Future Cars

2008 BMW 1-series Cabriolet

Half a second. That, apparently, is the price you pay for sunshine and everlasting wind-in-the-face. BMW says the 135i cabriolet–the drop-topversion of the 135i, Munich’s 300-hp pavement inhaler–will sprint to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, half a second slower than its coupe sibling. (We’re assuming the acceleration difference is solely due to increased weight via extrachassis reinforcement on the convertible.) Fresh air is great, but it comes with a price.

Still, it’s a price a great many people will probably be willing to pay. Even with the extra weight, the 1-series convertible will probably be no different to drive than its roofed cousin. In other words, it’s likely to be fantastic, and a small blip on the data panel probably won’t do much to hurt the car’s success.

BMW’s smallest roofless sports coupe comes with a host of neat features, including an optional moonlight black top material that’s unique to the1-series. (The fabric is interwoven with fine metallic fibers, and supposedly sparkles in sunlight.) In addition, pop-up rollbars are standard, along with side curtain airbags that preactivate if a rollover is sensed.Cars equipped with a leather interior benefit from BMW’s sun reflective technology, which reduces seat surface temperature by a claimed twenty degrees Farhenheit. On top of all this, BMW claims that two golf bags will fit inthe trunk with the top down (albeit in only 8.4 cubic feet of space). The convertible will be available stateside in either 230-hp, 3.0-liter 128i guise, or 300-hp, twin-turbo 135i form. Both models utilize a version of BMW’s proven inline six.

Does the world really need a heavier, slower, windier-in-the-faceier 1-series? Probably not. But that didn’t stop the Bavarians from churning one out, and we’re willing to bet that BMW will sell every last 1-series convertible it can produce.