Year by year the BMW 3 series gets a little bit bigger and more refined. While this has many benefits to comfort and passenger capacity, some of the driving experience is lost. A few years ago BMW offered a new small car under the brand ‘Mini’.
The Mini is a blast to drive, but departed from the BMW philosophy in several significant ways; only possible because the Mini was not branded as a BMW. The Mini was a front wheel drive, and it used a non-BMW engine! Believe it or not, the Mini actually used an engine developed by Chrysler. When Daimler bought Chrysler, BMW was in fact selling a Mercedes engine!
Anyway, what the 1 series will bring is a really light car (compared to the 3400 lb 335i) with some serious power at some much lower prices! It will feature the same 3.0L engines that are found in the 328i and 335i which provide 230HP and 300HP respectively. Once I get a ride in one I will post a review. They are not expected this side of the Atlantic until spring 2008.
With the M3 in the showroom to draw crowds, and the 135i with similar performance at likely less than half the price, this bodes to be an excellent spring sales season for BMW!
If you want to see a much more detailed review of the 1 Series, check out the edBMW Blog by Irv Robinson which shows a lot of the press photos of the interior and exterior, as well as a lot of specifications.
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