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      01-14-2008, 05:07 AM   #6
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Detroit 2008: 1-series Vert Price Released

The final reveal in BMW's three-movement press conference was a drop-top version of its perfectly-sized 1 Series. While some in the audience might have preferred that the preceding female dancers had instead lost their tops, this vehicle was not a bad consolation prize.

Available in naturally-aspirated (128i) and forced-induction (135i) flavors, the 1 Series 'vert offers wind-in-your-face motoring in a mere 22 seconds by virtue of its electrohydraulic power soft top. Technical goodies abound, such as VALVETRONIC, an on-demand electric water pump that uses only 1/10th the power of a standard water pump and only runs when required, and pop-up roll bars to protect the occupants in case the vehicle goes rubber-side up. Additionally, the 135i gets an electronically-controlled limited slip differential to help cope with its additional 70 HP, as well as six-piston calipers up front to bleed off all of that speed.

BMW made note of the boat-like shape of the "shoulder" (the character line just below the 1 Series' beltline), and we gotta admit that it looks this way in person. More important than how design features are described is how well the overall package works, and the 1 Series is indeed attractive as a convertible. Consider approved by Autoblog. A variety of M Series options are available on both cars to spruce up the exterior and interior, with the 135i already getting a version of the M Aerodynamics Package as standard equipment.

Oh yeah, the price: the 128i Convertible will start at $33,875 while the hopped up 135i will break your bank at $39,875. Yikes!