Click above for high-res gallery of the BMW Concept 1-Series tii
BMW's little 1 Series has proven itself to be a credible performer that's able to hang with nearly anything else it likely to encounter on the road. But against an Australian V8 Supercar and BMW's own Formula 1 racer? Not a chance. Regardless, these three vehicles will indeed face off at the upcoming F1 season opener Down Under. To help level the playing field, each vehicle will start with a handicap, so the real excitement will begin near the end of the lap when the three cars close in on one another as they sprint to the finish line.
The 1 Series that's taking part in the event will be equipped with the German automaker's potent 3.0L twin-turbo inline six and will wear 18" alloys bolted up to a tuned suspension set up with cross-drilled brakes. A set of tii decals and a full BMW Performance aerodynamic body kit top things off. The race will be repeated 5 times starting on Thursday, March 26th.
BMW 135i Coupé Takes on the Big Guns at Australian Grand Prix
The heralded BMW 135i Coupé is set to take on the muscle of Albert Park at this year's 2009 Australian Grand Prix.
A specially equipped 135i Coupé, bearing the famed tii livery and featuring BMW Performance gear, will take part in the Ultimate Speed Comparison.
A race between a V8 Supercar, fully prepared BMW Sauber Formula 1 car and road going BMW 135i Coupé, the Ultimate Speed Comparison is a crowd favourite which pits three high performance forms of motoring against each other in a one lap race to the finish line.
The Ultimate Speed Comparison is held on five separate occasions during the race weekend. The event is run with a timed handicap, giving each car a chance at taking line honours.
The BMW 135i Coupé is fitted with a number of performance and cosmetic upgrades from the BMW Performance stable, which is renowned for a range of exclusive and dynamic sports accessories.
A full BMW Performance aerodynamic package, road holding suspension set up, cross drilled and weight saving brake package and BMW Performance 18" light-alloy wheels are fitted to the car.
Carbon fibre mirror covers and carbon fibre look bonnet with integrated roof and boot sports stripes, further accentuate the sporting character of this unique vehicle.
The 135i Coupé bears 'tii' decals front and rear to highlight the fascination of motorsport and heritage of the BMW brand.
Inspired by the famous BMW 02 model introduced in 1966, which in its time was acknowledged as the epitome of supreme agility and thrilling driving, the BMW 135i is also distinguished by its compact dimensions, low weight and perfect balance front-to-rear.
A powerful 6-cylinder twin turbo engine, generating 225 kW ensures the car can reach 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
The pilot for the BMW 135i at this year's Ultimate Speed Comparison will be motoring journalist Paul Gover, who took the BMW M Coupé through its paces at last year's event.
Christian Klien will be at the helm of the BMW Sauber F1 race car, while Greg Murphy will take on both BMW's in his V8 Supercar.
BMW has taken part in the Ultimate Speed Comparison since its inception.
"BMW is pleased to support this fantastic spectacle," says Tom Noble, General Manager Marketing, BMW Group Australia.
"The Ultimate Speed Comparison has proven to be a particularly popular segment on the Grand Prix schedule and perfectly embodies 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' claim," he says.
Over its short time in the market, the BMW 135i Coupé has claimed a number of coveted awards, such as the 2008 Drive Car of the Year (Best Sports Car over $60,000) and Australia's Best Cars, Best Sports Car 2008 taking on the likes of many exotic high performance sports vehicles.
Unlike the F1 car or V8 Supercar, Australians can purchase the BMW 135i including the BMW Performance parts fitted.
A comprehensive range of BMW Performance components is available exclusively through the BMW dealer network.
All BMW Performance components reflect the BMW brand in their technology, design, quality and safety.
Ultimate Speed Comparison times:
11.40am Thursday 26 March
4.25pm Thursday 26 March
2.15pm Friday 27 March
1.00pm Saturday 28 March
1.10pm Sunday 29 March