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1 Series - E87 (2004 - ...) - Chassis and Suspension

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Chassis and suspension
The BMW 1 Series is unique in its class with its front engine - rear drive layout offering near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, resulting in dynamic on-road capability. Unlike its competitors who transmit power and steering input through the same two wheels, the 1 Series leaves the front wheels to guide the car while the power is transmitted to the rear. This ensures improved grip and better traction under acceleration as the weight of the car transfers to the rear.
Once on the move, the rear-wheel drive 1 Series comes into its own, with the steering remaining uncorrupted and the car delivering a sports car-type driving experience. It is no coincidence that all serious racing cars are rear-wheel drive.
But sporty and dynamic handling can be compromised by weight. Thanks to the car’s svelte 1,205kgs overall weight (116i), delivered through the use of aluminium parts, the 1 Series delivers on its promises. Much of the front suspension and subframe are made of aluminium along with the axle, suspension struts and pivot bearings. At the rear, BMW’s pioneering five-link rear suspension is fitted for optimum ride quality. By replacing the traditional double wishbone arrangement with a version of the five-link set-up employed on the 5 and 6 Series, engineers have been able to subtly alter the toe-in, toe-out and camber angles for increased cornering ability.
For drivers wanting an even sportier ride, the new BMW 1 Series can be specified with sports suspension that lowers the car by a further 15mm. This not only gives the car a more aggressive stance but also adds to the performance characteristics by giving a more agile ride.
Transferring the chassis abilities and engine performance to the road is the responsibility of the car’s Run-flat tyres. The 1 Series comes as standard with 16-inch wheels and Run-flat tyres, banishing roadside tyre changes to history. For those wanting to personalise their car, a variety of optional 16 or 17-inch alloy wheel designs are available as factory-fit or dealer-fit accessories.

Engine and transmission
The new BMW 1 Series’ chassis and rear-wheel drive layout are mated to four advanced and flexible engines from launch. The entry-level car is the 115bhp petrol-powered BMW 116i with its double VANOS variable valve-timing unit. Displacing 1,596cc, this model produces 150Nm at 4,300rpm and accelerates from zero to 62mph in 10.8 seconds, achieving a top speed of 124mph. Fuel consumption is 37.7mpg.
The 150bhp BMW 120i is the larger petrol engine and features both double VANOS and VALVETRONIC variable valve control for increased engine efficiency and performance. A capacity of 1,995cc produces 200Nm of torque at 3,600rpm, a zero to 62mph time of 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 135mph. Even with these levels of performance, fuel consumption is a frugal 38.2mpg. When compared to its competitors, the 120i offers best-in-class acceleration, top speed, economy and emissions.
Two diesel engines are offered: the 122bhp 118d and the high performance 163bhp 120d. Both powerplants feature BMW’s second-generation common rail system running at pressures of 1,600bar. The 118d produces 280Nm at 2,000rpm, a zero to 62mph time of 10 seconds exactly and posts an impressive 50.4mpg. For those wanting even more performance, the 120d with its 1,995cc engine and 340Nm at a low 2,000rpm makes for smooth, low down acceleration. The 120d sprints to 62mph in 7.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of 137mph. All powerplants meet EU4 emissions standards.
Whatever the choice of engine, a precise, short throw gearshift makes for quick and effortless changes. The BMW 116i comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the BMW 120i and both diesel models have six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. The BMW 120i and the 120d can also be specified with a six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Adaptive Gearbox System and Steptronic manual gear selection.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:42  

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