BMW announced several modifications to the 2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible that accentuate efficiency and premium quality. The unmistakable profile of the BMW 1-Series Convertible, which represents the purest expression of BMW DNA is now sharper than ever. The new design of the front fascia includes BMW’s innovative Air Curtain that counters turbulence near the wheel arches and so reduces the aerodynamic resistance of the vehicle. New exterior design accents have been incorporated into the headlight and tail light clusters. In the interior, new switches and controls have a more refined look and feel. The updated BMW 1-Series Convertible will go on sale in the Spring of 2011.
For drivers whose definition of Joy includes wind in the face and sunshine above, the BMW 1-Series Convertible continues the tradition established by the iconic BMW 2002 sport sedan. The essence of such driving purity – a responsive inline-6 engine perfectly positioned within a rear-drive chassis to provide balanced, sporty dynamics – is at the heart of this compact four-seat convertible. For the 2012 model year, two versions are available with inline-6 power: the 128i and the 135i.
Powered by a 3.0-liter, 230 horsepower inline-6 engine that generates 200 lb-ft of torque, the 128i Convertible features BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology and aluminum/magnesium construction – core elements of BMW’s EfficientDynamics.
The 2012 BMW 135i features BMW’s newest, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine. Equipped with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and BMW’s revolutionary Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology, the engine produces 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Refered to internally as the “N55”, the engine reaches peak torque at 1,200 rpm and maintains peak torque all the way to 5,000 rpm. With High Precision direct gasoline injectors, optimum performance and fuel efficiency are achieved with even faster engine response across the entire engine speed range. For the 135i Convertible, acceleration from 0-60 mph is accomplished with the standard 6-speed manual transmission in 5.4 seconds.
The 135i can be equipped with BMW’s 7-speed Double Clutch Transmission (DCT), as featured on the BMW Z4 Roadster. Equipped with DCT, the 135i Convertible will accomplish the 0-60 mph sprint in a scorching 5.3 seconds. A 6-speed Steptronic automatic remains o ptional on the 128i. So equipped, the 128i Convertible runs 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds, or 6.4 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission.
Innovative Aerodynamics: Air Curtains
Consistency between form and function is crucial to engineers at BMW who seek perfect balance of various aerodynamic factors in the wind tunnel. As a result, the new Air Curtain is BMW’s latest aerodynamic innovation. Introduced first on the BMW 1-Series M Coupe, the Air Curtain will now be a standard feature on the 128i Convertible. The Air Curtain improves air flow around the front wheel arches with the benefit of significantly reduced turbulence. The 128i Convertible can also be equipped with special Aero Wheels to further enhance the performance of the Air Curtain system.
This innovative feature consists of openings in the outer section of the lower front fascia that route high-pressure air through ducts at each front corner. The ducts are approximately 10 x 3 centimeters wide and are designed to channel air to openings at the front of each wheel arch, where it is discharged through a very narrow opening at high speed. The escaping air stream covers the side of the front wheels like a curtain, thereby reducing aerodynamically unfavorable turbulence around the rotating wheels.
Air Curtain has a key role to play in the development of future aerodynamic innovations. An example of the air curtain principle was first presented in the concept study BMW Vision EfficientDynamics at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in 2009, and the developers of the BMW 1-Series M Coupe took on the pioneering task of applying this element to a production vehicle. To do so, they utilized the unique capabilities of the new full-scale “rolling road” Aerolab wind tunnel at the BMW Group’s new Aerodynamic Testing Center. Now it has been added to the 128i Convertible.
Distinctive BMW Convertible appearance
In a mere 22 seconds – even on the move at speeds up to 25 miles per hour – occupants of the BMW 1-Series Convertible can go from encapsulated comfort to top-down exhilaration. If conditions dictate, the electro-hydraulically-operated softtop can be raised within the same 22 seconds, producing a distinctive silhouette enhanced by long frameless doors. The characteristic features of the BMW kidney-shaped grill, front skirt, door sills and rear skirt are identical to those of the BMW 1-Series Coupe.
