BMW is evoking the spirit of its iconic 2002 to promote the merits of the 1-Series Coupe which has just gone on sale in New Zealand.
The 2002, especially the high-performance turbocharged versions, helped rebuild the German marquee which had fallen on to hard times in the early 1960s.
It became BMW’s first modern classic, with a devoted cult following and laid the foundations for a series of iconic cars like the 635 CSi and original M3.
The new BMW 1 Series Coupe retains the brand’s trademark rear-wheel drive layout, and has a near-perfect 50:50 front-rear weight distribution.
BMW’s stylists based the 1-Series’ coupes looks on the sporty proportions of the 1960s 2002 rally cars.
The range-topping 135i runs the twin-turbo, 225kW straight-six motor which was named "the world's best engine" at the 2007 'International Engine of the Year Awards.
The motor is is already available in the BMW 3 Series, but this is its first application in a 1 Series car. BMW says it will propel the 1 Series Coupe to 100kph in a scintillating 5.3 seconds.
The turbo six develops 400Nm of peak torque between 1300 and 5000rpm, and BMW says it can deliver fuel economy of 7.2 litres/100km.
The engine uses latest generation high precision direct petrol injection, and BMW says the 135i is the first compact car to break the 100 bhp per litre power output level.
The Coupe’s styling features a swept-back glass-house, long bonnet, a long wheelbase but short overhangs. It has frameless side windows, sculpted wheelarches, and a well defined shoulder line and slender B pillars. The four-seat interior has BMW sport seats up front, multi-function sport steering wheel, Boston leather upholstery, and a full array of dynamic safety features. NZ market 135i Coupes 135i are fitted with the M Sports styling and performance package as standard. There six-pot front brakes on the 135i Sport.
The New Zealand 1 Series Coupe range also sees the debut of BMW's four-cylinder diesel engine with variable twin-turbo in the BMW 123d. It’s the most powerful example yet of the new breed of BMW CleanDiesel engines, and develops150kW. BMW says the diesel coupe will sprint to 100kph in seven seconds and has the potential to deliver fuel consumption of five litres/100km.
Pricing for the BMW 123d starts at $62,000 for the manual version and $65,000 for the six speed Automatic with Steptronic and Adaptive Transmission. Pricing for the BMW 135i, featuring the M Sport package as standard, starts at $78,500 with the automatic version starting at $81,500. Both models go on sale here during May.