BMW 1 Series

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BMW 1 Series
BMW 1series front.jpg
AssemblyLeipzig, Germany
Regensburg, Germany
PredecessorBMW Compact
ClassCompact car
LayoutFR layout
ManualsService Manual

The BMW 1 Series (platforms E81/E87 and E82/E88) is a small sports car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is the only vehicle in its class featuring rear-wheel drive and a longitudinally-mounted engine.

Hatchback (E81/E87)

2007 BMW 1-Series Hatchback
Body style(s)5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback
2-door sedan
2-door convertible
PlatformBMW E81 (3-door hatchback)
BMW E87 (5-door hatchback)
Engine(s)1.6 L I4
2.0 L I4
2.0 L diesel I4
3.0 L I6
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed semi-automatic
Wheelbase2660 mm (104.7 in)
Length2004-06: 4227 mm (166.4 in)
2007-Present 5-Door: 4239 mm (166.9 in)
2007-Present 3-Door: 4329 mm (170.4 in)
Width2004-06: 1751 mm (68.9 in)
2007-present: 1748 mm (68.8 in)
Height2004-06: 1430 mm (56.3 in)
2007-present: 1421 mm (55.9 in)
Curb weight1320–1450 kg (2904-3190 lbs)

The 1 Series was first offered to the market in 2004 as a five-door hatchback. It replaced the BMW 3 Series Compact range and is currently the smallest and most affordable vehicle (depending on the engine model) in the BMW range. Unlike its predecessor, the new vehicle is built on its own platform (E87); however, it shares many components with the E90 3 Series. Shared parts include MacPherson struts in the front of the car and a trapezoidal-link rear axle. BMW has stated that it shares over 60% of components with the current E90 BMW 3 Series.[1]

The 1 Series is built in Regensburg and Leipzig, Germany, with the 4 cylinder petrol/gas engines coming from the Hams Hall plant in Coleshill north east of Birmingham, England.

During its first full year on the market in 2005, it became one of BMW's most successful products. 149,493 units were sold, leading to a third-place finish in total numbers sold by model. Only the 3 and 5 Series sold better.[2]

2007 mid-generation refresh

BMW upgraded the 1 Series for 2007 and introduced a 3-door sports hatch variant (code named E81). Changes to the model were minor headlight and taillight revisions, new front/rear bumpers and minor revisions to the interior. The dashboard has been updated, and a recommended gear indicator is now present on models with manual transmissions.[3]

New technologies include auto Start-stop system, Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, an electric water pump, and a host of drivetrain modifications designed for fuel economy, increased performance, and lower emissions.[4] BMW marketing has named this combination of technologies EfficientDynamics,[5] which will also be implemented in other BMW models.

The 1 Series is effectively the first in the world to have mild hybrid technology as standard equipment, although BMW is careful in its marketing not to label it as a hybrid vehicle, as this brings market expectation of electrically assisted drive.

Coupé/Convertible (E82/E88)

2008 BMW 128i coupe1 (US)
Body style(s)2-door coupe
2-door convertible
PlatformBMW E82
Engine(s)2.0 L 177 diesel I4
204 hp (152 kW) Twin Turbo diesel I4

3.0 L 230 hp (170 kW) I6

3.0 L 300 hp (220 kW) I6 Twin Turbo
Transmission(s)6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase2660 mm (104.7 in)
Length4360 mm (171.7 in)
Width1748 mm (68.8 in)
HeightCoupe: 1423 mm (56 in)
135i Coupe: 1408 mm (55.4 in)

The flagship of the range will be the 135i with a 3-litre twin-turbo petrol engine, generating 225 kW (Template:Convert/PS hp) with its six cylinders. This model also comes with a modified M sports package as standard. The 135i comes with the world's first differential with double-helical ball bearings which have the advantage of running at an even lower operating temperature reached more quickly than before thanks to the reduction of fluid required in the differential [6]. The 123d (150 kW (Template:Convert/PS hp)) heads up the range of diesels and is the first ever 4-cylinder diesel engine to come with sequential twin-turbo technology. In terms of fuel consumption, the 123d and 120d rate between Template:Convert/L/100 km and Template:Convert/L/100 km.

  1. redirect Template:Clarify me

Like the three- and five-door BMW 1 Series models, the E82 also features various BMW EfficientDynamics components to reduce fuel consumption (see below). The Coupé is 133 mm (5.2 in) longer than the hatch, creating 20 litres of extra boot space. It is 220 mm (8.7 in) shorter than 3-series Coupé (E92). 120d, 123d and 135i Coupés' announced unladen weights (EU) are 1450, 1495, and 1,560 kg (3,400 lb), respectively (corresponding to approx. 3,285 lb (1,490 kg) curb weight for the 135i - a 90 lb (41 kg) reduction from the 335i Coupé).

