|1 Series - CS1 (2002 concept)|
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With its front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the new BMW 1 Series will appeal to customers looking for a driving experience never before offered in a compact hatchback. Early predictions are that at launch 70 per cent of purchasers will be newcomers to the BMW badge, mainly from the front-wheel drive hatchbacks offered by Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Alfa Romeo. BMW also expects owners of high-specification hatchbacks from the likes of Ford and Renault to trade up to the new 1 Series. Coupled with the fact that BMW sees a new premium executive sector developing around the 1 Series and expanding by over 80 per cent during the next 10 years, the future of the 1 Series looks very promising.
“We are very confident that with 1 Series we will offer discerning customers a unique proposition that will win them over to BMW,” explained Jim O’Donnell, managing director of BMW GB. “We haven’t developed this new model to entice MINI or 3 Series owners: we are attacking a new segment and we expect to attract a very high proportion of customers who are new to BMW. Conquesting is the name of the game and our target competitors are a broad church.”
Early indications are that the average owner will be aged between 20 to 40 years old, without children or with a very young family, who has historically not had his or her driving ambitions satisfied in this segment. The sales split between corporate and private buyers is predicted to be 45:55, with BMW expecting to tempt more women to the brand. BMW expects to sell c.5,000 cars in 2004 and c.17,000 in 2005.
BMW 1 Series owners will be assured of a rewarding long-term relationship with the three-year unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion and six-year paint warranty. The 1 Series is also the latest BMW to be offered with a Service Inclusive package. For only £500.00, cost of ownership is significantly reduced with all major maintenance and repairs for five years or 60,000 miles covered by the package that is transferable to a new owner should the car be sold within that time frame.
Residual value predictions are also strong for the 1 Series. According to Glass’s Guide, when compared to their nominated competitors (Audi A3 2.0Tdi Sport, Mercedes Benz C200Cdi Sports Coupe, VW Golf 2.0 GT TDi), the BMW 120d Sport will retain 80 per cent of its value after one year or 20,000 miles (76 / 69 / 76 respectively), 62 per cent after two years or 40,000 miles (62 / 54 / 58 respectively) and 49 per cent of its original retail value after 3 years or 60,000 miles (45 / 32 / 45 respectively). Similarly high-value residuals are predicted by CAP Monitor with 1 Series SE models commanding a three year residual figure of 49 per cent.
The design of the CS1 is characterised by an exceptional blend of elegant agility and powerful dynamism. Both of these worlds clearly express their character, without the slightest compromise. The domain of agility and pure elegance is to be found particularly where the car’s occupants enjoy the experience of living and motoring: in the avantgarde interior so “light” and carefree in design. Where the car itself is directly connected to the outside world and where it conveys its power to the road, however, elements of performance and dynamism are also demonstrated by the exterior design: The broad shoulder line, flowing side-sills and impressive wheels with extra-large and clearly visible brakes confirm the performance and endurance of the CS1 concept car.
The elegant, stretched sideline gives the CS1 a very dynamic, sleek appearance. The short overhangs front and rear so typical of BMW, in turn, as well as the striking side-sills, clearly accentuate this look.
The powerful shoulders of a dynamic athlete.
Apart from the proportions of the car, the exterior is characterised in particular by the distinct shoulder line extending all round the rear end and reminiscent of an athlete’s muscular shoulders. At the same time this line provides visible protection for the car’s occupants and leads into the delicate and fine interior where automotive design clearly expresses what lurks beneath the surface: sophisticated, state-of-the-art passive safety technology protecting the driver and his passengers.
This protective and agile character continues beneath the shoulder line. The surfaces of the doors and wings follow a flowing curve without any super-fluous gimmicks all the way to the side-sills and wheel arches. Quality of this kind reminds you of the smooth skin of a well-trained athlete revealing the contours of the muscles below.
This becomes particularly clear in the lines of the side-sills marking the bottom of the doors. Here the car’s design language is clearly visible, bearing testimony to the design destined to characterise BMW’s more sporting cars in future. Indeed, this dynamic look created by the interaction of concave and convex surfaces was to be admired for the first time on the X coupé crossover study. Now, underlining the light, purist character of the CS1, the same design language has been used very discreetly and with utmost refinement once again.