2015 BMW 2-Series convertible spy shots
The 1-Series sold in the U.S., however, which is still only available in coupe and convertible bodystyles, is the same basic version that’s been around since 2008.
That’s all about to change as a prototype for the 1-Series Convertible model’s replacement has been spotted testing in Germany.
We say replacement for the 1-Series Convertible and not a second-generation model as this new car will almost certainly be called a 2-Series Convertible, a move made all the more likely following the recent reveal of the BMW 4-Series Coupe concept which previews the replacement for the 3-Series Coupe. A new 2-Series Coupe is also planned.
The name change is part of BMW’s overall strategy to align its more practical models such as sedans, wagons and Gran Turismos with names starting with odd numbers, while the more dynamic models such as coupes, convertibles and four-door Gran Coupes get even-numbered names.
The move not only allows for the introduction of more models into the lineup, like the new GT and Gran Coupes, but also for a larger premium to be charged as the there is now greater distinction between the lines.
To reflect this greater distinction, expect the new 2-Series Convertible, which is expected to be launched in 2014 as a 2015 model, to feature styling that’s considerably different to the 1-Series Hatchback on which it’s based. The same will be true for the 2-Series Coupe, which should be identical to this 2-Series Convertible apart from its fixed roof.
From this prototype, we can already see that the 2-Series’ headlights will be sharper and more tapered-back than the units on the 1-Series Hatchback. The prototype also appears much sleeker and lower than the 1-Series.
2015 BMW 2-Series Convertible spy shotsEnlarge Photo
The cabin layout should be similar to that in the 1-Series, though more premium materials and features will be adopted. Transmission choices are likely to include a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, though xDrive all-wheel drive may be offered this time around.
It’s still too early to determine the engine lineup, though in the U.S. we should expect the current model’s 128i and 135i designations to carry over onto new 228i and 235i models. A high-performance M Performance model, possibly a M235i, should be launched and may deliver upwards of 320 horsepower. Overseas, expect some diesel options, as well as BMW’s new three-cylinder engines.
Stay tuned for updates as development of the 2015 BMW 2-Series Convertible progresses. Note, at the same time BMW is also working on a front-wheel-drive 1-Series Gran Turismo, though this model is unlikely to be offered in the U.S.