130i joins BMW's
the new generation 1 Series.
5th September 2005.
Just a year after BMW
launched its new generation 1 Series
premium compact car
with 4-cylinder engines, and few months after showing the 130i
at the Geneva motor show last spring, here comes
now the most typical BMW
of this model series with its straight-six, 265 bhp petrol engine, with prices
starting from 32500 euros (home market).
For the Munich-based brand remains mostly famous, amongst
other qualities, for the straight-six cylinder engine layout, with rear-wheel
drive, especially in the compact to midsize cars
competitor in the top versions of the C segment
Of course, there is BMW's
respected range of four-cylinder engines, the main volume players of the 3-
and 1-Series segments (as well as the Mini brand), and at the other end of the
spectrum, the reputed V8 engines in the higher 5-, 6- and 7-Series, the
over-500-bhp V10 of the M5 and M6 duo, ending up at the ultra luxurious
heights with the silky V12 engine (in the BMW
7 Series as well as the Rolls Royce Phantom).
But even if BMW
rationalised its models expansion:
1 - during the seventies and the eighties under the
3-, 5-, 6- and 7 Series names, topping it all with the Rolls Royce brand since
2 - while extending its downward reach in the volume arena,
since last decade (first through the failed 1994-2000 Rover adventure, which
was meant to fulfill this volume expansion mission), with the BMW
3 Series Compact (1993) which the new compact
1 Series comes to replace, and the Mini brand (2001),
3 - adding the X5 (1999), X3 (2003) SUV
crossovers and the coming SAV,
...the fact remains that the memory still associate the BMW
sporty DNA, quite strongly, with the sixties 1500 series, up to the first 3-Series
generation in 1975.
dynamics with 3.0-liters power.
With its front, longitudinal inline-six-cylinder engine
coupled to a rear-wheel drive system, the compact (C segment, lower medium)
130i, with its long hood (to accommodate the longitudinal six cylinders in a
4.2 meter long body) and wide track under elegantly muscular fenders, the 130i
cannot be more BMW
than it is, at least from that four-decades-old DNA perspective.
First shown at the Geneva motor show last spring, the new
130i gets into the showrooms now with a price tag starting from 32500 euros
(home market), with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Displacing three litres with
Valvetronic valve management and lightweight engineering, the power unit of
the 130i is the first production engine in the world with an extremely light
composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase.
With compact exterior dimensions,
short body overhang at the front, low weight, wide track and – at
2.66 meters or 104.7 inches – one of the longest wheelbases in its
class, the 1 Series offers the very best ingredients for agility, especially
with a weight distribution of almost 50:50 front-to-rear, with directional
stability in fast bends.
Suspension - The newly
developed five-arm rear axle supports the sporting overall setup of the car,
raising at the same time roll comfort to a new level. With its stiff
structures, straight, rod-shaped arms and short levers, the lightweight steel
structure helps precise wheel guidance.
The front axle, with its double-joint
spring strut tie bar axle and its anti-roll bar, is made largely of aluminium,
combining low weight with strength and stiffness, especially with the
transmission of power to the rear wheels, enhancing precision also at high
Another strength comes from the
spontaneous response to even the smallest movements of the steering wheel and
gas pedal... all without the drive forces acting on the steering, which
inevitably occurs on front-wheel-drive cars (known as torque steering).
Active Steering – Like the
3-, 5- and 6 Series, the 130i can get the Active Steering option, with its
automatic adjustment of the steering transmission ratio and assistance,
according to the car speed. At low speeds, the
driver finds it easier to change direction, turning the steering wheel
slightly, especially when parking. At high speeds, the steering transmission
maintains optimum precision with a less direct reaction.
Power Unit –
Developing 195 kW (265 bhp) from a displacement of 2,996 cc, the
straight-six power unit extracts no less than 88.45 bhp per 1000 cc, which is
a very handsome figure for a normally-aspirated engine, especially that it
does not come at the expense of torque at all. For the peak torque (315 Nm) is
achieved from 2500 to 4000 rpm, with a specific torque figure of 105.14 Nm/
Weighing just 161 kilos or 355 lb,
BMW’s new straight-six has a magnesium/aluminium composite crankcase.
