BMW has announced a series of minor running changes to the 1 Series Coupes and Convertibles sold in the North American market. This should be the last freshening of the model before the E82/E88 models are replaced by the F20 variants for the 2013 model year.
The big change of note is the use of the ‘air curtain’ front bumper on the 128i models. The ‘air curtain’ is an aerodynamic aid that diverts air from the front bumper, speeds the flow of air up, and exhausts it around the front wheel/tire assembly. That provides a curtain of air that masks the turbulent air created by the motion of the tire/wheel from interfering with the flow of air across the side of the vehicle.
In addition there is an optional ‘aero’ wheel available for the 128i. There should be some positive impact to highway fuel economy but none was noted in the press release. So the 128i picks up a functional aerodynamic aid that appeared initially on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept car and was then announced to be included on the production 1 Series M.
A new interior trim color, Gloss White, has been added and is said to provide a ‘sporty and fresh look’ according to the press release. It would be interesting to see what the take rate is for that trim option on car colors other than Alpine White.
There are visual changes to the front and rear fascias but beyond the new 1 Series M’s addition to the lineup, there should be no other significant changes to the 1er until the F20 cars are on sale.