In our eyes the1 Series Coupe has been a revelation. Since it ‘s introuction in the winter of 2008, the 135i has been seen by many as one of the last BMW products to stay true to the heritage of a small rear wheel driven two door. As the 3 Series has grown in size and weight from the E46 (the last classic 3 Series in many eyes) the 1 Series has remained as the lone product in offering the core tenants BMW has relied on for years. That ‘s not to say that the new F30 isn ‘t an exceptional car or that the current M3 isn ‘t dynamically incredible. Instead the current 1 Series harkens back to a simpler time that allowed for more driver involvement.
So you can imagine that we face the retirement of the current 1 Series coupe range with some trepidation. The next generation of small BMW coupes and convertibles will remain rear wheel drive of course but will change names (ditching the 1 Series nomenclature in favor of 2 Series) and grow slightly in size. And it goes without saying that will become more refined and offer a new range of luxuries and technical goodies. All good things on paper but, if history is our guide, some of that classic BMW soul may be in jeopordy. To quell (or support) that concern let ‘s take closer look at what to expect from the 2 Series that will debut next spring.
The information comes courtesy of BMW super source Scott26 (or Herr 26 in BimmerFile ‘s comment section) as he discusses the current form of the next generation small BMW coupe and convertible range.
The 1 Series in any form has had it ‘s share of visual critism over the years. With the 2 Series BMW hopes to bring the car more inline with it ‘s current offerings while creating something that feels more dynamic standing still. In short exepct a sportier look from the base styling of the car. While the overall shape of the car won ‘t change (a updated bold body line and short rear deck will remain we ‘re told) it will adopt a new face that mixes some of what we ‘ve seen in the recent 328 Hommage concept and the current F20 1 Series hatch.
The rear will likely retain the L-shape of the current lights (updated just a year ago in 2011) with better defined edges that accentuate the width of the car.
Expect a revised version of the N55 to debut around the time of the launch as the 235i. Additionally we fully expect BMW M to bring it ‘s M135i to the 2 Series range (and subsequently to the US) as the M235i in both Coupe and Converible form. Shod with some visual disticintion, around 20 more hp, revised suspension and brakes, the M235i will attempt fill the void left by the now legendary 1M. A real successor to the 1M is currently being debated inside the walls of the Fitz in Munich. We should know more about that potential car later this year.
Elsewhere in the line-up the 2er willemulate the 1er in engine options with both Petrol and Diesel of Four and Six cylinders.
Several (including the M235i) will be available with xDrive.
Production should wind down at the end of the year for the current 1 Series Coupe. Around that time the new car should be shown with production starting late in Q4 or Q1 of 2013. US sales will likely begin in the spring of 2013.
Rendering courtesy of Auto Express