2008 BMW 1 Series

  • Competes with: Audi TT, Mini Cooper S, Nissan 350Z
  • Looks like: A squished, less graceful 3 Series coupe
  • Drivetrain: 230-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder or 300-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder; manual or automatic; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2008

BMW's pint-sized 1 Series hits dealerships in spring 2008 in coupe form. Two versions will be offered initially: the 128i and 135i, both of which feature inline-six-cylinder power. A convertible version is also in the works.

BMW says the 1 Series was inspired by the company's legendary 2002 coupe, and it does share that model's blocky looks, with an upright grille and less-than-sleek C-pillars. The 128i's inline-six makes 230 horsepower, while the 135i uses a twin-turbo inline-six that kicks out 300 hp; with the twin-turbo engine, the 135i can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Both models are also available with an automatic transmission if you'd rather let the car do the shifting.

With the 1 Series, BMW promises a pure driving car without too much gadgetry getting in the way. However, iDrive is available with the navigation system. Standard features include a 60/40-split folding rear seat, six airbags and simulated leather upholstery; real leather is optional.


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