BMW 1 Series (E81)

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BMW 1 Series
Manufacturer BMW
Production 2004–2011 (E87)
2007– (E81)
2007– (E82)
2007– (E88)
Assembly Leipzig, Germany
Regensburg, Germany
Predecessor BMW Compact
Class Small family car
Body style 2-door coupe (E82)
2-door convertible (E88)
3-door hatchback (E81)
5-door hatchback (E87)
Layout FR layout

The BMW 1 Series (E81/E87 and E82/E88 models) is an entry level sports car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is unusual in its class as it features rear-wheel drive, 50:50[1] weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension. It is currently BMW's second best-selling automobile worldwide, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the total sales in 2008.[2]



The 1 Series was launched globally in Autumn 2004 and shares many structural, chassis, powertrain, hardware and electronic elements with the larger 3 Series. The model was started to provide a lower point of entry into the BMW range as the 3 Series moved gradually up-market. Initially launched as a five-door hatchback, a three-door version was also launched in July 2007. The 1 Series is priced between the MINI and the current E90 3 Series. Because the coupe is the only rear wheel drive vehicle in its class, it is often consideredTemplate:Who the successor to the BMW 2002.

The 1 Series coupe (E82) and convertible (E88) went on sale in the United States and Canada in model year 2008 (30 June 2007)[3] as the 128i and the 135i. Other countries received the 120i and 125i in both platforms. The convertible, unlike the 3 Series convertible, uses a soft-top instead of a folding hardtop. This is lighter, cheaper to manufacture and preserves more trunk space than the folding hardtop would allow.

File:2008-2010 BMW 120i (E88) convertible (2011-11-08) 01.jpg
Pre-facelift BMW 120i (E88) convertible, Australia

The North American introduction of the coupe and cabriolet was during the second quarter of 2008, which was credited for helping BMW overtake Lexus as the top luxury brand.[4][5]

Unlike its predecessor, the new vehicle is built on its own platform (E87);Template:Citation needed however, it shares many components with the E90 3 Series. Shared parts include MacPherson struts in the front of the car and a trapezoidal-link rear axle. BMW has stated that it shares over 60% of components with the current E90 BMW 3 Series.[6]

The 135i comes with the world's first differential with double-helical ball bearings which have the advantage of running at an even lower operating temperature reached more quickly than before thanks to the reduction of fluid required in the differential.[7] The 123d (150 kW (204 PS; 201 hp)) heads up the range of diesels.

Rumoured origins

In 1996, BMW owned the Rover Group, and was preparing a new car that would replace their Rover 200 and 400 ranges, called Project R30, developed jointly with Project R50 and R40, that would become, respectively, the New Mini and the Rover 75.[8] The new model, which would have been badged as the Rover 55, was planned to be built in the Longbridge plant alongside the New Mini, and BMW were granted a £152 million subsidy by the British government to refurbish the plant.[8]

In 2000, development was close to completion, but after BMW sold the Rover Group, the project's rights were taken by BMW, which stopped the project and kept the only working prototype in their headquarters of Munich.[8] Although BMW tried to sell the project's rights, first to MG Rover and later to a number of Chinese car manufacturers, the model never entered production.[8]

It has been rumoured that the Rover R30 was finished by BMW and transformed into the BMW 1-Series.[8] However, BMW have stated that the 1-Series is unrelated to the R30, and was developed alongside the E90 3-Series.[9]

Body types

3/5 door hatchback (E81/87)

The 1 Series was originally sold as a five-door hatchback, with range of straight four- and six-cylinder engines mated with five- or six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmissions. It replaced the BMW 3 Series Compact range as the smallest and most affordable vehicle (depending on the engine model) in the BMW range.

Coupé/Convertible (E82/E88)

Like the three- and five-door BMW 1 Series models, the E82 also features a combination of equipment, marketed by BMW as EfficientDynamics, to reduce fuel consumption (see below). The Coupé is 133 mm (5.2 in) longer than the hatch, creating 20 litres (0.71 cubic feet) of extra boot space, but 220 mm (8.7 in) shorter than the 3-series Coupé. The published unladen weights (EU) of the 120d, 123d and 135i Coupés' are 1,450 kg (3,200 lb), 1,495 kg (3,300 lb), and 1,560 kg (3,400 lb), respectively. This is similar to an E46 3-series or an E34 5-series. The 1 Series Coupé (E82) was unveiled in Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) 2007, which went on sale on November 24, 2007. The 1-Series Cabriolet uses a fabric top, to differentiate it further from the now steel-roofed 3-series convertible E93.

