new Convertible is the fourth
derivative of BMW's 1 Series.
06 October 2007.
Normally, the current strength of
the Euro should be a problem for European-based
products and services, as much as it can be a blessing
for those who export to the old continent.
But who can underestimate
creativity, the high value which can always find its
way to customers, as long as competition arrives
just... late enough.
High technical value, avant-garde
thinking and a strong brand image. That's where
price-based competition can only follow from a certain
distance. Imitation brands can even fuel the dream of
their current customers to graduate one day to the
genuine brand owners club.
premium convertible in the compact (C)
Otherwise, what can explain the
growth of a company like BMW? Based in the heart of
the Euro zone, and yet, while its currency crossed the
US$1.40 barrier, the Bavarian group was announcing
four new models to be launched next year: a premium 1
Series compact SUV (BMW X1), a 7-Series based 4-door
Gran Turismo model (the concept is referred to as
Progressive Activity Sedan), another premium SUV for
the Mini brand (sub-compact Sport Activity Vehicle),
and the Rolls Royce Coupé (to be priced between the
Phantom and Phantom Drophead Coupé). The "Flying
Lady" has another model in the pipeline, to fit
later under the Phantom in terms of size and price.
That would boost the volume of Rolls Royce to better
face the advance of brands like Bentley with its
Continental Flying Spur sedan, Porsche with its 2009,
4-door Panamera, in addition to the Aston Martin
Rapide luxury sedan project.
The strength of the Euro does not
seem to worry BMW's plans to grow from last year's 1.4
million units, to 1.8 million units in 2012, on the
way to over 2 million units by 2020... in addition to
an expected 50 percent growth in the motorcycles
business to reach an annual 150,000 units by 2012.
BMW Group cars are not all produced
in the Euro zone. Some are made outside also,
including in the U.S. precisely, where the Spartanburg
annual plant capacity in South Carolina will grow from
the current 140,000 unit to 240,000 units by 2012.
But the main production basis is
still European, including the UK for Mini (in British
Pound land), where the Oxford plant capacity will grow
to 260,000 units per annum, and Goodwood on
the south coast of England for Rolls Royce.
fabric roof is available in different
colours and materials.
BMW 1 Series Convertible -
It is under these sunny prospects that the Bavarian
brand is also showing now its younger addition, the
BMW 1 Series Convertible, the world’s first premium
convertible in the compact segment (C segment, lower
That's just a few weeks before the
European market launch of the new BMW
1 Series Coupé (in the U.S. from spring 2008.
Prices will be announced later).
The new Convertible is the fourth
derivative of BMW's 1 Series, besides the 3- and
5-door versions, plus the new 1 Series Coupé.
It will be powered by four- and six-cylinder engines,
from the 143hp 118i Convertible up to the 306hp 135i
electro-hydraulic fabric roof opens or closes in 22
seconds, at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25mph), and is
available in classic black, beige or, as a world
first, an anthracite silver fleck which is a fabric
material interwoven with fine shiny metallic fibres.
Like the Coupé,
the 135i Convertibles get the standard M Sport
aerodynamic package, re-profiled sill panels, a rear
diffuser integrated into the rear bumper and a
redesigned, sporting front valance with large air
intakes assisting engine breathing and brake cooling.
The 135i Convertible also gets 17-inch light
alloy wheels and six-pot brake callipers on the brakes
(two-pot on the rear).
air conditioning recognises when the
roof is opened.
The interior offers space for four occupants and 305
litres of boot space with the roof up (260 litres with
the roof down). Like the recently launched 3 Series
and 6 Series Convertible, the optional leather seats
of the 1 Series Convertible provide the SunReflective
leather technology that uses ‘cool pigments’
during production to reflect infrared rays of
sunlight, reducing the surface temperature of the
seats by up to 20 degrees Celsius when compared to
conventional leather upholstery.
standard ‘gentle’, ‘medium’ and ‘intensive’
settings, the air conditioning system recognises when
the roof has been opened and defaults to a ‘convertible’
mode (like the BMW 3 Series Convertible).
