubby 3 series and offer a lighter version in the 1 series. But the pricing is $5,000 too hi, imo.
      • 7 Years Ago
      UGLY! and at the same time resembles the old jetta cabriolet... strange and at that price NO DEAL!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, the sides are ugly.

        But, had it had a 118d, and 50 mpg, I could have overlooked that.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I like small performance oriented cars. I was waiting to see what this 'affordable' Bimmer would be about. I think it looks great. The specs are impressive, and it's a BMW. It's just not really affordable. I can pay for a car that costs 35,000. I just won't. I'm much more 'bang-for-the-buck' oriented. There are a number of really fine automobiles in this price class. If I were to actually consider spending that much on a depreciating asset, I doubt it would be a stripped down version of the lowest model in a manufacturers lineup.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the reason why the price is so high is because that is probably what the dealers who usually charge over sticker would be able to get.BMW is smart.They know it's better to sell a hot car for what they can get for it instead of letting their dealers cultivate resentment by overcharging.So,um,Mercedes.Where's Your valid 1 series competitor?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Saab or Audi will undercut the price and something more my style and price range ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I actually am liking the styling in the live photos
      and the powertrains sound like they will be great
      but why is the price soo high?
      • 7 Years Ago
      a 328i Convertible starts at $43,200!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Autoblog -

      I've been using this site since early 2005 and back then you guys used to be honest about a car's design, etc. Nowadays, you sound exactly like a Motor Trend article 'it's quite an attractive package' even if it's OBVIOUSLY ugly like this car. BMW now sells its cars on marketing. If you want a car which looks top-dollar, go buy an Audi.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Aetius,

        I was there, I shot the photos you see, and I like the way the car works. You're welcome to a different opinion, but please do not question my integrity. Thanks!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Aetius,

        The car definitely looks better in person.

        But it looks... Like... $26,000 pretty. Not $30,000-$40,000 pretty... At all.
      Carlos
      • 7 Years Ago
      39k?! Ha good luck BMW trying to sell this car.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        It's extremely expensive but people will buy it. The 335i convertible starts at 49k, so there's definitely a niche they can fill.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW needs to sell their cars at this price range even if its overpriced so current "anal" BMW owners dont complain about average joes driving BMW's....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Over the past two years BMW has lost 32 percent on the dollar! If I were them I would be doing the same thing. They will really have a problem if a resesion hits and people start buying cars that they need rather then want...
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