Official BMW NA Press Release: The BMW Concept 1 Series tii makes its North American debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, bringing with it an uncompromising character of responsiveness, lightness, and sportiness. Based on the new BMW 1 Series Coupe, this design study represents the natural evolution of the BMW compact two-door with a clear focus on performance.
With its aerodynamically optimized body, a wide range of lightweight features designed to minimize weight and achieve ideal weight distribution, this concept study reflects a high level of driving dynamics. The interior has also been tailored to the serious driver. In its design, the BMW Concept 1 Series tii builds on the traditional features and characteristics of past BMW sports cars. Immediately apparent are features which made numerous BMW Coupes successes on both the road and the track back in the 1960s and ’70s.
These were cars characterized by compact dimensions, low weight with perfect balance front-to-rear, as well as powerful engines that conveyed that power to the rear wheels. The renowned BMW 2002, introduced back in 1968, was acknowledged as the epitome of agility and dynamic driving character. The new BMW 1 Series Coupe represents the same philosophy: Light, agile, and powerful.
The BMW Concept 1 Series tii brings out all these strengths and shows how much the development principles which applied more than four decades ago are still appropriate today when setting out to create a truly unique driving experience. 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 available. Its basic principle rests on traditional values, while high-tech materials and applications are used to maximize its performance potential. To save weight and ensure an ideal weight balance, selected components on BMW Concept 1 Series tii are made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP).
Apart from the hood and mirror caps, the inlays on the side air intakes in the front air dam, the Gurney flap on the trunk lid, and the inlay in the rear bumper are all made of this extremely light and exceptionally strong material. From a distance these components appear to be black – it is only on closer inspection that the fine carbon-fiber structure of the surface covered by transparent, matt paintwork becomes visible.
The dark surface of the CFP hood reduces the reflection of sunlight, promoting driver concentration in the process. The wide, white sunglare strip at the top of the windshield serves the same purpose, minimizing any dazzle effect when the sun is low on the horizon. Black, white and blue – traditional BMW colors. The contrasting effect created by the Alpine White paintwork and the dark CFP components results from fundamental functional requirements. This contrasting color scheme is also a major styling feature which characterizes the appearance of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii.
In order to accentuate the character of the car, decal stripes extend from the headlights all the way to the spoiler on the trunk lid. The large Gurney flap, made from CFP, covers the entire width of the car. On the hood the stripes come in white, on the roof and the rear lid they continue in black. The color blue may be seen on less exposed parts such as the brake calipers, one of the five wheel bolts on each rim, and on the tow-hook receiver in the front air dam which – in typical motorsport fashion – is exposed. The contrast of black and white and the discreet use of blue create a trinity of colors which reflect BMW ‘s brand logo, bearing testimony to a great heritage.
Front-end design: aerodynamics optimized to the last detail. The design of the car, in addition top the striking colors, also makes the BMW Concept 1 Series tii distinct from the standard BMW 1 Series Coupe. Besides the use of CFP, the front air dam, the side-sills and the rear bumper as well as the trunk lid are all new designs. The objective was to optimize the car ‘s aerodynamic qualities and reflect the dynamic nature of BMW Concept 1 Series tii. To meet the demands of such a car, the structure of the front air dam differs significantly from the air dam in regular production models.
The side air intakes are coated inside with CFP and the front air dam is flanked with air splitters. These air guidance elements ensure a specific downward flow of air. Some of the air flows into the side intakes, the rest beneath the car. Also carried over from motorsport is the arrangement of fins along the edges of the hood which serve to optimize the flow of air. These air guidance strips promote the car ‘s aerodynamic qualities and enhance driving stability at high speeds.
The benefit of this technique was proven back in the mid-1970s on the BMW 3.0 CSL. The BMW kidney grille on the BMW Concept1 Series tii is also a special design. The traditional bars, as found on the BMW 1 Series Coupe and other production models, have been replaced by a wide honeycomb grid. Dark trim bars on the headlights highlight the striking dual round headlights behind clear covers as is typical of modern BMWs. Side view: classic silhouette, muscular design.
The BMW 1 Series Coupe shares the three-box proportions that have been characteristic of BMW Coupes for decades – the clear distinction between the engine compartment, the passenger cell, and the luggage compartment. Together with the greenhouse set back and the gently tapered roofline extending back at a striking angle, the long hood gives the car an unmistakable silhouette.