Then, the ventilation control reacts less to
the interior temperature and more to the outside
temperature and sunlight factors to determine the
intensity of the ventilation supplied.
The 1 Series
Convertible comes with an additional protection in the
event of a roll-over.
A sensor registers an imminent danger and,
alongside the relevant airbag deployment, two
roll-over bars extend from behind the rear seats in a
fraction of a second to protect the safety cell.
roof opens or closes at speeds of up
to 40 km/h (25mph).
At launch, the new BMW 1 Series Convertible will be
offered with four petrol and one diesel engine, as
six cylinder engine with Twin Turbo and High-precision
direct injection. Capacity is 2979cc with a maximum
output of 306hp at 5800 min
(specific output: 102.7hp/litre. Kw equivalence can be
seen on the engine
graph). Maximum torque is 400 Nm from 1300
to 5000 min. Acceleration
from 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) is 5.6 seconds.
Top speed: 250 km/h (155mph, electronically
consumption and CO2 emission figures to be
2996cc engine with magnesium aluminium alloy
crankcase, double Vanos and Valvetronic, 218hp at 6100 min (specific
is 270 Nm at 2500min.
Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 6.8
speed: 238 km/h (148mph).
Average consumption: 8.09 litres/100 km (12.35
km/litre, 34.9 imperial mpg) with CO2 emissions
four cylinder 1995cc engine
with High-precision direct injection. Output:
170hp at 6700min
(specific output: 85.2hp/litre).
Torque: 210Nm at
Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62mph):
Top speed: 220 km/h (137mph). Average consumption: 6.6 litres/100 km (15.15 km/litre, 42.8
imperial mpg) and CO2 emissions: 158g/km.
electro-hydraulic roof opens and
closes in 22 seconds.
four cylinder 1,995cc
engine with High
Precision Direct Injection. Output: 143hp at 6000min
(specific output: 71.7hp/litre).
Torque: 190Nm at
Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62mph):
Top speed: 209 km/h (130mph). Average consumption and CO2 emission figures not
four cylinder, 1995 cc engine with turbo charge and
common rail direct injection.
Diesel Particulate Filter fitted as standard.
Output is 177hp at 4,000min (specific
output: 88.7hp/litre). Torque: 350 Nm at 1750– 3000min. Acceleration from
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 8.1 seconds.
Top speed: 222 km/h (138mph).
Average consumption and CO2 emission
not yet available.
- The new BMW 1 Series Convertible is the latest BMW
model to benefit from the EfficientDynamics
performance and economy measures, with Brake Energy
Regeneration featured on all versions and using Alternator
Control and an Absorbent Glass Matt battery
to harness engine power that would normally have been
lost during engine over-run or braking.
An optimum gear
shift indicator (with the manual gearbox) informs
the driver of the appropriate gear for the most
feature a new, clutched air conditioning pump. When
not in use, the pump decouples and uses only 200
watts, or ten per cent, of the normal power needed to
drive a conventional pump.
1 Series Convertible dimensions (mm).
from the range-topping 135i Convertible, all
models feature electronic power steering.
In contrast to conventional hydraulic power
steering, the 1 Series’ electronic system operates
on an ‘on demand’ basis, reducing the usual drain
of part of the engine output to power a traditional
steering hydraulic system.
manual gearbox cars feature BMW’s Auto Start-Stop
system as standard.
In urban traffic, when the gear is deselected
and the clutch pedal raised, the engine automatically
cuts out, thus eliminating emissions and any fuel
consumption while static.
When the traffic starts moving, the clutch is
depressed in order to select the gear to pull away
and, immediately, the engine fires back into life.
All BMW 1 Series
models feature a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.
An optional six-speed automatic gearbox is available
for all models. Steering
wheel-mounted paddles enabling manual shifts of the
auto ‘box are standard on 135i cars and optional on
In common with
the 135i Coupé, the 135i Convertible models also
benefit from BMW’s electronic differential lock.
The electronic differential lock works
when the car is accelerating hard out of corners or
tight bends. In
this situation, it electronically slows the spinning
inside rear wheel to enhance vehicle traction and
ensure that all available power is transferred to the