The 1 Series Coupé is marketed in the US as a spiritual successor to the legendary BMW New Class with its long bonnet, slim cabin and short rear. Apart from slight modifications, it uses the same nose design as the rest of the 1 Series so as to ensure some visual consistency within the range. It has been said that the BMW 1 envokes memories of the E36 BMW, as stated in both Road and Track and Car and Driver Magazines.

US-spec 2009 BMW 1-Series convertible1

The new 1-Series Cabriolet offers four petrol models ranging from the 118i's 143 hp (107 kW) 2.0-litre unit to the 306 hp 3.0-litre six-cylinder 135i, while a 177 hp (132 kW) four-cylinder turbodiesel will also be available. The convertible will be available with a fabric top, to differentiate it further from the now steel-roofed 3-series convertible E93. It is now in size and spirit very close to the original 3-series convertible.


On June 27, 2007, BMW released official information about the new upcoming 1-series Coupé. In Europe, the Coupé would be available fall 2007 in 3 engine specifications: the known 120d and the new 204 hp (152 kW) 123d and 306 hp (228 kW) 135i, both twin-turbo engines.

On 30 June 2007, BMW of North America officially announced the 1-Series Coupé as a 2008 model (code named E82) and that will be the first 1 Series to go on sale in the USA. Two models are initially to be offered: the 128i and the 135i. The 128i will be powered by a 3.0 liter, 230 horsepower (170 kW) inline six cylinder engine. The 135i Coupé will be propelled by a 300 horsepower (220 kW), twin turbocharged 3.0 liter inline six cylinder engine.[7] Both engines are shared with 3-series models 328i and 335i. The 135i is priced about $6,000 less than the 335i Coupé.

BMW debuted the latest addition to the 1 Series line-up, the 1 Series convertible (E88), on September 29, 2007. The 1 Series Coupé (E82) was launched at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) 2007, which went on sale on November 24, 2007. The North American introduction of the E82/E88 was during the second quarter of 2008, where it was credited with helping BMW overtake Lexus as the top luxury brand.[8][9]


The engines available for E81 and E87 are basically the same as found in the E90/E91, with exception for the 3.0 L inline-6, which is slightly modified to produce more power. For the 2008 model year, the 135i is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower (220 kW) and Template:Convert/ft.lbf of torque from 1,400 rpm. For the 135i Coupé, acceleration from 0–62 mph (0–100 km/h) is 5.4 seconds (via BMW website) although Car and Driver magazine recently recorded an amazing 4.9 0-60, and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). Fuel efficiency is increased to Template:Convert/mpgus, an improvement of 18% compared to its predecessor.[10]

The engines below are preceded by their model year introduction.

In early 2006 the 5-speed manual transmission in the 116i and 118i was phased out in favor of the 6-speed all 2006 and newer models with the manual transmission carry.

Model[11] Year Engine Capacity Type Valves Power Torque Acceleration
0-100 km/h
Top speed
Petrol (gasoline) engines
116i 2004–2007 N45B16 1596 cc I4 16 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 10.9 s (MT) 200 km/h (120 mph) (MT)
2007− N45B16 1596 cc 122 PS (120 hp/90 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 10.1 s (MT)
11.1 s (AT)
204 km/h (127 mph) (MT)
202 km/h (126 mph) (AT)
118i 2005–2007 N46B20 1995 cc 129 PS (127 hp/95 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 9.4 s (MT)
10.1 s (AT)
208 km/h (129 mph) (MT)
204 km/h (127 mph) (AT)
2007– N46B20 1995 cc 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 8.7 s (MT)
9.3 s (AT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (MT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (AT)
120i 2004–2007 N46B20 1995 cc 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 7.9 s (MT)
9.3 s (AT)
212 km/h (132 mph) (MT)
208 km/h (129 mph) (AT)
2007– N46B20 1995 cc 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 7.7 s (MT)
8.3 s (AT)
224 km/h (139 mph) (MT)
222 km/h (138 mph) (AT)
128i 2008– N52B30 2996 cc I6 24 230 PS (227 hp/169 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 6.4 s (MT)[12]
6.7 s (AT)[13]
130i 2006– N52B30 2996 cc 265 PS (261 hp/195 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 6.0 s (MT)
6.3 s (AT)
250 km/h (155.3 mph) (MT)
250 km/h (155.3 mph) (AT)
135i[14] 2008– N54B30 2979 cc 306 PS (302 hp/225 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 5.4 s (MT)
5.5 s (AT)
250 km/h (155.3 mph) (MT/AT)
Diesel engines
118d 2004–2007 M47TU2D20 1995 cc I4 16 122 PS (120 hp/90 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 10.0 s (MT) 201 km/h (125 mph) (MT)
2007– BMW M47 143 PS (141 hp/105 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 8.9 s (MT)
9.0 s (AT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (MT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (AT)
120d 2004–2007 M47TU2D20 163 PS (161 hp/120 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 7.9 s (MT)
8.2 s (AT)
220 km/h (140 mph) (MT)
217 km/h (135 mph) (AT)
2007– BMW M47 177 PS (175 hp/130 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 7.5 s (MT)
7.7 s (AT)
228 km/h (142 mph) (MT)
226 km/h (140 mph) (AT)
123d 2007– BMW M47 204 PS (201 hp/150 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 7.0 s (MT) 238 km/h (148 mph) (MT)
116d 2009– BMW M47 116 PS (114 hp/85 kW) Template:Convert/Nm 10.3 s (MT) 201 km/h (125 mph) (MT)