The standard softtop is available in either black or taupe cloth, but it is the optional Moonlight Black version which is unique to the BMW 1-Series Convertible. Interwoven with fine shiny metallic fibers, this distinctive top produces a shimmery metallic silver appearance in sunlight. The visual effect enhances the convertible’s exciting range of nine colors which includes an exclusive hue: Cashmere Silver Metallic.
A distinctive feature of the BMW 1-Series Convertible is the flared shoulder line which runs parallel to the road. This shoulder line flows from the hood past the A pillar to the trunk lid, forming a surface which encompasses the entire interior, giving the impression of a boat deck.
The view from the rear is influenced by the position of the softtop: with the top lowered, completely concealed in the tail, the look is flat and elegant; the appearance with the top up is broad shouldered. The trunk lid has an integrated spoiler chiseled into the rear end of the car to accentuate the short rear section. On the 135i, an additional lip spoiler provides greater downforce on the rear end at high speeds.
The individual sections within the L-shaped rear taillights give the vehicle a lower, sportier look. Horizontal lights integrated in the rear light clusters offer a homogeneous lighting effect with the help of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). This light design, as found on other BMW models, makes the BMW 1-Series Convertible stand out at night. Also, the Adaptive Brake Lights operating in two stages in relation to brake application force are yet another feature typical of BMW, with the additional benefit of extra safety on the road.
The standard (on the 135i) Adaptive Xenon Headlights (optional on the 128i), complete with integrated cornering lights, make driving in the dark safer than ever. The daytime running light function, in typical BMW style, uses the four corona rings around each headlight to enhance the visibility of the car under normal and “murky” light conditions.
Convertible interior features technology enhanced comfort, convenience
Two unique BMW 1-Series Convertible features provide increased driver and passenger comfort, thus improving the overall experience regardless of the top’s position. The optional Boston leather incorporates BMW’s Sun Reflective Technology where pigments worked into the upholstery mitigate the effect of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Excessive heating of the seats and armrest is diminished, especially for darker interior colors. The overall effect can produce surface temperatures some 20 degrees Fahrenheit below a comparable “normal” leather interior.
The standard upholstery is sporty and comfortable Leatherette, which is also the covering on the optional Sport Package’s sport seats with enhanced side support (Boston leather can be selected for this package).
The climate-control system in the BMW 1-Series Convertible has an additional convertible mode (compared to the system in the BMW 1-Series Coupe) designed for open-roof conditions. The three standard modes; gentle, medium and intensive, react primarily to interior sensors, while the convertible mode reacts less to interior temperature and more to the exterior temperature and sunlight factors to establish the intensity of the ventilation. Turbulence in the roof-down cabin can be reduced by an available wind deflector which can be affixed to the sides of the vehicle with a few adjustments. The wind deflector allows for conversation at normal sound levels and the ability to enjoy the wide variety of audio and communication offerings which include SIRIUS satellite radio, HD radio, the optional Premium Sound system, and Bluetooth. For simple and straightforward connection of an MP3 player, an auxiliary input jack is standard and a USB port for direct control of an Apple iPod or iPhone media player is available as an option.
The control console for the entertainment and climate-control functions is integrated smoothly and harmoniously into the dashboard through its soft radii and flowing surfaces. With the optional navigation system, the iDrive controller is integrated in the center console, following BMW’s characteristic philosophy of full driver control at all times. Galvanized pearl gloss surfaces adorn the interior door handles, the glove compartment handle, the radio’s rotary knobs, the knobs of the automatic climate control system, the iDrive controller, and the ornamental trim strips featured on the sport steering wheel.
Spacious trunk supplemented by folding seat backs and storage bag
An active couple can carry their gear, regardless of the season, thanks to the generous trunk space offered by the BMW 1-Series Convertible. Two golf bags will fit in the trunk of the BMW 1-Series Convertible – even with the top down! Lowering the soft top produces a storage space that is 8 cubic-feet, which does not include the optional large storage bag that extends into the passenger compartment and can accommodate two snow boards or a golf bag without soiling the upholstery. A zippered opening allows access into the storage bag from within the passenger compartment.
