BMW Concept 1 Series tii
Shortly before the on-sale date of the new BMW 1 Series Coupé on 24 November, BMW designers have given an insight into what an out-and-out motorsport-focussed derivative might look like. The BMW Concept 1 Series tii will take centre stage at the Tokyo Motorshow and uses lightweight materials, optimised aerodynamics and a race-inspired interior to deliver an uncompromising focus on motorsport. The BMW Concept 1 Series tii is the fifth concept car presented by BMW in 2007. It showcases innovative technologies but also reflects on the traditions of BMW’s compact, lightweight and sporting Coupés. The Concept’s tii badging harks back to the BMW 2002tii from the 1960’s and 70’s – a car that set the mould for successful and dynamic two-door BMW models of recent times.
On first inspection, the most noticeable part of the car is its striking colour scheme. Alpine White body panels combine with a visible carbon-fibre bonnet, black and white front-to-rear decals and blue trims to give a dynamic appearance. But the BMW Concept 1 Series tii has sporting substance to back up its bold visual appearance.
The BMW 1 Series Coupé roots are clear in the BMW Concept 1 Series tii but the concept car displays clear motorsport genes. From the front, the bumper and valence have been redesigned to deliver even more air to the engine and braking system. Air flow is also enhanced through BMW’s trademark kidney grilles, with the usual vertical slats replaced by wire mesh. The bonnet is constructed of carbon fibre, as are the mirror caps and inserts in the front air intakes to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity. The fins running along the carbon-fibre bonnet help the flow of air over the bonnet and are reminiscent of the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL from the 1970’s.
From the side, the profile of the new BMW 1 Series Coupé is retained, but the Concept 1 Series tii features extensively remodelled side sills and a uniquely-designed 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheel finished in dark chrome. From the rear, the aerodynamic enhancements continue with a carbon-fibre boot-mounted gurney-flap rear spoiler to deliver enhanced rear down force. Weight is further reduced with the rear bumper insert also made from lightweight carbon-fibre material.
The car’s exterior colours and motorsport orientation continue inside the car. Supportive bucket seats give the highest levels of lateral support while the three-spoke sports steering wheel is covered in Alcantara with body-colour white inserts. The roof lining, door linings and instrument panel are also covered in Alcantara. Ahead of the steering wheel, the instrument binnacle also reflects the motorsport intentions of the car with a white rev-counter with red needles dominating the driver’s view.
There is no current information available on the drivetrain of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii or any plans to develop it for series production.
The new BMW M3 Saloon
Alongside the reveal of the Concept 1 Series tii, the new BMW M3 makes its public debut at the Tokyo Motorshow. Like the M3 Coupé, the engine in the new M3 Saloon develops 420hp at 8,300rpm, 400Nm of torque at 3,900rpm and red-lines at 8,400rpm. To emphasise the real-world drivability of the engine, 85 per cent of torque is available over an engine range of 6,500rpm, starting at 1,750rpm. Power is transferred to the road by BMW M’s six-speed manual gearbox and variable M differential. This conveys up to 100 per cent of available power to the wheel with most grip.
The M3 Saloon accelerates from zero to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, being only 0.1 seconds slower than the Coupé, before going onto a limited top speed of 155mph. BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme, however, ensures that these supercar levels of performance do not compromise economy with the car delivering 22.8mpg on the combined cycle.