After failing in their first attempt to introduce a model smaller than the 3-Series, BMW successfully introduced the both the 128i and 135i to American soil in 2008. Since then, the 1-Series has been able to collect a substantial fan-base, thanks in large part to the sporty 135i. Now, BMW is planning on expanding even more on the 1-Series lineup, both by improving performance and fuel economy.
The current generation of 135i packs the award winning 3.0 liter Twin Turbo Inline-6 engine. When pushed to redline, it produces 300 horsepower and an equal amount of torque. Thanks to the highly efficient twin-turbine setup, peak torque is available from around 1500rpm, all the way up past 6000rpm. While this is great for those who enjoy a more spirited driving style, it also means that the engine can accomplish the same task while doing less work.
For the 2011 model year, BMW has decided to change a few things on the already popular powerplant. The first and most noticeable change will be the use of a twin scroll single turbo unit, which BMW promised will not affect performance. The Bavarian Automaker has also included their Valvetronic timing system. In doing so, BMW was able to provide a slight increase in fuel economy, as well as reduce the overall emissions coming from the inline-6.
Along with the introduction of the new single turbo engine, BMW has also used the 1-Series as the platform for the ActiveE concept vehicle. The all electric concept, introduced last week during the North American International Auto Show, uses a 125kilowatt motor powered by a liquid cooled Lithium Ion battery stack. A full charge takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours and provides a range just shy of 100 miles.
The somewhat limited range is likely due to the nearly 4000lb curb weight of the ActiveE. It would also explain why the concept will take about 9 seconds to jaunt to 60mph.
Interestingly enough, the engineers at BMW decided to electronically limit to top speed of the electric 1-Series to 90mph. There has been no official word on why this specific speed was selected, or if the ActiveE will make it to a fleet test at all.Auto Blog Green