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BMW tii models are go

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By Georg Kacher

Motor Industry

02 April 2008 17:06

BMW chief Norbert Reithofer has confirmed to CAR Online that a range of tii performance options will be launched soon on the company's smaller models. He has finally ruled out a rumoured M1 version of the 1-series and said the tii spec would be the most performance-oriented model, claiming the the twin-turbo 135i was quite fast enough (it does 0-62mph in 5.3sec, after all).

The tii concept shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show points accurately to the approach BMW is developing: performance kits for the 1-series coupe and hatchback, an aero package, carbonfibre details, fatter wheels and tyres, sports seats and instruments. There's even talk of a new M-style steering wheel with integrated LED rev counter.

A tii for the masses

BMW is the past master at offering huge choice in spec and trim; subtle nuance of alloy wheel size here, and Sport spec there is the stuff of workplace car park folklore. The tii spec will slot above today's M sport spec in the multi-faceted pecking order.

However, BMW plans for the tii models to be proper performance cars in the longer run. For instance, the next-gen 1-series, dubbed F20 and due in late 2011, will offer a tii version with a downsized twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine and a radically lighter body and chassis, we hear.

The 3-series tii

We'll see the facelifted 3-series this summer - with mild revisions to the lights and bonnet - but there is likely to be a tii model, too. Expect the brakes from the M3, 19in wheels, sports suspension and a new twin-clutch transmission. Again, though, a harder core tii is likely with the next 3-series, codenamed F30 and due in late 2011.

Click 'Next' to read our Q&A with Norbert Reithofer

See the next-generation 3-series tii in the new May 2008 issue of CAR Magazine

By Georg Kacher