8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

BMW's latest Ones go two-door

2012-09-23 18:15

1 SERIES GOES TWO-DOOR: BMW SA has launched the new two-door version of its sporty 1 Series - three engines, lots of models. You could call it an 'affordable' sports car...

BMW SA has announced the arrival of three four-cylinder versions of its ultra-sporty two-door hatchback 1 Series - a 1.6 and a two-litre - and the mighty M135i with a 235kW straight-six engine.

Prices range from R265 500 to R465 600 with power outputs of 100kW/220Nm (116i), 160kW/310Nm (125i) and a tar-streaking 235kW/450Nm from the M model, each driving through a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic auto gearbox with an R18 000 premium for the auto on the first two and R20 100 on the M.

Those are the base prices: the extensive options menu will make the prices soar.


BMW describes the shell as "unmistakeable" and the cars will certainly be on the shopping lists of younger buyers, especially with their twin-scroll turbos.

The cars are rear-wheel drive - unique in the segment – and the three-litre M135i is described as “a top-ranking vehicle thanks to its straight-six petrol engine with M Performance technology, M precision-engineered and high-performance chassis and optimised aerodynamics" carrying an exclusive cabin design and the passenger doors have frameless windows.


Fuel-saving stop/start is available across the range which, apart from the M car, will come in a choice of standard, Sport Line, Urban or M Sport spec and the EfficientDynamics technology package incorporates EcoPro, invoked through what BMW calls a Driving Experience Control button.

The two-door is described as having increased agility and driving comfort over the previous model as well as a more spacious cabin and the rear seats can be set for two or three people. BMW says: "The exclusive look and feel of the interior, the wide range of standard features as well as many optional driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive mobility services underscore its premium status and progressive character."


The cabin is set behind an elongated engine bay and the package rides on a long wheelbase with short overhangs; "...its own young and sporty design giving the compact two doors-and-a-hatch model having an individual personality of its own".

The extra cabin space comes through "intelligently expanding the exterior dimensions and proportions". The car is 4.324m long (85mm extra) with its wheelbase of 2.69m extended by 30mm. Overall width is 1.765mm (+17mm) but overall height remains 1.421m. The track has been extended (front: +51mm, rear +72mm) and there is 21mm more rear legroom.

The boot volume has increased from 330 to 360 litres (1200 litres with the rear seats folded) and the upper edge of each dual round headlight cluster is hooded by accentuating trim and with diode accent lighting if optional bi-xenon lights are specified.

The tail lights are surrounded by a three-dimensional bezel and, on the bi-xenon version, with L-shaped identifying light banks. There’s a third brake light in the roof spoiler.


All interior elements, BMW says, are of premium materials and the instrument panel, centre console and door panels have a layering that dominates the look and feel of the interior. Each unit ordered with satnav and a BMW Professional audio system will also have the improved iDrive control system with a free-standing flat-screen monitor measuring 16.5 or 22.5cm, depending on choice.

A selection of three non-metallic colours and eight metallic paint finishes are offered along with one non-metallic and five metallic colours for the M135i. Leather upholstery and sports seats are further options. Buyers wanting to personalise even further can select one of the BMW 'Line' packages which, the automaker says, “include exclusive design and equipment features that intensify the sporty or progressive character of the new compact model”.

The Sport Line has glossy black elements: the grille slats, the strut and the bezels for the inlet vents, and the rear bumper. Other options include 16” alloy-spoked or 17” bi-colour rims, black trim for the exhaust and aluminium finishers on the door sills with 'BMW Sport' logos.


The Urban Line has chromed grille slats with white sides and a white strut across the front centre air-intake and the bezels for the front inlet vents at each side are finished in the colour of the vehicle. There are also 16” V-spoked or 17” rims with a white gloss finish and door sills with 'BMW Urban' logos. Interior trim includes innovative acrylic glass.

As with the Sport Line, mood lighting is offered.

The M135i two-door is also highly individualised. The front apron has larger air-intakes for extra cooling, its brakes are described as "oversized" and nestle in 18” M-style alloy double-spoked rims; there’s M135i lettering on this model's sills, an M leather steering-wheel with multifunction buttons and blue accent stitching, M driver left footrest and the speedo and tacho have red "chronoscales". The colour of the interior lighting is variable.

And so to the meat of the matter – the engines...

A high-revving 2979cc straight-six petrol engine with M Performance’s twin-scroll turbo capable of 235kW at 5800rpm and 450Nm available from 1250 to 5000rpm drives the six-speed manual M135i to 100km/h in 5.1sec (4.9 for the eight-speed auto) and on to a limited 250km/h with an EU test cycle average fuel consumption of eight (7.5 for the auto) litres/100km.

The auto box is a sport unit with gearshift paddles adjacent to the steering wheel.


The two four-cylinder petrol engines (1598cc and 1997cc) immediately available also have TwinPower turbo technology producing 100kW/220Nm and  160kW/310Nm and featuring EfficientDynamics technology. The two-litre will reach 100km/h in 6.4sec (6.2 auto) and 245km/h and the 1.6i in 8.5 (8.7 auto) and 210km/h. Claimed fuel average fuel consumption is 6.6/100 for the two-litre and 5.6 for the 1.6.

BMW ConnectedDrive links the car to the world, optimises the level of comfort and safety and "enhances the vehicle's infotainment capabilities". The range of systems available includes auto high beam, adaptive headlights, parking assistance, rear-view camera, lane-departure and collision warnings, cruise control (with braking) and speed-limit info.

iPhone and other smart phones can talk to it with unrestricted internet access through an embedded sim card; iPhones can bring in radio stations and talk to Facebook and Twitter.

The (optional) 12-gig satnav hard disc can hold a personal music collection and there’s a DVD changer, digital audio broadcasting receiver and a Harman Kardon hi-fi consisting of a 360W digital amplifier and 12 speakers.

More on the 2012 BMW 1 Series 2-door


116i - R265 500
116 i a/t - R283 500
125i - R336 000
125i a/t - R354 000

M135i - R445 500
M135i a/t - R465 600

Sport Line
116i - R283 000
116i a/t - R301 000
125i - R354 400
125i a/t - R372 400

Urban Line
116i - R279 700
116i a/t - R297 700
125i - R352 800
125i a/t - R370 800

M-Sport Line
116i - R299 500
116i a/t - R317 500
125i - R360 100
125i a/t - R378 100

Read more on:    bmw  |  launch  |  2012

Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.