BMW reinvented the hatchback segment with the release of their Series 2, the only model in the class to offer rear wheel drive and longitudinal engines. The German manufacturer has decided that the success shouldn’t stop here. Therefore they intend to produce two new vehicles based on their smallest model. Baptized Series 2, the compact coupe and cabriolet will produce the ultimate thrills in their M Power installments.
The BMW Series 1 is quite a success, but rendering a platform profitable by offering only two hatchbacks (3 and 5 doors) based on it isn’t quite easy. In order two squeeze even the last buck out that technical platform, BMW will offer a new sportier pair of models, coupe and cabriolet.
Following the traditional naming politics, the fresh sports cars will be called Series 2 (at BMW, sporty models usually use even numbers, ex: Series 6, Series 8). Along with the new body versions, a top model will be made available, prepared by the famous Motorsport department.
To be called M1, the new hot compact will shake a little bit the GTI segment, giving shivers to the likes of the Audi S3 or Honda Civic Type-R. Several speculations have been made regarding the possible power unit of the M1. Some say it will offer a brand new four cylinder turbo. Our opinion is that, in the tradition of the M department, the engine will be a naturally aspirated straight six. This is also logical as the latest M3 uses a V8, and the excellent straight six used before is currently offered only for the Z4s M.
That power unit has been for many years the best in its class and the competition doesn’t seem to come near it any soon. Some will argue that is a big engine for the Series 1, but the 130si, already offers a 3.0 l straight six. The additional space required is usually offered by the “power dome” featured on the M Models hood.
The official launch of the M1 is not expected before 2010, and the price tag for the US market is rumored to be set around $ 35,000.
Dynamism, sportiness and sophistication are the key words to define the new Audi S3, the top of the range model for the A3 series. Featuring a 265 bhp boosted version of the already known 122 cui TFSI engine (that offers only 200 bhp on the Audi A3 2.0 TFSI and Volkswagen Golf GTI) and Quattro permanent four-wheel drive the newcomer hot hatch pursues the ideal of pure driving pleasure coupled simultaneously with excellent everyday practicality - like all Audi S models.
The new Audi S3 is set to redefine the standards of the premium compact class – at the level of a sports car. It sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and halts acceleration only when reaching 155 mph. Aggressively hard-hitting, free-revving and with a sonorous acoustic profile, the powerful 122 cui, turbocharged four-cylinder unit with TFSI petrol direct injection proves to be a smooth, high-performance engine.
The 265 bhp are transmitted by the six-speed gearbox and Quattro permanent four-wheel drive to 18-inch diameter large alloy wheels. The ride is further enhanced by the new S sports suspension system that enables an extremely sporty driving style combined with the ultimate in comfort. This new high performance compact model responds actively to steering movements, exhibits precise and safe handling characteristics and, thanks to Quattro technology, enables maximum acceleration out of bends.
Subaru unveiled the all-new Impreza WRX in April at the New York International Auto Show. With new, more sophisticated styling and two new body styles, a 4-door sedan and a 5-door model, the Impreza WRX breathes new life into the compact performance market. The new Impreza models take a giant leap forward in terms of comfort and utility, while delivering the handling, performance and Subaru Symmetrical AWD that made the original Impreza such a success.
The new WRX is powered by a 2.5-liter flat-four Boxer engine delivering 224 horsepower and 226 Lb.-ft. of torque and is 50 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. The engine has been modified to produce more torque at lower rpm. With its broader and richer torque curve, the 2008 WRX delivers a smooth stream of power, improving drivability and fuel efficiency.
2.5-liter and 2.5-liter turbocharged flat fours have been modified to improve both emissions and fuel efficiency while maintaining the same high performance standards delivered by the current Impreza and Impreza WRX. Modified torque curves on the both engines are tuned for improved low-rpm acceleration and improved drivability.
The 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four Boxer engine in the WRX delivers its maximum torque and horsepower earlier than the previous model, with 224 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2,800 rpm, a full 800 rpm earlier than the previous generation WRX. Low end torque and fuel efficiency was improved through the addition of a new intake manifold, intercooler and turbocharger.