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Europeans have been privy to luxury small cars for decades, but since gasoline has always been much cheaper here in the States, we've been stuck with mostly unathletic luxury barges. Three dollar per gallon gasoline is changing that paradigm quickly, and smaller high-end vehicles are finally hitting our shores. Perhaps the most highly anticipated one is the BMW 1-Series, with its well-known brand pedigree and the same engines found in the 3-Series.

At what Winding Road described as a "corporate event this week," BMW officials have confirmed that the 1-series will be making its way to U.S. shores in 2008. The official announcement is expected later this year, which will finally put to rest the speculation we've been covering for far too long.

For those of us looking for the spiritual successor to the BMW 2002, we've been waiting patiently as the folks across the Atlantic were able to walk into their local BMW dealer and order up a 130i. BMW's excuses for not importing the 1-series to North America centered on the weak dollar and a supposed lack of interest in hatchbacks (MINI anyone?), but we've been told that's about to change.