BMW 1 Series Convertible Preview
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BMW 1 Series Convertible

BMW 1 Series Convertible Preview

In July, we brought you the news of the BMW 1 Series Coupe, a car that was reminiscent of BMW’s legendary 2002 sport sedan. Now, we’re excited to say that BMW just announced the 1 Series Convertible. This compact Ultimate Driving Machine will be built on a rear-drive chassis with an inline-6 engine and will go on sale in 2008.

There will be two engine options for the 1 Series Convertible. The 128i Convertible (like the 128i coupe) will be powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-6, which produces 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque and, like its sibling, the 1 Series Coupe, it will feature Valvetronic valvetrain management and the other core element of BMW’s EfficientDynamics, the aluminum/magnesium cylinder block construction.

The 135i Convertible, (like the 135i Coupe) will feature BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0 inline-6, producing 300hp and 300 lb-ft of torque for as low as 1,400 rpm. Because of its direct piezo gasoline injects, the twin low-mass turbochargers, and the air-to-air intercooler, you can get optimum performance and economy without loss in engine response. The 135i convertible will go 0-62 in 5.6 sections, but is electronically governed to a top speed of 155mph.

Performance-wise, the 1 Series Convertible also features the same front suspension of the 1 Series Coupe, the aluminum double-pivot front suspension n and a five-link fully independent rear suspension in lightweight steel. Standard BMW Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) includes the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function that provides electronic intervention to prevent loss of vehicle control but at a higher threshold before activation. However, both DTC and DSC can be disabled. The BMW-exclusive Active Steering is also available.

Now those with convertibles know opening/closing a convertible top can be cumbersome, but that is not true of the1 Series Convertible. In only 22 seconds, the top can be opened or closed and get this: it can be done while moving at up to 25mph. The standard soft-top comes in black or taupe but the optional Moonlight Black version, unique to the 1 Series Convertible, is also available. The Moonlight Black option comprised of interwoven shiny metallic fibers that produces a shimmery metal silver appearance in sunlight. The 1 Series Convertible will come in nine colors, including the exclusive Cashmere Silver Metallic.

Much of the styling of the 1 Series Convertible is the same as its 1 Series Coupe sibling, like the signature kidney-shaped grille, front skirt, rear skirt, and doorsills. But, the 1 Series Convertible has a flared shoulder line that runs parallel to the road (from the hood past the A pillar to the trunk lid), giving the impression of a boat deck. In the 135i convertible, there is an additional spoiler lip that provides greater downforce on the rear at high speeds.

The interior standard upholstery is the Leatherette, both sporty and comfortable. The Leatherette also covers the option sports bucket seats in the optional Sports Package. However, you can go with the optional Boston leather that incorporates BMW’s Sun Reflective Technology where the sun’s ultraviolet rays are mitigated by the pigments that were worked into the upholstery. The results mean that the heating of the seats and armrests are about 20 degrees Fahrenheit below comparable leather interiors. With the top down, there is still room for two golf bags to fit in the trunk. There is also an extra optional large storage bag that extends into the passenger compartment that can fit two snowboards or a golf bag while keeping the upholstery clean. The passengers also have access into the storage bag from where they sit thanks to the zippered opening.

To make the 1 Series Coupe even more desirable, the climate-control system has an additional convertible mode designed for top-down conditions. The three standard modes of gentle, medium, and intensive, react to interior sensors while the convertible mode reacts less to interior temperature and more to the exterior temperature and sunlight factors to establish the intensity of the ventilation. Turbulence with the top down can be reduced by an available wind deflector that can be affixed to the sides of the car with a few adjustments.

Like other BMWs, you can choose optional features like the navigation system with iDrive, HD radio, SIRIUS satellite radio, Bluetooth, the Premium Sound system, and an USB port for easy and simple connection of a MP3 player (and iPod or iPhone); an auxiliary input jack comes standard. The latest version if iDrive become a bit more user-friendly. It is now equipped with six Programmable Memory keys that allow the driver to program frequently used functions like phone numbers, radio stations, and navigation destinations. The buttons are touch-sensitive so you can preview the choice on the iDrive screen before the button is fully depressed and the command activated. The1 Series Convertible will feature the BMW Ultimate Service that includes the BMW Maintenance Program, roadside Assistance, and New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

The 1 Series Convertible also took safety into consideration and comes with crash-optimized seats with specially padded headrests and backrests that are designed to reduce the risk of injury when rear-ended. It also comes with a rollover sensor. Once the sensor recognizes the threat of a potential rollover, two roll bars extend in fractions of a second from the areas behind the rear headrests while simultaneously activating the seat-belt tensioners and head airbags.

Overall, this 1 Series Coupe seems like the answer for the buyer who wants the compact sporty, fun car but a car that is safe and still has some storage space or for the BMW enthusiast who is still missing the iconic 2002.

About Laura Burkholder

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e46 led says:

Finally all of us agree with an issue! What are your current reactions on the M? BMW whored out M exactly like Mercedes did with AMG. What ever materialized to creating motors fast that were worth while? Who would like a 4500lb pig with 500 hp?

Morgen says:

The write up for this aritcle was elaborate, however, the pictures shown (the “hook line and sinkers”) were not captioned as to what color (interior or exterior) and package it is. I really love the car and interior color, but no where in this article does it state exactly what I’m looking at. I think when you write an in-depth piece you should include information on your examples (pictures shown). I would really like to know what the interior color in the convertible pictures of the 128i is.


omie says:

I didn’t realize the inline-6 engines BMW makes are V-6’s.

Charlie R. says:

Thanks for pointing out the typo. I just fixed it.



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