... choice of young professionals

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

The choice in the menu of open-top motoring will soon be enhanced when the Germans add some new flavours.

BMW SA this week announced that the new 1-Series convertible will come to this part of Africa by no later than June next year. Only eight months away.

The young and vibrant customer who dreamed of owning a BMW convertible, but could not afford the ones on the market, can now smile.

In this segment, the 1-Series convertible is said to pull a huge crowd.

Road Rave spoke to a few young professionals about the new 1-Series convertible.

Sewela Sethosa, 26, says she can't wait for the new Beemer to come.

"I have always wanted a convertible, but you know how expensive the 335i is", she says.

She added that she was going to trade in her current 1-Series for the convertible.

"I am thrilled," says Sewela.

But for 28-year-old Siphiwe Magagula, BMW should have introduced the 1-Series convertible a long time ago.

"I wonder why they did not do it earlier. I am going to buy it to celebrate my life and achievements".

Siphiwe says as a young attorney he would want to make a statement.

"A BMW convertible is a celebration of one's achievements, so if there is one that I can afford then I will buy it," he says.

The new BMW 1-Series Convertible combines the sportiness of its design with the superior agility of the compact car with rear-wheel drive.

According to BMW SA at the launch the new kid will be available in two petrol models, the 120i Convertible and the 125i Convertible customers will also be able to opt for the new yardstick in sporty driving pleasure when the top of the range model, BMW 135i Convertible, becomes available three months later.

Powered by the 3,0 litre straight six-cylinder engine with twin turbo and petrol direct injection, it produces 225 kW of power. The 135i Convertible will be instantly recognisable by its subtly modified, standard M aerodynamics package.

This engine won the World Engine of the Year 2006.

The 125i Convertible is powered by the straight-six producing 160 kW.

At the bottom of the range lies 120i Convertible with power output of 115kW.

The BMW 1-Series Convertible features an electro-hydraulically operated fabric roof that opens and closes within 22 seconds.

Building on the BMW 1-Series Coupé, the interior design was adapted to the requirements of an open vehicle.

The electronic power-steering (EPS) is included in all models other than the BMW 135i Convertible.

This system only uses energy when steering assistance is really needed. This is exclusively when the steering wheel is actively moved by the driver.

Among other safety features are ABS, DSC (dynamic stability control), ASC (acceleration skid control), CBC (corner brake control) and DTC (dynamic traction control).

For the likes of Sewela and Siphiwe, time seems to be moving at a snail's pace.

Pricing has not been finalised for SA.