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Nevertheless......If they're GREAT little cars, we'll be impressed enough.
I will anyway.

They don't have to be racers, and they don't have to look any more special -- as long as they're GREAT little cars.

That's what remains to be seen.
 

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Just a little nutty
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Looks like a cross between Mazda3 and Toyota Matrix. But I'm sure the handling will be superb. Any rumors of its price tag?
 

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Whatchamacallit said:
......Any rumors of its price tag?
I think we can guess pretty well.

Obviously it will be an least a quantum less than the lowest of the 3-series, the 325i, which has a base of $27,800. And it's reasonable to guess that it has to be "almost" a quantum higher than the HIGHEST of the Mini's, which are also made by BMW and which IMO are going to be the most analogous car -- I don't necessarily mean "competitor" or "cross-shopper," just "most analogous," i.e. high-quality, chic, in-demand, "undersized" car. And that price is $19,425.

So I'd say that puts the base price somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
The mid-point would be a good guess. So that's what I'm going to say.

$22,500. You heard it here first. :D
 

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The Voice of Reason
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My next car.....the M2!

300HP I-6, about $35k, and no i-Drive or electronic gizmos!

Where do I sign up?

 

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After reviewing this model over the weekend with my biz partner who owns a Mini I brought up and discussed what you guys had mentioned here.

As my partner pointed out, there is no direct comparison between the Mini and 1 Series due to technical differences. The reason he described it this, the Mini is FWD and powered by a non BMW engine (a Chrysler variant) but of higher performance. The 1 Series is RWD and powered by a BMW engine or a Peugot variant depending on the engine. Also the Mini offers a CVT in the base versions and 6 speed only in the S model. The 1 Series has both 6-speed manual and automatics.

But most importantly, the Mini has an almost cult like following that the 1 Series does not. While there might be cross shoppers between the two, a person looking for a Mini will most likely buy the Mini.
 

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I "think" I disagree. We can only guess, because we're talking about a car we don't know and anyway we wouldn't know until we saw how people would react to it. But I think you're splitting hairs.

Yes, those differences would exist. But so would the similarities, the several things that I mentioned on the other thread. I think most people don't look at specifics like what you're talking about -- in fact, as we've seen, many people, maybe even most (including BMW drivers) don't even know if their car is FWD or RWD! And they're certainly not going to get into the technical differences. Some would, like you and your friend and a lot of other people. But I'm pretty sure most wouldn't.

Let me put it this way: I'm more into those things than the average driver (even though obviously I'm not hard-core). And, if I were in the market for an undersized, high-quality, "hot" car, my #1 choice right now would be the Mini. But if the 1-series were here, I'd consider that too. And I'd bet that the majority of such buyers would likewise.

I think the Smart will also be in that mix when it arrives.
 

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Hey, I guess y'all didn't notice.....

THEY'RE NOT BRINGING IT HERE!

At least not until we're all almost on Social Security.
 

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It should be obvious by now that the Mini is successful because it isn't like the old 318ti. BMW doesn't get it, buyers don't want a cheap, bottom of the line hatchback model?


Recent news reports about the "delay" of BMW's 1-Series to the U.S. give a false impression that the hatchback 1-Series launching in Europe this fall was ever intended for U.S. shores. In fact, BMW chairman Helmut Panke and U.S. marketing chief Jim McDowell said a year ago that the hatchback would not see U.S. daylight. Those comments were reported in TCC in 2003. Panke last week said that one of three designs for the second 1-Series design are still being discussed on the management board, and that the winning design will definitely be shipped to the U.S. When asked, Panke took only five seconds to mention the 318ti hatchback launched in the mid-1990s, a car that hit the U.S. with a thud despite BMW's rising sales. "The U.S. simply does not hold hatchbacks, five-doors in high esteem." Hmmmmmm. How do you account for the MINI's success, a car whose upper price points are comparable to what BMW envisions for the 1-Series? "Reality is different for the BMW brand and the MINI brand," says Panke. (Jim Burt)

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7038&sid=173&n=156
 

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Guitar and Amp Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good find, hip. So the hatchback 1 series was never intended for American shores anyway....interesting. Guess my initial reaction in my first post was fairly representative of U.S. tastes. At least I know I'm normal in one regard. :D

As for the Mini....I don't really think of it as a "hatchback", even though it is. To me, it's just a "Mini". By comparison, I think of the Mazda3, Golf, and Focus as "hatchbacks". I don't know why my initial impression is to think of them that way. I also don't think of a New Beetle as a hatchback, but it is -- it's just a three door instead of a five door.
 