High-tech suspension with newly-developed differential
In typical BMW configuration, the BMW 1-Series Convertible transmits power to the rear wheels exclusively. This concept – engine at the front, drive wheels at the rear – guarantees optimum traction, near-perfect weight distribution front-to-rear, excellent directional stability, and predictable handling.
The BMW 1-Series Convertible has a sophisticated suspension system with an aluminum double-pivot front suspension and a five-link fully independent rear suspension in lightweight steel. BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also includes a Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function that provides electronic intervention to prevent loss of vehicle control, but at a higher threshold before activation. This allows the driver to experience more spirited driving on dry roads and offers more flexibility when driving in more challenging conditions such as in snow. If the driver desires, both DSC and DTC can be disabled entirely. Optional Active Steering – a variable ratio steering system exclusive to BMW – is available on the 135i Convertible. In addition to its duties as a safety system, the DSC system on the 135i Convertible is programmed specifically to enhance performance-oriented driving.
The rear differential on the BMW 1-Series comes from a new generation of final drives optimized for running smoothness and fuel efficiency. Featuring double-helical ball bearings for the first time, the differential runs at an even lower operating temperature reached more quickly than before thanks to the reduction of fluid required in the differential. Electronic rear brake management is always used to simulate a differential lock for stronger acceleration in turns and low-traction conditions.
The front suspension on the BMW 1-Series is also built to a unique standard in its competitive group. The double-pivot spring and strut front suspension with its anti-roll bar, is made largely of aluminum and offers an optimum combination of stiffness and low weight. The stable track control arms and thrust rods, as well as near-perfect wheel positioning, make an important contribution to the car’s driving dynamics.
M-inspired design for the M Sport Package
Model year 2009 saw the introduction of a new M Sport Package, which is standard on the 135i and optional on the 128i. Features of the M Sport Package include an Aero kit for reduced lift at speed (standard on 135i), an increased top speed limiter, better brake cooling, and enhanced aesthetics while the Sports Suspension offers higher traction and reduced body roll with unique wheels and performance tires. Unfortunately, the M Sport Package deletes the Air Curtain feature.
On the 135i Convertible, the Sports Suspension also includes a high-performance brake system incorporating 6-piston fixed calipers on the front and 2-piston calipers at the rear. Additionally, the M Sport Package for both models includes BMW Individual high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim, sport seats, and M branded trim components including driver footrest, gearshift knob (for manual transmission), and door sills. Finally, LeMans Blue Metallic exterior paint is available exclusively when the M Sport Package is ordered.
Safety equipment maximized for convertible design
The four standard airbags in the 2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible are designed for the optimum protection of the car’s occupants. The advanced frontal airbags are activated in stages relative to impact severity while the side airbags integrated into the sides of the front seat backrests reduce the risk of injury at chest, hip and head levels in side impact situations. The BMW 1-Series Convertible also comes with crash-optimized seats with active headrests designed to reduce the risk of neck injury in an impact from the rear.
All seats within the BMW 1-Series Convertible are fitted with three-point inertia-reel seat belts and headrests, with the front seat belts fastened on to the frames of the driver’s and front passenger’s seats, keeping the belt in an optimum position around the occupant’s hips regardless of seat height or fore-aft placement.
Also, the driver’s pedals move back automatically with a predetermined amount of deformation in the event of a frontal collision so that the risk of driver foot injury is reduced. And last but not least, the rear seats come standard with LATCH attachments for child seats. The 2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible is equipped with a roll-over sensor, which continually monitors the vertical and horizontal movements of the vehicle. As soon as the sensors register the danger of the vehicle rolling over, two roll bars are extended in fractions of a second from their storage areas behind the rear headrests. Simultaneously, the front-seat-belt tensioners are activated. Further roll-over protection is offered by the optimized stability of the A pillar and windshield frame.