Car reviews - BMW - 1 Series - Coupe range
Better packaged than the hatch, the sharp 1 Series Coupe is more than a modern 2002
18 Apr 2008
By LUC BRITTEN
WE CAN understand the sceptics out there who sum up the new BMW 1 Series Coupe as just a cynical extension of the gifted but still patchy hatch that begat it. But this is not quite the same car to look at, sit inside, or drive. Far from feeling constrained by its rear-wheel drive BMW bits like the hatch is when compared to cheaper rivals, the Coupe soars with them, from the strong and smooth six-cylinder engine applications to the a design and philosophy that – for many fans of the marque – has been absent from the company’s mainstream line-up since the E30 3 Series grew up in the early 1990s. And sure enough, calling the E92 Coupe a modern 2002 is probably selling the resolutely forward-looking 125i and 135i Sport well short.
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E30 325i coupeReleased: 1988
Family Tree: 1 Series
BMW’s second-generation 3 Series certainly captured the zeitgeist of the go-go 1980s, rapidly rising up the image tree quicker than a greedy New York stock broker. With its crisp three-box styling, beautifully solid interior, agile steering and quick handling (too quick for some, as the simple rear suspension proved), the rear-wheel drive sedan in two or four-door guises soon became a keen driver’s favourite – especially models fitted with one of the smooth and revvy in-line six-cylinder engines. The flagship for Australia was the 325i from 1988, using a 126kW 2.5-litre unit mated to a four-speed auto or five-speed manual. Equipment included ABS, air-conditioning, alloy wheels and central locking. When released in January 1988, this car cost $70,100 new – or just $1300 under its 2008 135i Sport Coupe equivalent.
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