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Agility, lightness, youthfulness and superior sportiness – all these features are presented and highlighted impressively in BMW Concept 1 Series tii.
Based on the new BMW 1 Series Coupé being presented to the world public for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show 2007, this fascinating design study is the consistent evolution of BMW's compact two-door with a clear focus on uncompromising sportiness. With its aerodynamically optimised body, a wide range of lightweight features serving to minimise the weight of the car and its axle load distribution, as well as an interior tailored specifically to the ambitious driver, this concept study clearly offers a high level of driving dynamics right from the start. BMW Concept 1 Series tii thus offers a very highly concentrated rendition of the brand's sporting genes, at the same time proving the dynamic character of BMW's compact two-door in offering the ultimate in driving pleasure.
In its design, BMW Concept 1 Series tii clearly takes up the traditional features and characteristics of successful BMW sports cars in the past: At very first sight the beholder will see features which made numerous BMW Coupés an outstanding success on both the road and the race track back in the 1960s and '70s. These were cars characterised by compact dimensions, low weight with perfect balance front-to-rear, as well as powerful engines conveying their superior muscle to the rear wheels.
Particularly the BMW 02 introduced back in 1966 was acknowledged as the epitome of supreme agility and thrilling, highly dynamic driving characteristics based on these success factors. And now the new BMW 1 Series Coupé represents the same philosophy: Light, agile, and powerful, this compact two-door with its unparalleled, ultra-sporting handling provides an unprecedented experience at the wheel. The similarities between these two models result in particular from the concept of the car, BMW Concept 1 Series tii bringing out all these strengths and clearly demonstrating how much the development principles applied more than four decades ago are still most appropriate today in creating sports models truly fascinating in every respect.
Traditional and modern: lightweight construction as the basic principle, CFP as the solution.
BMW Concept 1 Series tii combines visual features carried over from the past with the most advanced technology in development and production. Particularly the basic principle of the car rests on traditional values, while high-tech materials and applications are used in the implementation process.
To save weight and ensure a harmonious balance of axle load, selected components on BMW Concept 1 Series tii are made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP): Apart from the engine compartment lid and the mirror caps, the inlays on the side air intakes in the front air dam, the gurney flap on the rear lid, and the inlay in the rear bumper are all made of this extremely light and exceptionally strong material.
From a distance the components made of CFP would appear to be black – it is only at closer sight that the fine carbon-fibre structure of the surface covered by transparent, matt paintwork becomes visible. The dark surface of the CFP engine compartment lid reduces the reflection of sunlight and promotes driver concentration in the process. The wide, white sunglare strip at the top end of the windscreen serves the same purpose, preventing any dazzle effect when the sun is low on the horizon.Black, white and blue – typical BMW colours all the way.
The contrasting effect resulting from the Alpine White paintwork and the dark CFP components results from fundamental functional requirements. But at the same time this contrasting colour scheme is also a major styling feature characterising the look and appearance of BMW Concept 1 Series tii. Indeed, to really accentuate the appearance of the car, BMW Concept 1 Series tii comes with decal stripes extending from the front headlight units all the way to the air flow lip on the rear lid, the gurney made of CFP and particularly large in size covering the entire body of the car. On the engine compartment the stripes come in white, on the roof and the rear lid they continue in black.
A third colour is used at less exposed points to provide yet another optical highlight: This is the colour blue proudly displayed on the brake callipers, on one of the five wheel bolts on each rim, and on the towing fixture in the front air dam which – as is generally the case with cars in motorsport – is not covered by a cap or seal. The contrast of black and white and the discreet use of features finished in blue creates a trinity of colours also taken up by the exterior and generating an extroverted but well-balanced effect also because the choice of colours is the same as on BMW's brand logo, thus bearing clear testimony to a great heritage.
