Dyno BMW: 2008 BMW 135i @ the Dyno

MORE BMW @ INSIDELINE.COM: www.edmunds.com When the BMW 1 Series first looked like it would be brought to the US from its successful home in the European market, we had visions of a return to the BMW 2002, the car that really invented the BMW brand in America back in the late 1960s. It would be a return to form, an expression of the true BMW spirit. You know, something small, light, nimble and affordable. We even dared to dream of a reborn BMW 2002 tii. But then the specifications hit our desk with a thump. It turned out the BMW 1 Series would be heavier than we expected, not to mention more expensive. Fortunately it would be more powerful, too. It became clear to us that the 1 Series was not so much a continuation of the beloved 2002, but rather a rebirth of the 3 Series. If you haven’t noticed, the BMW 3 Series has, well, expanded. Those who hit the upper-middle-class running in the go-go 1980s bought a far different 3 Series from the one we enjoy today. It was small, light, nimble and affordable. It was a gateway car, an introduction to the brand — a broker’s first BMW, you could say. BMW hoped as its new customers climbed the corporate ladder, they would steadily upgrade their BMW to suit. Have a family, buy a 5 Series; make partner, buy an M6. Retirement imminent? You, sir, need a 7 Series. But then the BMW 3 Series became a mass-market success and soon it acquired a mass-market identity, morphing into a vehicle that is all things for all people. It’s a coupe, sedan

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