Available in Europe since the 2004 model year, BMW brought the subcompact 1 Series to the United States in 2008. Entered as a contender of a growing small premium car segment, the BMW 1 Series presented a look similar to a BMW 3 Series. Offered in a variety in hatchback body styles internationally, the BMW 1 Series was only imported to North America as a two-door coupe as well as a convertible. The passenger compartment of the BMW 1 Series was classified to accommodate four adult occupants.
Embracing an entry-level luxury car market, the 2008 BMW 1 Series included an array of high-end standard features such as multi-zone climate control, 17-inch aluminum wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a sunroof on the coupe models. Bluetooth connectivity was added to the standard features list of the BMW 1 Series in 2012. A 230-horsepower 3.0-liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder powered the BMW 128i while the BMW 135i was equipped with a 300-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter powerplant. A compact rear-wheel drive vehicle, the 2008 BMW 1 Series featured a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission option.
For 2011, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission was added to the BMW 1 Series. The 300-horsepower engine on the 2011 BMW 135i model was enhanced for better low-rev torque and better fuel economy. Also in 2011, a high-performance 335-horsepower BMW 1 Series M was offered. The BMW 1 Series was replaced following the 2013 and is scheduled to be replaced by the all-new BMW 2 Series.