BMW 1 Series: Twin Turbo "GTI Killer" in US early 2008

BMW officials confirmed to WINDING ROAD at a corporate event this week that the BMW 1-series will come to our market, and sooner than we originally thought. While official company statements have said the 1-series will be here “within two years,” a source within the company said that’s an overstatement. On the contrary, the 1-series will be announced for our market before the end of 2007. It seems at the moment that the announcement will come this year and sales should start early in 2008.

Perhaps even bigger than this news is the fact that the 1-series will debut in our market with the company’s fabulous new twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-6. This is the engine found in the new BMW 335i coupe and convertible, featuring piezo direct injection and not a whiff of turbo lag. Also coming to our market will be the company’s newest naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6.

1-series cars in our market will be two-door versions only. It’s important that we stress the word “versions” when describing the 1-series in our market, as our source confirmed there are up to 15 different concepts in Munich under discussion. For the U.S. market, the company would like to get a quick read on the viability of the car’s acceptance and then deploy one or two more models based on the same idea. In other words, the 135i and 130i could launch in two-door hatchback forms and soon thereafter we’re likely to see a two-door convertible and two-door sedan with a proper trunk.

This is the point where you’re likely to say: “Okay, a small two-door BMW sedan with powerful engines. Do I smell a 2002 revival?”

Yes, you do.

But you’ll smell it in form, only, not in engine size. A four-cylinder BMW is not scheduled for our market until, according to our source, BMW “does a proper turbocharged four-cylinder engine.” Until that time, we’re likely to see 1-series models in our market with sixes only. Pricing for the car will have to fall smack dab between the 3-series and MINI. The pricing differential in the two six-cylinder engines described above is $5,000 dollars, so expect that same ratio for the 1-series models.

Written By: Reilly Brennan
Wow. If they decide to make an M1, it will have to be quite something to be a step up from a 135i. Over 300 horses in a small hatchback should kick a$$