BMW UK has announced the first details of the new BMW 1 Series Convertible, the world’s first premium convertible in the compact segment. Powered by four- and six-cylinder engines, from the entry-level 143hp 118i Convertible to the ’bahn-storming 306hp 135i Convertible, the open-topped 1 Series uses elements of 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 and will carry over much of the styling and technology from the recently-announced Coupé model. The obvious addition is an electro-hydraulic fabric roof that opens or closes in 22 seconds, 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.
Exterior design – elongated and elegant
Viewed 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 Coupé is clear. Both cars share a virtually identical silhouette and 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 boot 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 appearance of the car.
From the rear, the boot lid finishes in a discrete lip spoiler that houses the integrated third brake light and typical L-shaped rear light clusters use LED-powered light conductors.
Also in common with Coupé models, purchasers of 135i Convertibles 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 assisting engine breathing and brake cooling. 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-inch light alloy wheels and six-pot brake callipers on the brakes (two-pot on the rear).