Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BMW 1-series Cabrie AC Schnitzer

Viewed from its roof construction, the new BMW 1-series Cabrio is a classic softy. But under its soft shell lurks a hard masculine cornering machine which isn't pushed aside by anyone: especially in the AC Schnitzer version. As honed as a high performance athlete, the car cuts a fine figure even in the car park. The Aachen-based BMW-tuners have transplanted the muscles visually to the right places. In the end, the vehicle is an agile sprinter and not a bodybuilder who can scarcely move for power. At first glance, the new front skirt strikes you - it is less rounded than standard and runs into a slight taper. This, in combination with the diagonal grille insert, ensures a far more dynamic appearance. And naturally the Cabriolet not only has a neat front, but also a strong rear: The AC Schnitzer rear skirt lip or insert (for M-Technik version) provides an extra cross contour in comparison with the original, and hence a more "powerful" look. Underneath, a diffuser element highlights the sporting heritage of the vehicle. The final touch is given by the chromed tailpipe trim in "Racing" design, available for the 118i, 120i, 125i, 120d and 123d.

The fact that the sporting appearance is more than just Show & Shine becomes evident to the driver from a glance in the rearview mirror. Because the car behind grows smaller at record speed when you put your foot to the floor. In both petrol and diesel engine variants, the Aachen tuners inject any amount of power into the compact cabrio. Extra horsepower is available for the 135i, 120d and 123d. And because the standard speedo is sometimes overloaded with so much "unbridled" power, AC Schnitzer upgrades it to 320 km/h.

Any pursuer's hopes of overtaking the agile 1-series on the next corner are soon deflated by the AC Schnitzer suspension. The spring kit alone allows transverse acceleration which seems to go beyond the laws of physics. But fortunately physics doesn't issue penalty notices! Obstacles can be evaded more quickly and precisely with the complete sports suspension, or even circled completely with the height-adjustable racing suspension. The comfortable 3-spoke sports airbag steering wheel from AC Schnitzer, and the further refined controls, always ensure that the car is a joy in your hands. All that remains for the final touch is a set of attractive wheels, and the 1-series will be dressed to take centre stage not just on twisty roads but also in front of the latest trendy café or bar. The 18" Type VI with its exciting re-interpretation of the classic Y-spoke design is an ideal choice of decor for the cabrio, as is the delicate but sporting Type IV in either 18" or 19", in silver or "BiColor". Or take your pick from a wide range of other styles in 17", 18" or 19". With the 1-series, the only thing left open by AC Schnitzer is the roof - not your dreams.

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