The BMW 1-Series hatchback was facelifted together with the introduction of a 3-door body back in 2007, but the Coupe and the Convertible bodies are newer than the hatch bodies so it’s time for a mid-life facelift for the ‘booted’ 1-ers. For next year, the 1-Series Coupe and Convertible gets a few subtle updates.
The headlamps have been updated and the tail laps now get LED light strips. The front bumper has also received some modifications that result in an airflow path similar to the aerodynamic “air curtain” effect that BMW has shouted about as a key feature on the 1-Series M Coupe. According to BMW, it significantly reduces drag around the front wheels.
Air ducts that are about 100mm by 30mm in the front bumper channels air to openings at the front of each wheel arch, where it is discharged through a very narrow opening at high speed. This ‘curtain’ of air flowing across the side of the front wheels act as a curtain, reducing aerodynamically unfavorable turbulence around the rotating wheels.
According to BMW, the first example of an Air Curtain application was on the concept study BMW Vision EfficientDynamics in 2009, and now it comes to a production model. If that’s not enough, special Aero Wheels can be specified on the model to further reduce turbulence.
There’s also a newly developed rear differential which runs at a lower operating temperature than the one it replaces, thanks to double-helical ball bearings used in the internals.