BMW tii models are go | CAR Magazine

BMW tii models are go

Published: 02 April 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

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 MagazineQ&A with Norbert Reithofer

CAR: In Tokyo, BMW showed a vision for a 1-series coupe with tii genes. Fact or fiction?
Reithofer: ‘The response was positive. Expect to see tailormade tii packages in the very near future.’

Q: But the original tii was much more than a cosmetic equipment package…
A: ‘True. On the other hand, the 135i already plays kind of a tii role within the 1series.’

Q: What about an even stronger M1 as new top-of-the-line version?
A: ‘It´s not in the plan.’

Q: The tii approach epitomises core brand values for BMW. Are your smallest models most likely to get the tii treatment first?
A: ‘In terms of sportiness and vehicles dynamics, both the 1- and the 3-series are already well positioned.’

Q: Isn’t the danger that the tii suffix could be seen as just decorative? CAR thinks there should be substance to back up the badge…
A: ‘I don´t disagree. But we need a bit more time – to define the evolution of the tii theme and to physically develop it.’

Read the full story on BMW’s tii plans in the new May 2008 issue of CAR Magazine

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel