By Drew Johnson
Wednesday, Feb 6th, 2008 @ 5:08 pm
 
[Update: Live auto show images added.] After initially unveiling the Concept 1 Series tii at the Tokyo Motor Show, BMW has again pulled the wraps off of its 2002-inspired small sports coupe at the Chicago Auto Show. BMW chose to display the Concept 1 Series tii with a brightly colored vintage 2002tii owned by legendary race car driver Bobby Rahal.


BMW reduced the weight of the Concept 1 Series tii over the standard 1-series -- although BMW has not specified just how much -- through extensive use of carbon fiber on the hood and several other trim pieces. The tii also wears unique bumpers -- front and rear -- side skirts and 18 inch wheels. The hood fins are a tribute to the high performance 3.0 CSL of the 1970s. That car, called the "Batmobile" in North America, is highly prized by enthusiasts for its performance.

The interior of the concept features black alcantara contrasted by white accents. The gauge cluster is highlighted by a white-face tachometer, hinting at the high-performance intentions of the Concept 1 Series tii. Light weight materials are used throughout, including very thin seats.

Although many journalists in Chicago speculated that the 2002 on display was the one rebuilt by BMW's in-house vintage parts specialist, Mobile Tradition, during the press conference it was revealed that the Inka Orange classic belongs to Rahal. The race car driver and team owner was on hand to take the wraps off of BMW's American Le Mans Series M3 race car.

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