BMW 1 Series Coupé makes its local debut

Question. What is compact, powerful, handles like a dream, has looks to die for and simply begs to be driven? Answer: BMW’s new 1 Series Coupé.

The BMW 120d is for the fuel conscious

The BMW Coupé line-up features three engine derivatives. For those who, amidst constantly rising fuel prices still try to drive economically there is the 120d. It produces 130 kW at
4 000 r/min and 350 Nm between 1 750 and 3 000 r/min but sips only 5,5 litres per 100 kilometres.

The middle-of-the-road model is the 3-litre BMW 125i. It has 160 kW of power at 6 100 r/min and 270 Nm of peak torque on tap and is the ideal car for travelling over long distances. To speed for this model is rated at 245 km/h, while it will sprint from standstill to the 00 km/h mark in 6,4 seconds.

Top of the range is the BMW 135i

BMW one series coupe interior

BMW one series coupe

Price: From R286 000 to R379 600


The big brother in the line-up is the BMW 135i, equipped with BMW’s twin-turbo 3-litre straight six petrol engine. It boasts power to the tune of 225 kW at 5 800 r/min and has 400 Nm of peak torque to offer between 1 300 and 5 000 r/min.

The BMW 1 Series Coupé is sporty and sexy

Looks-wise, the BMW 1 Series Coupé is unique, unmistakably sporty and smacks of performance. It has a long front end, with the passenger compartment moved far back to give it a short and sexy rear end.

The wheel arches are chiselled, the doors long and frameless, while the car’s wide track, wide profile tyres and flared wheel arches emphasise the car’s sporty personality.

The interior creates a feeling of sophistication and flair and offers space for up to four occupants. Incidentally, there are two individual seats at the rear, ensuring that rear passengers are as comfortable as they can be in a two-door car.

Loads of options for the BMW 1 Series interior

There’s a choice of no less than four upholstery options available: two cloth, one cloth/leather combination and one leather option. Naturally, these upholstery options may be combined in the appropriate colours with BMW’s three colour worlds and with no less than nine equipment and trim colours.

The trim bars are available with a choice of no less than six versions including aluminium in fine polished look, grained poplar, high-tech titanium, high-gloss diamond black as well as cashmere silver.

Distinctive differences for the BMW 135i Coupé

As the range topper,  the BMW 135i Coupé comes standard with a modified, aerodynamically optimised M Aerodynamics Package. With its extra-large central air intake, the front air dam highlights the sporting character of the car. A further sign of distinction is the chrome-plated bars in the kidney grille, which are to be found only on this model.

Six-speed automatic transmission option

As an alternative to the manual gearbox, the new BMW 1 Series Coupé is available as an option with six-speed automatic transmission. And in typical BMW style, power is transmitted from the engine to the rear wheels and from there on to the road. This design concept and configuration – engine at the front, drive wheels at the rear – guarantees optimum traction, good weight distribution, excellent directional stability and safe handling.

Speed-related steering assistance

All models of the BMW 1 Series Coupé, except the 135i, have electric power steering (EPS) with integrated Servotronic for speed-related steering assistance. As a result, EPS offers even greater steering precision at high speeds and enhanced steering comfort at low speeds.

New steering system reduces fuel consumption

A further important point is that the new steering system reduces fuel consumption by using an electric motor – and not a conventional mechanical/hydraulic system – to boost the car’s steering, with the electric motor operating only when the driver is actually turning the steering wheel.

As an option, all models may be equipped with the world’s only so-called active steering , which adjusts the steering transmission with optimum precision to the current speed of the car. This means that the driver is required to turn the steering wheel only slightly and with minimum effort when parking, while at higher speeds the steering transmission becomes less direct, improving the feeling of the steering and directional stability accordingly.

BMW 1 Series Coupé – driving precision to the limit

The chassis and suspension of the BMW 1 Series Coupé underlines the dynamic and sporting character of the car, ensuring a high standard of steering and driving precision all the way to the extreme limit.  ABS anti-lock brakes and automatic stability control (ASC) prevent the drive wheels from spinning when setting off and are featured as standard. Also standard is cornering brake control (CBC), which stabilises the car whenever necessary during application of the brakes in a bend.

Safety is paramount in the design

Of course occupant safety is a primary concern for BMW. To this end, high -strength steel, the specific structure of the Coupé’s body and special deformation elements serve to meet all legal standards and requirements in international markets.

No less than six airbags come as standard. The frontal airbags are activated in two stages as a function of impact severity, while side airbags integrated in the front seat backrests reduce the risk of injury at chest and hip level in an impact from the side. Curtain head airbags fitted in the roof lining, finally, protect both the occupants on the front seats and the passengers at the rear.

BMW 1 Series features crash-optimised seats

Also part of the package are crash-optimised seats, with specially padded headrests and backrests significantly reducing the risk of injury in an impact from the rear.  All seats are fitted headrests and three-point inertia-reel seat belts. With the pedals being moved back automatically and with predetermined deformation of the footrest in a head-on collision, the risk of foot injury affecting the driver is reduced to a minimum.

iDrive control system is awesome!

I simply have to mention the optional iDrive control system which enables the driver to mastermind all secondary and comfort functions such as air-conditioning, entertainment and optional navigation functions with ease. In the 1 Series Coupé, iDrive comes with no less than eight individually programmable favourite buttons enabling the user to retrieve functions required particularly often.

BMW fans will adore the 1 Series Coupé

There’s not enough room on this website for me to discuss all the virtues of the BMW 1 Series in detail. Just believe me when I say that you will want for nothing. After all, this is a BMW and if you love BMWs, you’ll adore the 1 Series Coupé. On a personal level, I can’t wait to get to drive one. I’ve come to expect nothing but the best from the German manufacturer and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

Watch this space for a road test but in the meantime, chew on the prices, which range from R286 000 for the 120D with manual transmission to R379 600 for the 135i auto.