BMW 1 Series (E81) 3-door hatchback, Europe  
Facelift BMW 120i (E87) 5-door hatchback, Australia  
Pre-facelift BMW 123d (E82) coupe, Europe  
Pre-facelift BMW 120i (E88) convertible, Australia  



In 2007 the 1 Series gained a facelift along with the introduction of a three-door hatchback, coupe and convertible body styles. Engines were upgraded and more fuel efficient, along with new bumpers and other exterior and interior updates.[10]


In 2011, the coupé and cabriolet bodies gained a facelift. Exterior changes to the model were minor headlight and taillight revisions, new front/rear bumpers and minor revisions to the interior. The only new engine was the N55 which replaced the N54 twin-turbo, with power and torque output remaining the same. Even though many engines are same, the facelifted 1 Series fuel consumption is slightly higher in some models such as the 123d, and slightly lower in some models such as the 120i.[11]

M Coupé

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé is a high-performance version of the BMW 1 Series Coupe, developed by BMW's motorsport branch BMW M. It is currently the smallest and least expensive M model available. The name was chosen to avoid confusion with the original BMW M1.

BMW M Boss Dr. Kay Segler officially announced the making of the M variant of the BMW 1-Series Coupé on July 9, 2010, via an official YouTube video and press release.[12] On December 9 2010, BMW officially announced all details on the car exclusively on the internet.[13]

Unlike other M models (like the M3 and M5) which use M-derived engines named Sxx, the 1 Series M Coupé uses a M-tuned, twin turbocharged version of the N54engine, as found in the 335is and Z4sDrive35is. Still a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine with direct injection, it produces 335 hp (250 kW) at 5900 rpm and 332 lb·ft (450 N·m) torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm (with +369 lb·ft (500 N·m) overboost). The redline is 7,000 rpm. Official 0-60 mph time is 4.7 seconds, quarter mile (~400 m) in 13.2 seconds.

  1. REDIRECT Template:Citation needed The car is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h) top speed. There is an M Drive button that activates a quicker throttle response program. The sole available gearbox is a six-speed manual transmission with an M gearshift knob, dry sump lubrication system, and 3.15:1 final drive ratio.

The body on the BMW 1 Series M Coupé has been modified as well, giving the car a significantly wider track and bigger body, as well as a body kit to distinguish it from the standard 1 Series. Despite the car's larger size, it is 77 lb (35 kg) lighter, giving it a weight of 3,296 lb (1,495 kg).[14]

The 1 Series M Coupé is available in Valencia Orange and Black Sapphire colors, both metallic. Only non-metallic color available is Alpine White. All 1 M Coupe comes with Y-Spoke Style 359M alloy wheels.

BMW was originally going to release the E82 1M Coupé as a limited edition model of approximately 2,700 units. Then due to positive response, the company lifted the cap and to produce as many E82 1M Coupés as they could until production ended in Spring of 2012, but then again decided end production of the 1 M coupe in December of 2011 bringing to total amount in the US to around 1,000 units and about 2,700 total in the world.[15]

The 1M was featured on Top Gear on 26 June 2011 and recorded a time of 1:25.0 round the Top Gear test track (the fastest M series BMW so far[16]) and also beat the Porsche Cayman R and Lotus Evora S in a drag race. The 1M was met with favourable reviews with Jeremy Clarkson likening it to the original Volkswagen Golf GTI.[17][18]


The 1 Series Coupé was marketed in the US as a spiritual successor to the BMW 2002, a two-door from the 1970s known for its light weight and high level of performance (relative to the era). It was visually distinctive with its long bonnet, slim cabin and short rear.[19][20]

In the 1-series hatchback commercial, Kermit the Frog was shown driving a BMW 1 Series around in a desert making figure eights, showcasing the car's agile nature and playful handling.[21]

BMW is showing a 3-episode web movie [1] promo (filmed in Hamburg with a New York cast) that looks almost like a film noir and feels more like a mini–TV movie or film, with the main focus on the actors and more subtle appearances of the car itself. These episodes were made for viewing in Japanese movie theaters.