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Ferg said:
Good find, hip. So the hatchback 1 series was never intended for American shores anyway....interesting. Guess my initial reaction in my first post was fairly representative of U.S. tastes. At least I know I'm normal in one regard. :D

As for the Mini....I don't really think of it as a "hatchback", even though it is. To me, it's just a "Mini". By comparison, I think of the Mazda3, Golf, and Focus as "hatchbacks". I don't know why my initial impression is to think of them that way. I also don't think of a New Beetle as a hatchback, but it is -- it's just a three door instead of a five door.
Possibly, because in the case of the Mini and Beetle they were always exclusively hatchbacks and their respective designs were integrated so well?

In the case of the others, their hatchback designs were a derivative of their original designs as 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, wagon, etc.

Whenever I see too many permutations of a vehicle design, or too many models, I usually think less of the vehicle. Maybe it's from conditioning by the Big 3 when they produce so many models in an attempt to be all things to all people. Offering so many variations, I feel "cheapens" the line.
 

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M-B is doing well with the wacky C-class hatchback. I guess it's differentiated enough from the sedan to appear not to be an obviously stripped down version of an M-B.
 

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Ferg said:
.....As for the Mini....I don't really think of it as a "hatchback", even though it is. To me, it's just a "Mini". By comparison, I think of the Mazda3, Golf, and Focus as "hatchbacks"......
About the Mazda 3 (sorry, I insist on adding the "space" :D ), let's make sure people know it's not all hatchbacks (right?) . It's mostly "non-hatchbacks, but it also comes in a hatchback.

But, about the BMW 1-series, I think I'm confused. When I saw that report in hip's link, I thought it meant BMW wasn't going to bring the 1-series here at all (any time soon, I mean). But I'm wondering if I misunderstood. Is it actually that the 1-series also comes in "non-hatchbacks," and those ARE going to be brought here????
 

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Guitar and Amp Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes they will be bringing the 1 series here, as soon as they decide on a model (non-hatchback version). Looks like it won't be until 2005 that we see a 1 series in the U.S. (??). That's my guess.

As for the Mazda3, yes it comes in both sedan and hatchback models. I drove a Mazda3 sedan shortly after they came out, back when I was shopping. It struck me as a fun little car, but if I had any other feelings about it, I don't remember what they were.
 

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Not exactly the One Series, but the competition will be heating up when (if) it appears.

Smart USA confirmed Wednesday that it will launch a new SUV as it enters the U.S. market in 2006. The SUV, named formore, will be built in the Mercedes-Benz plant in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. The plant has a capacity of 60,000 cars per year, half of which will be sold in the U.S. in a full sales year.

"The formore is the ideal model to launch the smart brand in the U.S. market," said Scott Keogh, general manager, smart USA. "We see a huge opportunity in this market for this truly distinct brand, which has the courage and resources to make a real break from conventional automotive thinking. With its unique engineering and design elements and exuberant character, the smart formore will bring the brand's core characteristics to a segment populated by 'me-too' vehicles." Keogh explained that because the formore will be unique in the U.S. market, "SUV" translates to "smart utility vehicle." Formore will be Smart's seventh vehicle. The six other models are sold in 31 markets. Mercedes officials say the plan is to establish smart in the U.S. with an SUV to establish the brand's bonafides, and then fill in the product lineup with other smart vehicles that are already on sale in Europe. Mercedes is hoping that smart will do for the company what MINI has done for BMW in North America: establish a profitable second sales channel that will support non-prestige vehicles that are nonetheless premium prices and which will support heavy promotion of licensed goods and merchandising. Mercedes dealers interested in carrying smart will have to dedicate new showrooms. -Jim Burt

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7041

FYI-
http://www.smart.com/
 

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Here's the pix (artist rendering) that goes along with the previous article.
 

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