Despite the deluge of Japanese concepts shown at the Tokyo Motor Show – after all, it is their home turf. BMW is clearly not intimidated, and has unveiled a rather hot little concept of its own, the BMW Concept 1-Series tii
Based on the 1-Series Coupé, the new concept brings about an unmistakable sportiness to the eagerly anticipated two-door from the manufacturer of Munich’s finest. The key was to incorporate the traditional features and characteristics of past BMW sports and Motorsport cars, such as the iconic 2002tii.
BMW’s coupés had tremendous success on both the road and track in the 1960s and 1970s, due to the all-important balance of mixing a compact body with a low kerb weight that is balanced front and rear, powerful engines and rear-wheel drive. BMW has applied all these principles to the Concept 1-Series tii, to produce a vehicle that is light, agile and powerful.
A number of select components on the BMW Concept 1-Series tii are made of CFP (carbon-fibre reinforced plastic) to ensure an optimum balance of axle load – namely, the bonnet, mirror caps, gurney flap on the boot lid and the inlays on the air intakes in the front spoiler. The dark surface of the bonnet reduces the reflection of sunlight, thus promoting driver concentration. The white sunglare strip at the top of the windscreen serves the same purpose.
Besides the CFP components involved in making the vehicle lighter, aerodynamic efficiency was another key factor in the tii’s design. The front air dam has been fitted with “air splitters” on both sides for a specific amount of airflow into the air intakes and the rest to flow under the car. There are also fins on the outer edges of the bonnet to further enhance aerodynamic qualities and driving stability at high speeds – proven on the 3,0-litre CSL of the late 1970s.
Once an untouchable mark of a BMW, the kidney grille has also been restyled, discarding the bars of the inside of each ‘kidney’. The cooling air now enters via a wide honeycomb grille. Further distinguishing this concept from production versions are the dark trim bars on the headlamps. The BMW Concept 1-Series tii rides on 18-inch light-alloy rims in multi-spoke design and a dark chrome colour scheme.
The interior design follows the strong motorsport theme of the exterior, with features such as black alcantara trim on the facia and most of the interior, the attention-grabbing white face of the tachometer, thick-rimmed steering wheel and sports bucket seats finished in a tasteful mix of alcantara and leather.
Sadly, the BMW Concept 1-Series tii will remain a once-off design study . The possibilities are endless though – what would this agile little car be capable of if equipped with say … a twin-turbocharged 3,0-litre six cylinder?…talk about motoring Nirvana!
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