BMW USA has announced that the 1-Series Coupe will go on sale starting spring at 2008 at a price of less than $30.000.

"You will have the high quality you are used to in the 3 and 5 series," said Falko Rodomski, 1 series product manager. "This is not a small, cheap BMW. It is a small premium car," Rodomski said during an interview at the Frankfurt motor show.

The 1 series line sold in the United States will have just one model, a rear-drive coupe that shares some components with the 3 series. The car is about 8 inches shorter than a 3 series coupe; the wheelbase is 4 inches less than the 3 series’. The 1 series model will be assembled in Germany. Sales in Europe begin this November.

The 1 series will showcase overall vehicle performance. Two inline six-cylinder engines will be offered in the United States: the 128i model will have 230 hp while the 135i will offer 300 hp. BMW expects zero-to-60 mph acceleration at 5.1 seconds for the 135i. That model will carry a base price in the mid $30,000s, said a BMW spokesman. The 128i model will be one second slower, according to BMW.

Source: Automotive News

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