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BMW slashes 1 Series Coupe price

Slashed: BMW has lowered the entry price of its 1 Series coupe range.

New 120i four-cylinder introduced as BMW lowers its 1 Series Coupe entry price

BMW logo25 Mar 2011

BMW has lowered the price of admission to Australia’s 1 Series Coupe club by more than $8000 by releasing the four-cylinder petrol-powered 120i Coupe.

Due in local showrooms alongside the rest of BMW Australia’s facelifted 1 Series Coupe range, which arrives here earlier than expected in June, the new 120i Coupe manual is priced at $47,400 as a manual and $50,400 for the automatic, plus on-road costs.

That makes the 120i Coupe, which is powered by a 115kW/200Nm 2.0-litre petrol four that features double VANOS and Valvetronic technology, some $8200 more affordable than the 125i Coupe, which opens BMW’s 1 Series Coupe range.

It also means the cheapest version of the upgraded 1 Series Coupe range will be just $1800 more expensive than the identically engined five-door 120i hatchback, which is priced at $45,600 but will be replaced in October, when BMW’s all-new 1 Series hatch model line-up goes on sale here after its global launch in July.

Apart from lacking the 125i Coupe’s 160kW/270Nm 3.0-litre inline petrol six, the new 120i Coupe also misses out on a number of the 125i Coupe’s fuel-saving BMW ‘EfficientDynamics’ technologies, including brake energy regeneration and electric power steering, and its ‘chrome line’ exterior package.

However, the 120i Coupe still comes with most of the 125i Coupe’s standard safety and equipment list, including 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats with powered backrests, Boston leather seat and steering wheel trim, cruise control, rear parking sensors, foglights, an ambient lighting package, storage compartment package, 60/40-split folding rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with USB input.

The 120i joins the 125i ($55,600), 2.0-litre diesel-powered 123d ($58,200) and 225kW/400Nm turbocharged 135i M Sport ($75,000) in BMW’s 1 Series Coupe range, which has attracted more than 2900 Australian buyers since its local launch in 2008.

14 center imageLeft: BMW 1 Series MotoGP safety car. Below: 1 Series M Coupe.

Together with its convertible sibling, which was also released here in 2008, BMW’s two-door 1 Series range has found more than 6100 Australian homes, making it the nation’s most popular sub-$80,000 sportscar with a segment share of 21.6 per cent in 2010 – well up on the Mercedes-Benz CLC, Kia Cerato Koup and Volkswagen Eos.

Of course, the new 120i Coupe is not to be confused with BMW’s flagship 1 Series M Coupe, which will top the 1 Series Coupe range in June with a price of $99,900 – $25,000 more than the 135i upon which it is based but more than $50,000 less than any other M model, with the M3 sedan currently opening the M range at $152,300.

As we have reported, BMW’s newest M coupe – only 100 of which will be made available in Australia – scores an extra 25kW of power and 50Nm of torque over the 135i Sport’s acclaimed 3.0-litre turbo six, as well as 19-inch alloys, bi-Xenon headlights, LED tail-lights, automatic climate control, a 300-Watt 10-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system, navigation with voice control, internet functionality, Bluetooth connectivity and a high-resolution 8.8-inch colour screen.

Nor should the new base 120i Coupe be mistaken for the hard-core track version of the 135i Coupe that will serve as the safety car for the 2011 MotoGP championship.

Also announced this week, the hottest 1 Series has undergone a drastic weight-saving program and wears a new carbon-fibre bonnet with large air-intakes, polycarbonate side and rear windows, a large fixed rear wing, an additional front bumper splitter and adjustable high-performance suspension.

This year’s wild new MotoGP pace car will ride on 19-inch alloys with 255/35 tyres at the front and 285/30 tyres at the rear, and also features six-piston fixed brake callipers, a roll cage, twin race bucket seats, an Alcantara-clad steering wheel, fire extinguisher and lightweight titanium race exhaust “for the benefit of the spectators”.

Due to make its local debut at Phillip Island during Australia’s round of the world motorcycle road racing championship in October, the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe Safety Car is just one of eight vehicles supplied by BMW as part of a MotoGP sponsorship deal that began in 1999.

Two BMWs – an X6 M SUV and an M3 coupe – will act as reserve safety cars for the ‘M1’ Coupe this year, in addition to the safety officer’s X5 M, an X6 ActiveHybrid for stewards, a 535i Touring medical car and two BMW safety bikes – an S1000 RR and an HP2 Sport.

BMW handed over its 2011 MotoGP fleet in Germany late last month, when BMW M GmbH director Dr Kay Segler announced the MotoGP agreement would be extended to 2016.

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