New models - BMW - 1 Series - Coupe/Convertible
BMW fights back with 1 Series sports
New M Coupe helps to put spice back into BMW’s market leading 1 Series
30 Aug 2011
BMW Australia is banking on a recent facelift and range extension of its 1 Series Coupe/Convertible to reverse a form slump that has driven down sales of the small Beemer by 32 per cent this year and threatened its position as Australia’s number-one sportscar.
With Mercedes-Benz’s new C-class coupe doing the business in July, topping the sportscar charts with 147 sales in its first month compared with the smaller BMW’s 116 sales, the Beemer coupe and convertible has been topped and tailed with a new M-enhanced flagship coupe at the top of the range, the 1 Series M Coupe, and entry-level 120i Coupe at the bottom.
The 120i now opens the range at $47,400 (plus on-roads), while the fire-breathing M Coupe – powered by a twin-turbo 250kW/450Nm direct-injection inline six-cylinder engine – tops it at $99,900 (see separate story).
Prices of all other models have been held steady at previous levels for both coupe and convertible variants, all of which get a new-look nose and tail that includes redesigned headlights with a new ‘accent line’ running along the top of the cluster.
The front airdam for all coupe and convertible models includes narrow air intakes that direct air over the front wheels – described by BMW as an air curtain – to decrease turbulence down the side of the car at highway speeds.
The Munich-based company claims the system is a world first on a production car and contributes to fuel savings.
Further economy improvements are achieved by a sprinkling of additional EfficientDynamics technologies that include automatic engine idle-stop, shift-point indicators and brake-energy recuperation, depending on the model.
For example, the most efficient 1 Series Convertible, the 118d, trims combined fuel consumption from 4.9 litres per 100km to 4.8L/100km.
The 125i Coupe and Convertible also reduce their combined average fuel consumption figure by a similar amount, down to 8.1L/100km and 8.3L/100km respectively.
A new alloy wheel line-up – including 17-inch wheels on the 123d and 125i variants – also enhance the exterior presentation, along with two new metallic paint colours (Oyster and Savannah).
Inside, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat provides more load versatility.
An M Aerodynamics package is standard on the 135i Convertible, the top of the open-top range, while 135i Coupe buyers can go the whole hog with an M Sport package.
As well, BMW has extended to the 1 Series the ‘Innovations’ package that it says has been popular with 3 Series buyers. The package includes Business Navigation, bi-Xenon headlights (with washers), and high-beam assist.
On the 135i models, a Harmon Kardon surround-sound system is included.
All models have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six-speed auto option on all models except the 135i (where a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is optional) and the M Coupe (which has no auto alternative).
So far this year, the luxury sportscar market has felt the heat of economic insecurity, with sales of cars priced under $80,000 slumping 26.1 per cent, and over $80,000 down 23.2 per cent, compared with the overall market’s slip of 5.9 per cent.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
30th of August 2011
First local drive: BMW’s junior M-car in hot demand
1 Series M Coupe going fast as buyers queue for BMW’s pocket rocket
23rd of August 2011
Sharp starting price for new BMW 1 Series
BMW seeks to seize prestige small car leadership with cheaper 1 Series
25th of March 2011
BMW slashes 1 Series Coupe price
New 120i four-cylinder introduced as BMW lowers its 1 Series Coupe entry price
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