All photos by BMW
Sometimes, the better things in life come in smaller packages, and that adage is so true in the 2012 BMW 128i Coupe. We just spent a week behind the wheel of this sporty offering from BMW and felt like we learned plenty of just how much fun can be packed into a 1 series coupe.
There is something quite special in the unique and dynamic look of the 2012 BMW 128i Coupe, and from the reactions we took in from our test drive, this car has that “it” factor! The greenhouse with authentic “Hofmeister kink” is moved rearward per BMW, and it looks great. The long hood of the 128i Coupe with her long wheelbase and short overhangs give the appearance of a very muscular and powerful ride that shows well on the road and when parked. Our media car was titanium silver metallic with 17-inch wheels, shadowline exterior trim, high gloss black trim, halogen freeform front fog lights, heated dual-power mirrors and heated windshield jets. The rear of the 2012 BMW 128i Coupe is superb with a trunklid that has an integrated spoiler chiseled into the rear end of the car to accentuate the short rear section. The low and aerodynamic design is all BMW!
The cabin is probably best described as classic BMW, just in smaller doses. The driver is clearly the focal point of the 2012 128i Coupe with plenty of room to navigate, but with the feel of driving a sports car at times. The back seats have their limits and two good-sized adults will probably mostly fit into that limit mainly because of the deep seating design. The black Boston leather sports seats were high end, and when staring at the multifunction steering wheel with the BMW logo, you know and expect that quality materials are a foregone conclusion. Other interior options included keyless entry, heated front seats, automatic climate control, cruise control, iPod/USB adapter, power front windows with one touch up/down operation, rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlight control, AM/FM stereo CD/MP3 player audio system with HD radio and onboard computer with Check control vehicle monitor system. The rear is short, but the trunk space in the 128i Coupe is actually plenty and useful space.
The front fascia on the 128i includes BMW’s innovative Air Curtain that counters turbulence near the wheel arches and reduces the aerodynamic resistance of the vehicle. All of those good looks actually help the performance, and that’s a good thing for BMW. Powered by a 3.0-liter, 230 horsepower inline-6 engine that generates 200 lb-ft of torque, the 128i Coupe features BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology and aluminum/magnesium construction, which are core elements of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics, worked together like a well-engineered machine should perform. We were also recipients of sport suspension, Dynamic Stability Control, including brake fade compensation, start-off assistant, brake drying and Dynamic traction Control for some of the sharpest turns one car can swallow without skipping a beat!
Have you heard of “air curtains” before? Well, per BMW : “Consistency between form and function is crucial to engineers at BMW who seek perfect balance of various aerodynamic factors in the wind tunnel. As a result, the new Air Curtain is BMW’s latest aerodynamic innovation. Introduced first on the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the Air Curtain will now be a standard feature on the 128i Coupe. The Air Curtain improves air flow around the front wheel arches with the benefit of significantly reduced turbulence. The 128i Coupe can also be equipped with special Aero Wheels to further enhance the performance of the Air Curtain system.
This innovative feature consists of openings in the outer section of the lower front fascia that route high-pressure air through ducts at each front corner. The ducts are approximately 10 x 3 centimeters wide and are designed to channel air to openings at the front of each wheel arch, where it is discharged through a very narrow opening at high speed. The escaping air stream covers the side of the front wheels like a curtain, thereby reducing aerodynamically unfavorable turbulence around the rotating wheels.
Air Curtain has a key role to play in the development of future aerodynamic innovations.
An example of the air curtain principle was first presented in the concept study BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in 2009, and the developers of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe took on the pioneering task of applying this element to a production vehicle. To do so, they utilized the unique capabilities of the new full-scale “rolling road” Aerolab wind tunnel at the BMW Group’s new Aerodynamic Testing Center. Now it has been added to the 128i Coupe.”
It’s really easy to be a fan of the 2012 BMW 128i Coupe, and you can add us to list. Even more will enjoy this vehicle considering the sticker of $36,125 for our test model, which was well equipped. Fuel efficiency is a cinch with the 128i coming in at 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg highway driving. It’s amazing at the reach of BMW these days, but when you have a brand that is trusted, you can go beyond the paradigm of the past.
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