BMW recently released a viral campaign to promote the BMW 1 Series. The campaign centered on an online video 'mockumentary' called Rampenfest that chronicles the adventures of a small Bavarian town attempting to use a giant ramp to literally launch the new BMW from Germany to the U.S.[22]

Jeremy Clarkson, and other journalists raised a number of other complaints about the 1-series which were or are aesthetic, and have influenced sales demographics. At varying times, the 1-series has been described as having 'Bread-van' looks, or as a 'Shameless attempt by BMW to sell a badge rather than a car'.Template:Citation needed Clarkson in particular had described the average BMW 1-series owner as receiving the following assessment from his next door neighbours: 'Hmm, that’s an expensive car. He must be off his rocker.'[23] Clarkson went so far as to end his review for the Sunday Times with 'The 1-series is crap.'[23]

Critical response has dramatically changed in recent years with the introduction of the coupe and convertible model - which have been described as 'returning BMW to its roots', and the 135i has been described as the spiritual successor of the original E30 M3 of the 1980s. Clarkson himself awarded the 2008 model five stars, and had the following to say: 'The 135 coupé is the best car BMW makes.'[24] Generally, the 1 Series coupé is more popular with critics and fans than the hatchback model.Template:Citation needed

The BMW 118d, which is not sold in North America, won the prestigious 'World Green Car Award' in 2008 being the only performance oriented car with CO2 emissions and fuel consumption comparable to Toyota Prius.[25]


The racing version of 120d is called BMW 120d Motorsport.[26] The inline-four engine was rated 245 PS (180 kW; 242 hp)@4200rpm and 450 N·m (330 lb·ft)@3000rpm with 5000rpm redline. It weighs only 1,135 kg (2,500 lb) with a driver. It includes a 100 litres (26 US gal; 22 imp gal) diesel tank.

In 2006, a BMW 120d modified with a BMW customer racing kit available for €95,000,[27] entered by "Schubert Motors" repeated a similar if not better result. It scored 5th in a field of 220 cars, many of them (Porsche 911 GT3, BMW M3, Lamborghini Gallardo, Aston Martin, Maserati) were much more powerful than the 120d Motorsport, thus a significantly stronger field of competitors than in 1998.


Body styles

Chassis code E81 E82 E87 E88
Body type 3-door hatchback Coupé 5-door hatchback Cabriolet
Model Years
116i 2007- - 2004- -
118i 2007- - 2004- 2008-
120i 2007- 2009- 2004- 2007-
125i - 2008- - 2008-
128i - 2008- - 2008-
130i 2007- - 2005- -
135i - 2007- - 2007-
116d 2009- - 2009 -
118d 2007- 2009- 2004- 2008-
120d 2007- 2007- 2004- 2008-
123d 2007- 2007- 2007- 2008-


According to the BMW website[28] the 135i Coupé accelerates from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.3 seconds, however Car and Driver magazine recorded 4.7 seconds for 0-60 mph acceleration, and a quarter mile time of 13.3 seconds at 106 mph (171 km/h).[29] Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Fuel efficiency is increased to 30.7 mpg-US (7.66 L/100 km; 36.9 mpg-imp), an improvement of 18% compared to its predecessor.[30]

The engines below are preceded by their model year introduction.

In early 2006 the 5-speed manual transmission in the 116i and 118i was phased out in favor of the 6-speed gearbox available across the rest of the range. From 2011, 135i model is available with 7 speed DCT gearbox.