Another 27 per cent lighter than aluminium, the magnesium used in the
crankcase reduces weight most significantly in comparison with conventional
grey cast iron components.
The engine comes with BMW's fully
variable Valvetronic valve drive, with infinite camshaft adjustment (VANOS) on
both the intake and outlet valves. Valvetronic, as opposed to a
conventional throttle butterfly power unit, improves response while reducing
fuel consumption. The exhaust system with two chrome-plated tailpipes adds the
right sound effect for each movement of the gas pedal.
This power unit is used, with
different settings, in the 630i Coupé, the BMW 530i, as well as the new
signature: straight-six with rear-wheel-drive.
The new 130i features a six-speed
manual gearbox as standard, accelerating from 0–100 km/h in
6.1 seconds, while top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h
or 155 mph. With this performance, the BMW
130i average fuel consumption is 9.2
litres/100 km or 30.7 mpg Imp (25.58 US mpg).
Passive safety - Body
structure is made with extensive use of high-strength steel. Standard passive
safety equipment includes three-point inertia-reel belts on all seats, frontal
airbags activated in two stages, side airbags at the front as well as curtain
airbags inflating around the side windows to protect both the front and rear
passengers heads from injury.
The airbag system as well as the belt
latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by means of advanced
control technology. Depending on the type and intensity of a collision, only
the required components are activated to ensure optimum occupant safety.
For small passengers, the BMW 1
Series offers the option to fit up to three child seats in position by means
of ISOFIX fasteners. The front passenger’s airbag may be deactivated for
this purpose by means of a special key switch.
The BMW 1 Series has already won the
five stars maximal score in the Euro-NCAP crash test.
Active Safety - The
130i is the only model in the 1 Series to be fitted exclusively with the
latest generation of DSC Dynamic Stability Control, with its wider
range of brake functions serving to minimise the car’s stopping distance
while maintaining directional stability.
the discs, "dry braking effects" and more.
In wet weather, the brake pads are
applied lightly to the brake linings at regular intervals , to provide a “dry
braking effect”, preventing the usual delay in the response of the
brakes in rainy conditions. A further feature is automatic pre-loading
of the brake discs whenever the driver suddenly takes his foot off the gas
pedal, which serves to significantly shorten response times.
Already known in all of BMW’s DSC
systems, the DBC Dynamic Brake Control prevents the 130i from
oversteering in a bend when applying the brakes lightly, while EBFD
Electronic Brake Force Distribution shares out brake forces according to
current requirements. All of these functions are part of the DSC and ABS
ASC Automatic Stability Control
helps traction when setting off on a slippery or rough surface, the newest DSC
prevents the car from rolling back when setting off on a gradient. It also
comes with a special mode – DTC Dynamic Traction Control – providing a
higher level of wheel slip.
follow the steering wheel.
Adaptive Headlight Control -
Becoming available as an option for all other models in the 1 Series, Adaptive
Headlight Control moves the headlights in the right direction, following the
steering wheel, immediately when the car enters a bend, illuminating the road
ahead in the right angle.
Brake System - The BMW 130i comes with large brake
discs both front and rear, with a control unit monitoring and
calculating the remaining service life of the brake pads. The driver can check
out this information at any time on the colour monitor at the central top
position of the instrument panel or retrieve the data via the on-board
computer between the speedometer and rev counter, just as he/she is able to
call up the remaining lifetime of other parts subject to wear and tear.
Like the four-cylinder versions in the BMW
1 Series, the 130i is equipped with two-stage Brake
Force Display. Under normal conditions, the brake lights in the BMW
130i come on the usual way. When applying them
all-out or when activating the anti-lock brake system, the brake lights will
automatically come on over a larger area. With their particularly brilliant
effect under such conditions, the brake lights inform drivers following from
behind that there is a dangerous situation ahead. The stronger light signal
will then induce the driver of a vehicle following from behind to press down
the brake pedal harder himself.
to control functions with Display menu.
