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!
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.