Mild Updates for 2012 BMW 1-Series Coupe and Convertible

The recent presentation of the range-topping BMW 1-Series M Coupe has been followed up by the unveiling of the regular 2012 model year 1-Series Coupe and Convertible models. There are no mechanical changes for the updated models (the 135i received the N55 twin-scroll turbo engine in Spring 2010), with BMW turning its attention on some subtle design modifications and improved aerodynamics, as well as on refinements to various controls plus new exterior paint colors, upholstery and interior trim.

New exterior design accents are limited to the reworked headlights and rear lights with LED strips, fresh styles for the 17-inch alloy and 18-inch alloy wheels and the addition of two new paint finishes, Vermilion Red and Marrakesh Brown.

BMW's designers also re-sized the vertical ventilation slits in the front apron to channel air into the wheel arches and create what they describe as an “air curtain” or aerodynamic screening effect across the face of the front wheels. The Bavarian firm claims that the change significantly reduces drag in this area.

Inside, buyers of both the coupe and convertible models will be greeted by new interior trim features and upholstery options. In addition, BMW has added a new sports leather steering wheel with shift paddles and an M leather steering wheel, again with shift paddles, to the cars' options list.

Other changes include the new markings on the DSC button in the instrument panel as the letters DSC (Dynamic Stability control) have been replaced by a new international symbol, while the light control center and the climate control panel in the center console now feature a chrome edging.

In the U.S., the 1-Series Coupe and Convertible will continue to be offered with a choice of two powertrains, a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated inline six with 230HP and 200 lb-ft of torque for the 128i, and a 3.0-liter inline-six [N55] with a twin-scroll turbocharger delivering 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, for the 135i variants.

The 135i is equipped with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox or optionally with BMW’s 7-speed Double Clutch Transmission (DCT). For the 135i Coupe, acceleration from 0-60 mph [96km/h] is accomplished with the standard 6-speed manual transmission in 5.1 seconds, while the DCT model completes the same sprint in 5.0 seconds.

A 6-speed Steptronic automatic remains optional on the 128i. With this configuration the 128i Coupe runs 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, or 6.1 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission.

The updated for the 2012 model year 1-Series Coupe and Convertible models will go on sale in the States this Spring.