Model[31] Year Engine code Engine type Power Torque Acceleration
0–100 km/h
Top speed Body Styles
Gasoline engines
116i 2004–2007 N45B16 1,596 cc (97 cu in) I4 16v 85 kW (114 hp) 150 N·m (110 ft·lbf) 10.9 s (MT) 200 km/h (124 mph) (MT) E87
2007-2009 N43B16 1,599 cc (98 cu in) I4 16v[32] 90 kW (120 hp) 160 N·m (120 ft·lbf) 10.1 s (MT)
11.1 s (AT)
204 km/h (127 mph) (MT)
202 km/h (126 mph) (AT)
E87; E81
2009– N43B20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 16v 90 kW (120 hp) 185 N·m (136 ft·lbf) 9.9 s (MT) 204 km/h (127 mph) (MT) E87; E81
118i 2005–2007 N46B20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 16v 95 kW (127 hp) 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) 9.4 s (MT)
10.1 s (AT)
208 km/h (129 mph) (MT)
204 km/h (127 mph) (AT)
2007– N43B20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 16v [32] 105 kW (141 hp) 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) 8.7 s (MT)
9.3 s (AT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (MT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (AT)
E87; E81; E88
120i 2004–2007 N46B20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 16v 110 kW (150 hp) 200 N·m (150 lb·ft) 7.9 s (MT)
9.3 s (AT)
212 km/h (132 mph) (MT)
208 km/h (129 mph) (AT)
2007– N43B20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 16v[32] 130 kW (170 hp) 210 N·m (150 lb·ft) 7.7 s (MT)
8.3 s (AT)
224 km/h (139 mph) (MT)
222 km/h (138 mph) (AT)
E87; E81; E82; E88
125i 2008– N52B30 2,996 cc (183 cu in) I6 24v 160 kW (210 hp) 270 N·m (200 lb·ft) 6.4 s (MT)
7.0 s (AT)
245 km/h (152 mph) (MT)
243 km/h (151 mph) (AT)
E88; E82
128i 2008– N52B30 2,996 cc (183 cu in) I6 24v 170 kW (230 hp) 271 N·m (200 lb·ft) 5.7 s (MT)[33]
6.4 s (AT)
209.2 km/h (130 mph) (MT/AT)
241.4 km/h (150 mph) (MT/AT)(with Sport Package)
E88; E82
2008– N51B30 SULEV 2,996 cc (183 cu in) I6 24v 170 kW (230 hp) 271 N·m (200 lb·ft) 5.7 s (MT)[33]
6.4 s (AT)
209.2 km/h (130 mph) (MT/AT)
241.4 km/h (150 mph) (MT/AT)(with Sport Package)
E88; E82
130i 2006–2009 N52B30 2,996 cc (183 cu in) I6 24v 195 kW (261 hp) 315 N·m (232 lb·ft) 5.5 s (MT)
6.3 s (AT)
250 km/h (155 mph) (MT/AT) E87; E81
130i 2009– N52B30 2,996 cc (183 cu in) I6 24v 190 kW (250 hp) 310 N·m (230 lb·ft) 5.5 s (MT)
6.3 s (AT)
250 km/h (155 mph) (MT/AT) E87; E81
135i 2008–2010[34] N54B30 2,979 cc (182 cu in) I6 24v twin turbo 225 kW (302 hp) 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) 4.8 s (MT)
4.7 s (AT)[35]
250 km/h (155 mph) (MT/AT) E88; E82
2011– [36] N55B30 2,979 cc (182 cu in) I6 24v turbo 225 kW (302 hp) 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) 4.6 s (DCT)
250 km/h (155.3 mph)[28] (MT/AT) E88; E82
Diesel engines
116d 2009– N47D20A - N47D20C 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 85 kW (114 hp) 260 N·m (190 lb·ft) 10.3 s (MT) 201 km/h (125 mph) (MT) E87; E81
118d 2004–2007 M47TU2D20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 90 kW (120 hp) 280 N·m (210 lb·ft) 10.0 s (MT) 201 km/h (125 mph) (MT) E87
2007– N47D20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 105 kW (141 hp) 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) 8.9 s (MT)
9.0 s (AT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (MT)
210 km/h (130 mph) (AT)
E87; E81; E82; E88
120d 2004–2007 M47TU2D20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 120 kW (160 hp) 340 N·m (250 lb·ft) 7.9 s (MT)
8.2 s (AT)
220 km/h (140 mph) (MT)
217 km/h (135 mph) (AT)
2007– N47D20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 130 kW (170 hp) 350 N·m (260 lb·ft) 7.5 s (MT)
7.7 s (AT)
228 km/h (142 mph) (MT)
226 km/h (140 mph) (AT)
E87; E81; E82; E88
123d 2007– N47D20 1,995 cc (122 cu in) I4 150 kW (200 hp) 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) 7.0 s (MT) 238 km/h (148 mph) (MT) E87; E81; E82; E88


The 1 Series is built in Regensburg and Leipzig, Germany.

