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BMW 1-Series news — 1 for the road- 2007

Summer’s here -
sort of - and it’s coupe-season in Bavaria.

No sooner had BMW put the
finishing touches to the soon-to-be-unleashed M3 than the boys in Bangle’s
design department turned their attention to transforming their little 1-Series
into something a bit sleeker.

So this is the 1-Series
Coupe. And it looks, well, exactly as we imagined it to be. We’ve never quite
been convinced by the 1’s mix of slabby sides and odd angles, but had hoped the
coupe might sense of it all. But no.

Styling aside, though,
things get more interesting. As in three-hundred horsepower interesting.
Although the 1-Series Coupe will be launched with the option of two diesel
engines - the 120d and 123d - it’s the 135i that we’re getting excited about.

With a twin-turbo version
of BMW’s three-litre straight-six, the 135i puts out 306bhp and 295lb ft of
torque from a lowly 1,300rpm.

Which means plenty of
shove, a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of
155mph. In other words, the 135i will be seriously quick.

It should be able to
handle the pace, too. The driven rear wheels are bolted to a five-link
suspension set-up, and you even spec your 135i in M-Sport trim for a firmer
ride. But take heed, drift monkeys - there’s no diff.

All good then? Very
nearly. The only black mark against the 1-Series Coupe is that BMW has
officially rubbished any suggestion of an M version.

Apparently it doesn’t make financial sense: a M1 would cost
close to 40 grand - too much for such a small car.

We say forget financial
sense, BMW. We like the idea of the 135i but reckon there’s a real opportunity
for a lightweight special to rival the iconic E30 M3 - and make the M1 the
best-handling car in history.

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