The sporty profile of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii is further enhanced by side-sills developed specifically for this design study. The light contour edge rises slightly toward the rear accentuating the wedge shape of the silhouette and gives the car an even lower and more dynamic look. The round opening in the side-sills directly in front of the rear wheel optimizes the flow of air and at the same time guides the eye to the rear wheels, where the power of the engine is conveyed to the road. BMW Concept 1 Series tii rolls on 18-inch light-alloy rims in a five-spoke design and dark chrome color scheme developed specifically for this design study. Perfect flow of air determines the design of the rear end.
This focus on optimum aerodynamics continues into the design of the rear end, where the body of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii is again specially designed for smooth air flow and the specific requirements of outstanding driving dynamics. The air contour lip on the trunk lid, the so-called Gurney, is far larger than on the “regular ” BMW 1 Series Coupe. Made of CFP for lightness, this component, through its shape and dimensions, helps to generate maximum downforce on the rear wheels at high speeds to give the car even greater driving stability. The inlay in the rear bumper is likewise made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Its three-piece structure reflects the graphics of the air intakes at the front of the car. The diffuser split by two bars, in turn, ensures a controlled flow of air 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 the BMW Concept 1 Series tii is an ideal place to experience pure driving pleasure, with the emphasis squarely on performance. This can be seen, first, by the color scheme carried over from the exterior and, second, by a wide range of features derived directly from motorsport. While the interior takes up the black-and-white contrast of the car ‘s exterior, the balance of colors is reversed. 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.
This creates a striking and powerful visual effect, since these features are not only important eye-catchers, but are actually used relatively often. The use of the color blue within the interior puts the focus squarely on the driver. Blue seat seams and a blue decal ring at the bottom of the gearshift lever provide visual highlights befitting the BMW brand. The seat belt on the driver ‘s seat also comes in this color. The seat belts on the other three seats, by contrast, are in silver, which is also the color of the seat seams. This distinction offers a sign as to which of the four seats is the most appealing. Tailored to the driver, built for driving pleasure.
The interior design of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii is tailored specifically to the driver, applying principles known to offer an intense and successful driving experience in motorsport. Dominant use of dark colors within the interior, for example, makes it easier for the driver to concentrate fully on the road and traffic. 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 hood on the BMW Concept 1 Series tii – helps to avoid any reflection of ight 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 tachometer with its red indicators attracts more attention than the dark face on the speedometer. The sports steering wheel is the perfect interface between driver and machine. Finished in alcantara, the steering wheel rim offers particularly good grip, giving the driver maximum control even in fast maneuvers. The sports bucket seats in the BMW Concept 1 Series tii, finished in a combination of alcantara and leather, offer abundant lateral support. The seats include integrated headrests and side airbags. Last, but not least, the rear passengers also enjoy a sporting and low seating position.
The model designation on the door cutout strips rounds out the individual ambience within the BMW Concept 1 Series tii. The linings in the footwells, lastly, are made of a new, particularly hard-wearing material texture reminiscent of the CFP components. Traditional values, modern concept, unique result. Inside and out, from every perspective and in all its details, the BMW Concept 1 Series tii conveys a clear message: to offer uncompromising driving pleasure.
In developing this design study, BMW ‘s engineers and designers took the opportunity to combine traditional values with the latest technology. In the process they benefited from the new BMW 1 Series Coupe which provided a modern car concept which authentically captures the sporting roots of the brand. The BMW Concept 1 Series tii shows which highlights were applied in the car ‘s development and what potential the BMW 1 Series Coupe has in terms of sporting performance. The looks of BMW Concept 1 Series tii highlight the thrill of motorpsort and the heritage of the BMW brand.
Designers focused the design process on BMW ‘s compact two-door models from the 1960s and ’70s. At the time, those cars made an important contribution to the development of the brand and of BMW as a company while becoming the very epitome of unparalleled driving pleasure. These cars owed their success to features typical of BMW even then and still offer a unique driving thrill today: low weight, powerful engines, rear-wheel drive with outstanding agility. These factors for success still apply today. At the same time the demands made by the customer have changed significantly, as has the potential offered by modern technology and BMW ‘s model range.
The number of segments in which BMW is represented today is larger than ever, so the brand offers The Ultimate Driving Machine in many different guises. But the concept of The Ultimate Driving Machine remains just as relevant and popular as the day the phrase was first coined. This is particularly true of the BMW 1 Series Coupe. 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. This made it all the more tempting to push the performance potential of this model to the absolute limit in the form of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii.