Lighter, lower motorsport-influenced 1-series tii concept blends classic M3 and 2002 Turbo
24 October 2007

Is this the much discussed, but as yet unbuilt, successor to the original M3? BMW isn’t saying if it will make this lighter, lower version of the 1-series coupé, but it’s likely that something very similar will go into limited production next year. Named after the classic and highly desirable 2002 tii, the Concept 1-series tii is a motorsport-influenced, carbonfibre-rich two-door with a bespoke aerodynamic kit and a modified interior. The tii’s front and rear bumpers are new, along with the sill covers and bootlid, to improve the car’s aerodynamics. On the bootlid, a Gurney flap — a thin carbonfibre blade — increases downforce over the back axle. There are even fins on each side of the carbonfibre bonnet to improve airflow over the front of the car. As a result, BMW claims the tii is lighter and better-balanced than a standard 1-series coupé. It’s also lower (by 23mm) and slightly longer. Inside, the tii gets a severe-looking set of race seats, plenty of black Alcantara and contrasting white-painted trim on the dash, doors and steering wheel. The white-faced rev counter gets an oil temperature gauge.BMW won’t confirm the engine, but it’s likely to be a version of the 2005 320si’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. And BMW has indicated it will have a turbo; the reversed tii logo on the bumper is a subtle nod to the original 2002 Turbo, which had ‘turbo’ written in reverse lettering in the same place. Although the 320si wasn’t particularly quick or powerful — 173bhp and 0-60mph in 8.1sec — its 7000rpm peak power delivery had something of the original M3’s engine, and its quick responses were well-received. In a lighter 1-series, with the tii’s efficient aerodynamics, performance could be much improved, especially with a turbo. Don’t expect the production car to be called M1 or tii, however. The most likely name for this 1-series is CS; BMW has always applied it to lighter, faster models.

Dan Stevens

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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