Front-end design: aerodynamics optimised to the last detail. Not only the colour scheme, but also the design of the car sets BMW Concept 1 Series tii distinctly apart from the standard versions of the BMW 1 Series Coupé. Indeed, the unique character and class of the design study is visible immediately from every angle and perspective: Apart from the components made of CFP, the front air dam, the side-sills and the rear bumper as well as the rear lid are all brand-new in design. The objective in this design process was to optimise the car's aerodynamic qualities, consistently reflecting the extremely dynamic commitment of BMW Concept 1 Series tii.
To meet the particular requirements made of such a car, the structure of the front air dam differs significantly from the air dam in regular production models: The particularly muscular side air intakes are coated inside with CFP and the front air dam comes on both sides with so-called air splitters.
These air guidance elements standing out slightly to the front ensure a specific downward flow of air, part of the air flow going into the side intakes, the rest beneath the car.
Yet another feature carried over from motorsport and serving to optimise the flow of air is the arrangement of fins on the engine compartment lid.
These air guidance strips extending along the outer edges of the engine compartment lid promote the car's aerodynamic qualities and enhance driving stability at high speeds. The positive effect ensured in this way was already proven back in the mid-1970s on the BMW 3.0 CSL.
The BMW kidney grille also comes in special design on BMW Concept
1 Series tii, omitting the kidney grille bars otherwise found on the BMW 1 Series Coupé and other production models. Instead, the cooling air flowing into the car goes through a wide honeycomb grid.
Yet a further sign of distinction is the dark trim bars on the headlights additionally highlighting the striking dual round headlights behind clear glass so typical of BMW.
Side view: classic silhouette, muscular design.
The BMW 1 Series Coupé comes with all the proportions so characteristic of BMW Coupés for many decades. The defining feature is the so-called three-box architecture, the clearly chiselled distinction between the engine compartment, the passenger cell, and the luggage compartment.
Together with the greenhouse moved far to the back and the gently tapered roofline extending to the rear end at a striking angle, the long engine compartment lid gives the car a truly unmistakable silhouette. The combination of the muscular car body and the light-looking roof structure, finally, gives this compact two-door a particularly dynamic and sporting look from the side.
The side view of BMW Concept 1 Series tii is further enhanced in its sportiness by the side-sills developed specifically for this design study:The side-sills are particularly muscular in design, the light contour edge rising slightly towards the rear accentuating the wedge shape of the silhouette and giving the entire car an even lower and more dynamic look. The round opening in the side-sills directly in front of the rear wheel also provides a clear sign of sporting performance, acting as a further element in optimising the flow of air and at the same time guiding the beholder's view to the rear wheels, where the power of the engine is conveyed to the road.
BMW Concept 1 Series tii comes on 18-inch light-alloy rims in five-spoke design and a dark chrome colour scheme developed specifically for this design study.
Perfect flow of air determining the design of the rear end. This clear focus on optimum aerodynamics continues into the design of the rear end, where the body of BMW Concept 1 Series tii is again specially designed for a smooth flow of air and the specific requirements of outstanding driving dynamics. The air contour lip on the rear lid, the so-called gurney, is far larger than on the "regular" BMW 1 Series Coupé. Indeed, through its shape and dimensions this component also made of CFP offers all the qualities required for generating maximum downforce on the rear axle at high speeds to give the car even greater driving stability.
The inlay in the rear bumper is likewise made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, its three-piece structure taking up the graphics of the air intakes at the front end of the car. The diffuser split by two bars, in turn, ensures a controlled flow of air also along the lower part of the car, reducing air swirl at the rear to a minimum. Interior design continuing the car's sporting line. The interior of BMW Concept 1 Series tii is certainly an ideal place to experience pure driving pleasure, with the emphasis consistently on sporting qualities and performance. This is borne out, first, by the colour scheme carried over from the exterior and, second, by a wide range of features derived directly from motorsport and thus offering supreme function in perfect control and management of the car.
