CARtoday.com reader Nic Retief could hardly believe his eyes when he saw disguised 1 Series, 3 Series saloon and touring cars and facelifted 7 Series vehicles being tested outside Stellenbosch.

CARtoday.com reader Nic Retief could hardly believe his eyes when he saw disguised 1 Series, 3 Series saloon and touring and a facelifted 7 Series vehicles being tested outside Stellenbosch.
Nic, a 19-year-old Management Accounting student at University of Stellenbosch, saw the convoy of vehicles parked next to the Klapmuts road and stopped to take several pictures –until he was shooed away by security guards at the scene.
“While I was travelling to Paarl I spotted about 12 cars, most of which were disguised with strategically-placed black strips of tape, outside Stellenbosch,” Nic said. “There were also two derivatives of the 6 Series at the scene - a cabriolet with its hood down and the coupé”.
Nic took pictures of the following vehicles, click on the thumbnails on the right to view the pictures in full-size.
1 Series (first four pictures)
BMW SA spokesman Clynton Yon last year told CARtoday.com that the 1 Series would be launched in South Africa “around the end of 2004”, but the range is first being given a thorough test in South African conditions ahead of its world launch later this year.
Expected to have the Volkswagen Golf V as its main competitor, the rear-wheel drive 1-Series will initially be launched as a five-door hatchback. A three-door hatchback will follow later, and a four-door saloon is also in the pipeline.
The new car, shown here with the traditional Hoffmeister kink in its C-pillar, shares more than 40 per cent of its components with the upcoming 3 Series, including its MacPherson strut (front) and trapezoidal link (rear) suspension, as well as its axle assemblies, braking system and wiring harness.
The range will be powered by two different versions of the familiar 1,8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Theoretically, the engine should produce 78 kW in 116i and 89 kW in 118i guise.
Also planned are two versions of a two-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine. BMW sources say it will produce 86 kW in the 118d and 112 kW in the 120d. A sporty 120i model fitted with a 160 kW four-cylinder turbo will join the line-up later, sources say.
All models get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although the Sequential Manual Gearbox nudge-shift and a six-speed auto will be optional.

Click here to read about the upcoming BMW 3- and 7 Series

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