M version

CAR Magazine has asserted that there will be an M version of the 1 series, although BMW denies that the M1 nameplate will be resurrected in respect for the M1 supercar of the late 1970s.[15] Instead, at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in October 2007, BMW showed a concept version with the series designation "tii", a tribute to the famed vehicle of the 1970s.[16]. Elements of this concept have appeared in an accessory line from BMW that has been premiered at the Geneva Motor Show (March 2008). This "tii" model is seen in the recently released Gran Turismo 5 Prologue as well as the standard 1 series.

Production and marketing

Sales statistics according to BMW's annual reports.

  • 2004: 39,247 (Launched in September)
  • 2005: 149,493
  • 2006: 151,918
  • 2007: 165,803

The vehicle is currently promoted by Kermit from the Muppet Show. There is a commercial in which Kermit drives a BMW 1 Series around in a desert making figure eights, showcasing the car's agile nature and playful handling.

BMW is showing a 3-episode web movie [3] promo (filmed in Hamburg with a New York cast) that looks almost like a film noir and feels more like a mini–TV movie or film, with the main focus on the actors and more subtle appearances of the car itself. These episodes were made for viewing in Japanese movie theaters, but can be viewed via the internet.

BMW is also advertising the car using comparisons to its classic 2002, an iconic two-door from the 1970s known for its light weight and high level of performance (relative to the era).

BMW recently released a viral market stunt to promote the BMW 1 Series. The campaign centered on an online video 'mockumentary' called Rampenfest that chronicles the adventures of a small Bavarian town attempting to use a giant ramp to literally launch the new BMW from Germany to the U.S.


In 1998, a BMW E36 320d had won the 24 Hours Nürburgring, being able to drive very long stints. In 2006, a BMW 120d modified with a BMW customer racing kit available for 95,000 Euros,[17] entered by "Schubert Motors" repeated a similar if not better result. It scored 5th in a field of 220 cars, many of them (Porsche 911 GT3, BMW M3, Lamborghini Gallardo, Aston Martin, Maserati) much more powerful than the Template:Convert/PS of the 120d, thus a significantly stronger field of competitors than in 1998. The racing version of 120d is called BMW 120d Motorsport[18] and it weighs only 1,135 kg (2,500 lb) with a driver. It includes a 100-litre (Template:Convert/multi2LoffAonSon) diesel tank for endurance racing and has a maximum torque of Template:Convert/Nm at 3000 rpm - the maximum power, 245 bhp (183 kW) is at 4200 rpm and the redline is only at 5000 rpm.


Jeremy Clarkson, and other journalists possessed a number of other complaints about the 1-series which were or are aesthetic, and have influenced sales demographics. At varying times, the 1-series has been described as having 'Bread-van' looks, or as a 'Shameless attempt by BMW to sell a badge rather than a car'. Clarkson in particular had described the average BMW 1-series owner as receiving the following assessment from his next door neighbours (on BBC's Top Gear) as 'hmm, he's bought an expensive car - he must be absolutely bonkers!' Clarkson went so far as to end his review for the Sunday Times with 'The 1-Series is Crap.'

Critical response has dramatically changed in recent years - the 1-series coupe and convertible have been described as 'returning BMW to its roots', and the 135i has been described as the spiritual successor of the original E30 M3 of the 1980s. Clarkson himself awarded the 2008 model five stars, and had the following to say: 'The 135 coupé is the best car BMW makes.'[19]


  1. "BMW". 2003. Retrieved on 2008-03-20. 
  2., Corporate News
  3. BMW automobiles - website of the BMW AG
  4. Inside BMW's Latest Powertrain Technologies
  5. BMW EfficientDynamics - Introduction - BMW AG
  7. 2008 BMW 1 Series Coupé - AutoWeek Magazine
  8. [1]
  9. [2]
  10. "BMW 135i Coupe". Retrieved on 2008-03-20. 
  11. All data according to: Automobil Revue, catalogue editions 2006/2008.
  12. per Motor Trend
  13. As reported by BMW
  14. "Further environmental awards for budget-busting BMWs".,,1156___,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-20. 
  15. BMW M1 Coupe Allegedly Confirmed
  17. "2006 BMW 120d Motorsport". Retrieved on 2008-03-20. 
  18. "BMW Motorsport bietet BMW 120d für den Kundensport an". November 1, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-03-20.  Template:De icon
  19. "Beemed back to the wild days of youth". December 30, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-11-10. 

External links