Following on from the launch of the range-topping BMW 1 Series M Coupé, BMW has announced updates to its regular 1 Series Coupé and 1 Series Convertible models.
The mildly revised looks may be nothing to shout about, but an innovative new Aero Curtain derived from racing car technology reduces CO2 emissions and improves fuel economy.
BMW 1 Series: Aero Curtain
Chief amongst the changes for the new BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible models is the Aero Curtain.
This solves the problem of aerodynamic drag around wheel arches – a major point of efficiency loss in all cars. It does so by routing air through two ducts in the front apron to create a jet of air that exits inside the wheelarch, covering the side of the front wheels ‘like a curtain’.
This curtain smoothes the flow of air around the side of the car, reducing turbulence and improving efficiency – resulting in lower CO2 emissions throughout the range. It helps the 118d Coupé drop to 118g/km CO2, and even the 2.0-litre petrol 120i Coupé now emits less than 155g/km CO2.
The Aero Curtain concept originates on the racetrack – where aerodynamics are important for speed as well as efficiency – and comes as standard on all new ES, Sport and SE versions of the 1 Series Coupé and Convertible.
New lights with eyebrow
Compared to the Aero Curtain, visual changes to the BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible are somewhat less exciting, being limited to new bumpers and lights.
The redesigned front bumper incorporates new-look foglights, while the headlights now feature an ‘eyebrow’ element, and the rear lights are ‘more detailed’. The eyebrow is offered as an illuminated LED strip when specifying the optional xenon headlight package.
Standard equipment on the entry-level ES includes 16-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Stability Control, and all the usual EfficientDynamics features. Start-stop is now fitted on all cars, but is still not available in conjunction with an automatic gearbox.
Sport adds almost £1,200 in extra equipment – 17-inch alloys, Sport multifunction steering wheel in leather, front Sport seats – but is presently priced the same as the ES. SE includes rear parking sensors, front foglights and dual-zone air conditioning.
M Sport cars are based on the SE, but add 17-inch lightweight alloys, ‘M’ cabin details and exterior styling, run-flat tyres, Sport seats, M Sport suspension and M Sport steering wheel. But no Aero Curtain.
Pricing and availability
The updated BMW 1 Series Coupé and 1 Series Convertible go on sale in March 2011.
Prices start at £21,960 for the 118d diesel ES Coupé and £24,245 for the 118i petrol ES Convertible – including on the road costs and 20% VAT.
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