During its first full year on the market in 2005, it became one of BMW's most successful products with only the 3 and 5 Series selling better.

Sales statistics according to BMW's annual reports:

Year Total 5-door 3-door Coupé Cabriolet Note
2004 39,247 39,247 - - - Launched in September.
2005 149,493 149,493 - - -
2006 151,918 151,918 - - -
2007 165,803 133,525 30,984 1,287 7 Facelift in March. 3-door version launched in May.
2008 225,095 122,666 49,559 26,304 26,566
2009 216,944 120,323 44,043 24,081 28,506


Template:Commons category

  1. Interone Worldwide GmbH (2008-06-17). "BMW 1 Series Coupé : 50:50 weight distribution". Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  3. Kable, Greg. "2008 BMW 1 Series Coupé - AutoWeek Magazine". Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  4. "BMW Threatens Lexus as Top-Selling U.S. Luxury Brand (Update2)". 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  5. Sabatini, Jeff (2008-08-08). "The Driver's Seat: Hyundai Genesis -". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  6. "BMW". 2003. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  7. "2008 BMW 135i - Fast Cars, Cool Cars and Hot Cars at". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "Austin Rover Online - Rover R30". Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  9. "BMW 1-series: the full story". Autocar. 29 March 2004. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  10. Interone Worldwide GmbH (2008-06-17). "2007 tech details". Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  11. Interone Worldwide GmbH (2008-06-17). "2011 tech details". Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  12. "BMW 1 Series M Coupe is Official". 2010-07-08. 
  13. "BMW 1-Series M Coupe (1M) Wallpapers, Specifications, Info, Pictures, Videos, Pricing". 2010-12-09. 
  14. "BMW 1-Series M Photos and Details". 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  15. "Special Edition BMW 1M?" Jon Sibal Designworks 3 December 2010
  16. "Top Gear - Power Laps". BBC. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  17. "Archive » Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson Reviews the 1M". BimmerFile. 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  18. "Top Gear". Series 17. BBC 2. 2011-06-26. No. 1.
  19. "Frankfurt 2007: BMW 1-series in-depth" by Damon Lavrinc, Autoblog 14 September 2007
  20. "2002 in 2012: Next BMW 1-series taking retro cues, turbo'd four" by Damon Lavrinc, Autoblog 13 March 2009
  21. BMW 1-series commercial with Kermit YouTube
  22. [EXCLUSIVE: "The Ramp", A Documentary by Jeff Schultz "EXCLUSIVE: "The Ramp", A Documentary by Jeff Schultz"] Jalopnik
  23. 23.0 23.1 Clarkson, Jeremy (December 12, 2004). "BMW 1 Series: This car is taking BMW into dangerous territory". (London). Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  24. Clarkson, Jeremy (December 30, 2007). "Beemed back to the wild days of youth". (London). Retrieved 2008-11-10 (reprinted in Driven to Distraction). 
  25. Previous post Next post. "BMW 118d Wins ‘World Green Car Award’, Then Goes Back Home | Autopia". Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  26. "BMW Motorsport bietet BMW 120d für den Kundensport an". November 1, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  (German)
  27. "2006 BMW 120d Motorsport". Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 "BMW 1 Series Coupé Engine and Chassis - Tech Specs". April 1, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  29. "2008 BMW 135i - Road Test". May 1, 2008.,_it_s_how_you_use_it+page-2.html. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  30. "BMW 135i Coupe". Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  31. All data according to: Automobil Revue, catalogue editions 2006/2008.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 per BMW Heaven,com_bkbsearch/Itemid,9/func,bkbengines/mtype,N43
  33. 33.0 33.1 per Motor Trend
  34. "Further environmental awards for budget-busting BMWs".,,1156___,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  35. "Quick Test: 2008 BMW 135i". May 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  36. "2011 BMW 135i Gets N55 Single-Turbo Inline-6". Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  37. "2011 BMW 135i DCT - First Drive Review". Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
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