While the interior takes up the black-and-white contrast of the car's exterior finish, the balance of colours is precisely the other way round: Like the dark CFP elements on the exterior, white-painted surfaces inside the car add highlights at a few carefully selected points – the grab handles on the doors and the spokes on the sports steering wheel. Even so, the visual effect created in this way is striking and powerful, since these features are not only important eye-catchers, but are actually used relatively often in practice.
The colour blue provides a clear focus on the driver within the interior, blue seat seams and a blue decal ring at the bottom of the gearshift lever knob providing visual highlights most befitting the BMW brand. A further point is that the seat belt on the driver's seat also comes in this colour.
The seat belts on the other three seats, by contrast, are in silver, which is also the colour of the seat seams. Clearly, this distinction is restricted to the look of the seat belts as an eye-twinkling sign as to which of the four seats is the most appealing in a car of this nature.
Tailored to the driver, built for driving pleasure.
The interior design of BMW Concept 1 Series tii is tailored specifically to the driver, applying principles known to offer an intense and successful driving experience also in motorsport.
Dominant use of dark colours within the interior, for example, makes it easier for the driver to concentrate fully on the road and the traffic around him.
The surface trim on the A-pillars and roof lining in anthracite forms one unit with the instrument panel, the door and side panels.
Finished in black alcantara, the instrument panel – like the dark engine compartment lid on BMW Concept 1 Series tii – helps efficiently to avoid any reflection of light which might impair the driver's concentration.
The design of the instrument cluster also reflects the usual style and focus in motorsport, the white face of the rev counter with its red indicators attracting even more attention than the dark face on the speedometer.
The sports steering wheel is the perfect interface between man and machine. Finished in alcantara all round, the steering wheel rim offers particularly good grip, giving the driver maximum precision at the wheel even in fast manoeuvres and when suddenly changing direction.
The seats in BMW Concept 1 Series tii are yet another new development for sports motoring: Finished in a combination of alcantara and leather, the sports bucket seats offer perfect stability at the side. Further highlights are the integrated headrests and side airbags. And last but not least in this context, the rear passengers also enjoy a sporting and low seating position.
The model designation on the door cutout strips rounds off the individual ambience within BMW Concept 1 Series tii. The linings in the footwells, finally, are made of a new, particularly hard-wearing textile tissue reminiscent in its surface structure of the CFP components. Traditional values, modern concept, unique result. Outside and inside, from every perspective and in all its details, BMW Concept 1 Series tii conveys a clear message: the objective to offer uncompromising driving pleasure. So in developing this design study, BMW's engineers, designers and other specialists took the opportunity to combine traditional values with the latest technology. In the process they benefited from the new BMW 1 Series Coupé offering a modern car concept authentically presenting the sporting roots of the brand.
Precisely this is the underlying character further enhanced by BMW Concept 1 Series tii following a clear-cut philosophy with no cause for moderation – on the contrary: BMW Concept 1 Series tii shows impressively which highlights were applied in the car's development and what potential the BMW 1 Series Coupé has to offer in terms of sporting performance.
The looks and appearance of BMW Concept 1 Series tii bear out all the fascination of motorpsort, the heritage of the BMW brand giving the designers additional inspiration. In particular, they focused in the design process on BMW's compact two-door models in the 1960s and '70s, cars which at the time made an important contribution to the development of the brand and BMW as a company, becoming the very epitome of unparalleled driving pleasure.
Indeed, these cars owed their success to features typical of BMW even at the time and still offering a unique thrill today: low weight, powerful engines, supreme agility.
These factors for success therefore still apply in today's world. But at the same time the demands made by the customer have changed significantly, as have the potentials offered by modern technology and BMW's model range.
The number of segments in which BMW is represented today is larger than ever before. So the brand offers Sheer Driving Pleasure in all kinds of different manifestations. But the concept of Sheer Driving Pleasure remains just as up-to-date and popular as before, coming out particularly in the BMW 1 Series Coupé: No other car offers equally dynamic driving characteristics, simply because no other brand offers comparable heritage and experience in the production of sporting and compact two-door models.