BMW has announced the first details of the new 1-Series Convertible, the world's first premium convertible in the compact segment. Powered by four- and six cylinder engines, including the 'bahn-storming 306hp 135i Convertible, the open-topped 1-Series uses BMW's EfficientDynamics programme to deliver high-performance, economical and low-emission, roof-down motoring.
The Convertible is the fourth derivative of 1-Series to be launched in Europe and will carry over much of the styling and technology from the recently announced Coupe model. The obvious addition is an electro-hydraulic fabric roof that opens or closes in 22sec, and at speeds of up to 25mph. The convertible roof is available in classic black, beige or, as a world first, an innovative anthracite silver fleck, which is a fabric material interwoven with fine shiny metallic fibres.
Elongated and elegant from any angle, the BMW 1-Series genes are clear in the new Convertible. From the front, BMW's trademark double headlamp unit and large kidney grilles dominate. In profile, the relationship to the Coupe is clear. Both cars share a virtually identical silhouette plus the classic long bonnet, short overhangs and set-back greenhouse proportions. The distinctive, horizontal shoulder line runs from the front of the bonnet, through the long, frameless doors, and onto the end of the trunk lid. This line visually connects the front and rear. It is complemented by the 1-Series' typical lower swage line and contoured sill, both designed to visually elongate the car. From the rear, the trunk lid finishes in a discrete spoiler that houses the integrated third brake light and typical L-shaped rear light clusters use LED-powered light conductors.Purchasers of 135i Convertibles in some European markets will receive the M Sport aerodynamic package as standard. Visually striking and dynamically effective, the 135i Convertible features a redesigned, sporting front valance with large air intakes. Re-profiled sill panels and a rear diffuser integrated into the rear bumper add to the car's sportiness. The 135i Convertible also features 17" light alloy wheels and six-piston brake calipers (two-piston on the rear).
In line with the recently launched 3-Series and 6-Series Convertibles, owners of the 1-Series Convertible benefit from SunReflective Leather Technology when leather seat coverings are specified. BMW is the only manufacturer to offer this innovative technology that uses 'cool pigments' to reflect infra-red sun rays. This reduces the surface temperature of the seat surfaces by up to 20 degrees C when compared to conventional leather.
Also carried over from the new 3-Series Convertible are specific settings for the air conditioning system. Alongside the standard 'gentle', 'medium' and 'intensive' settings, the system recognizes when the roof has been opened and defaults to a 'convertible' mode. In this situation, the ventilation control reacts less to the interior temperature and more to the outside temperature and sunlight factors to establish the intensity of the ventilation supplied.
Safety is of paramount importance and the 1-Series Convertible comes with an additional tier of protection in the event of a roll-over. A sensor registers 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.The 1-Series Convertible will be offered in Europe with four petrol and one diesel engine. The BMW 135i Convertible?gets a straight-six cylinder engine with twin-turbo and high-precision direct injection. Capacity 2979cc, output 306hp at 5800min, torque 400Nm at 1300-5000rpm, acceleration 0-62mph 5.6sec, top speed 155mph (electronically limited).
All BMW 1-Series models feature a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with owners able to opt for a six-speed automatic gearbox on all models. Steering wheel-mounted paddles enabling manual shifts of the auto 'box are standard on 135i cars.
Finally, in common with 135i Coupe customers, purchasers of 135i Convertible models also benefit from BMW's electronic differential lock. Promoting sporting and involving driving, 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 road.Pricing and on-sale information of all new BMW 1 Series Convertible models will be announced at a later date.