November 1, 2007 Shortly before the on-sale date of the new BMW 1 Series Coupé on 24 November, BMW designers have given an insight into what an out-and-out motorsport-focussed derivative might look like. The BMW Concept 1 Series tii uses lightweight materials, optimized aerodynamics and a race-inspired interior to deliver an uncompromising focus on motorsport.
Shown at Tokyo last week, The BMW Concept 1 Series tii is the fifth concept car presented by BMW in 2007. It showcases innovative technologies but also reflects on the traditions of BMW’s compact, lightweight and sporting coupés. The Concept’s tii badging harks back to the BMW 2002tii from the 1960s and 70s – a car that set the mould for successful and dynamic two-door BMW models of recent times.
On first inspection, the most noticeable part of the car is its striking color scheme. Alpine White body panels combine with a visible carbon-fiber bonnet, black and white front-to-rear decals and blue trims to give a dynamic appearance. But the BMW Concept 1 Series tii has sporting substance to back up its bold visual appearance.
From the front, the bumper and valence have been redesigned to deliver even more air to the engine and braking system. Air flow is also enhanced through the Beemer’s trademark kidney grilles. The bonnet is constructed of carbon fiber, as are the mirror caps and inserts in the front air intakes to reduce weight and lower the center of gravity. The fins running along the carbon-fiber bonnet help the flow of air over the bonnet and are reminiscent of the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL from the 1970s.
From the side, the profile of the new BMW 1 Series Coupé is retained, but the Concept 1 Series tii features extensively remodeled side sills and a uniquely-designed 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheel finished in dark chrome. From the rear, the aerodynamic enhancements continue with a carbon-fiber boot-mounted gurney-flap rear spoiler to deliver enhanced rear down force. Weight is further reduced with the rear bumper insert also made from lightweight carbon-fiber material.
The car’s exterior colors and motorsport orientation continue inside the car. Supportive bucket seats give the highest levels of lateral support while the three-spoke sports steering wheel is covered in Alcantara with body-color white inserts. The roof lining, door linings and instrument panel are also covered in Alcantara. Ahead of the steering wheel, the instrument binnacle also reflects the motorsport intentions of the car with a white rev-counter with red needles dominating the driver’s view.
Motor and drivetrain details aren’t available – so we’ll assume they’re standard. It doesn’t look like the Concept 1 series tii will ever be raced or go to production, but the concept does perhaps reflect a slight and very quiet shift further towards racing and motorsports in the company’s production car philosophy and brand values.