Interior - The new luxury C-segment player (the 1
Series model competes, depending on versions, against the Audi
A3 and the high versions of the VW
Mégane, Citroen C4 and others) offers a rear
seat bench tilting forwards to offer a variable luggage compartment (330 to
1,150 litres, or 11.55–40.25 cu ft). The tailgate unlocks either by
remote control or by pressing the tailgate handle with its integrated BMW
By pressing, turning and moving the iDrive controller
(automatically included with the navigation system options) in the centre
console, the driver is able to initialise and control all secondary and
comfort functions as well as the setup and operating modes of the car.
The menu is presented on the Control Display in the upper area of the centre
console. A further option allows the driver to control several functions of
his car via voice entry (see options below).
luggage compartment (330 to 1,150 litres).
Intelligent Battery Sensor - To detect any lack or
impairment of capacity and guarantee consistent reliability, the Intelligent
Battery Sensor (IBS) provides a permanent supervision of the battery. As soon
as the charge sensor recognises a lack or impairment of capacity, the
Intelligent Battery Sensor (IBS) allows, either to automatically increase idle
speed and charge the battery more quickly, or (if the first strategy is not
sufficient) to limit the uptake of power by consumers not required at the
moment. While this reduces the level of motoring comfort for a short while, it
guarantees that the engine will still have enough starter energy the next time
Standard Equipment - The standard equipment of the
130i (equipment, prices and options vary depending on markets) includes the
engine starter button with comfort start function, leather sports steering
wheel, extra-short gearshift lever with leather knob, circular dials with
extended range of display, battery-free ignition key with remote control
function, battery charge sensor, on-board computer, indication of residual
mileage for parts subject to wear and tear, double exhaust system with
chrome-plated tailpipes and a sporting, throaty sound, chrome-plated door
entry trim, seat height adjustment for the driver and front passenger, air
conditioning, separate temperature control on the driver’s and front
passenger’s side, radio with CD player.
Available options include a four-way lumbar support,
pneumatic adjustment of backrest width on the sports seats, outside
illumination around the doors, navigation systems, a Bluetooth interface for
mobile phones and the BMW Assist telematics service including access to the
internet, Park Distance Control (PDC, with sensors at the front and rear of
to detect obstacles, with an audible warning as the car
comes closer to the obstacle). When fitted with the iDrive option, the PDC
presents the position of the car relative to the obstacle, on the
130i with M Sports Package.
* Another interesting option is the Comfort Access
(known as well as keyless access, it enables the driver to get in the car,
start the engine and set off without taking the key out of his pocket), with
up to three different settings according to personal keys, automatically
calling up important functions as soon as the “appropriate” driver wishes
to set off in the car. The key automatically saves the last setting in the
audio system (sound, volume, stations chosen), the air conditioning
(temperature and air distribution) as well as the seats with electrical
adjustment (option) and the position of the mirrors.
* The Voice Entry option
enables the driver to activate numerous radio, CD, navigation and, in
particular, telephone (option) functions also by means of voice commands. The
vocabulary required comprises approximately 400 words, typical voice entry
commands being “Redial”, “Dial number 07993120”, “Switch on
destination guidance” or, “Play CD number1”. A further advantage is that
the user may directly call radio stations and entries in the telephone
directory by name.
The voice entry system is upgradeable with the addition of
new functions in future simply by updating the software.
* M Sports Package option includes 17-inch
tyres, dual exhaust pipes with chrome-plated rear ends, titanium-coloured
headlight trim strips, fog lamps, BMW's Satin Chrome look and – like
all six-cylinders BMWs– chrome-plated slats in the kidney-style radiator
The M Sports Package is also available for the other
models in the BMW
1 Series, with M double-spoke light-alloy wheels (17 or 18 inches),
different-sized tyres front and rear, sports suspension, a front and rear air
dam as well as side sills finished in body colour, sports seats, BMW
Individual roof liner in Anthracite, a leather steering wheel, the footrest
and entry trim strips in BMW M
design, as well as special aluminium trim strips, soft nappa leather on the
handbrake lever and on the extra-short gearshift leaver.