Concept-BMW Concept 1 Series tii Preview
By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
- A design study hinting at a possible future 1 Series model
- Optimized aerodynamics aid high-speed stability
- Lightweight carbon fiber components
- Motorsport-themed interior appointments
- Special BMW color scheme
It has been more than three decades since the last BMW "tii" model made an appearance. That car, the 2002tii, combined a lightweight and capable chassis with a fuel-injected 130-hp engine. Often credited with starting the compact sport sedan craze, the BMW 2002tii was an instant success and its popularity is still celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide.
BMW chose the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show to introduce the Concept 1 Series tii. With the 1 Series holding the slot as BMW's smallest sedan chassis, it appears to revive the same winning chassis/engine formula as the original 2002tii. However, BMW notes this is strictly a design study: Engine information was not discussed. (Enthusiasts will note that BMW's 300-hp twin-turbo engine is already offered in the 1 Series.)
According to BMW, the Concept 1 Series tii is a design study with an uncompromising focus on motorsport. It is a young interpretation of classic BMW brand values following the tradition of BMW's compact, light, and extremely sporting coupes. The design study is intended to raise the focus on the pure driving pleasure already associated with the BMW 1 Series Coupe.
To reduce vehicle weight, the BMW Concept 1 Series tii features a hood, exterior mirrors, and front intake made of composite carbon fiber components. For better aerodynamics, small fins along each side of the engine compartment channel the flow of air, while a rear deck lid spoiler (gurney flap) reduces vehicle lift at speed. Emphasizing the sporty nature of the concept, a prominent racing stripe in contrasting color flows from the front of the hood, over the roof, and across the rear deck lid. Twin exhaust pipes exit from the left underside of the rear valance.
The interior of the Concept 1 Series tii continues the motorsport theme. Twin sports-bucket seats with integrated headrests and side air bags hold the driver and passenger in place. A thick 3-point steering wheel and shift knob, both wrapped in Alcantara cloth, are the driver's interface. BMW notes that the use of dark Alcantara fabrics throughout the cabin serves to reduce reflections and glare, and accentuates the driver-oriented design and configuration of the cockpit. The instrument panel has been revised to feature a white tachometer, in contrast to the dark speedometer. The speed of the engine is often more important information to the race driver than the speed of the vehicle, and the color contrast makes scanning the gauges easier and quicker.
While BMW did not release mechanical details, it is hard not to look down within the thin-spoke alloy wheels. Plainly in view, and painted BMW-blue, are performance-oriented 6-piston brake calipers wrapped around drilled and slotted brake rotors. Is this a simple design study, or a hint at the reincarnation of a modern 2002tii? BMW may be holding the line on specifics, but enthusiasts are seeing the future.