The more you hear about the new 1 Series, the more it seems as if BMW's claim -- "1 Series as spiritual successor to the 2002" -- is more than marketing hype. Because the 3 Series is a bit compact, we forget that accommodations in the 2002 were even less spacious, so something smaller than the 3 Series is a better comparison. On dimensions and on price (well, inflation-adjusted price) the 1 Series matches up nicely. Later-model BMW 2002 prices were in the range of $6,500 to $8,500. BMW says, As of fall 2007, that the 1 Series models will sell, when they arrive in the U.S. in early 2008, in the high $20s to mid $30s: 128i Coupe, high $20s ($28,000 now = $7,500 in 1976) 135i Coupe, mid $30s ($35,000 now = $9,500 in 1976) 128i Convertible, mid $30s The 1 Series measures 172 inches long vs. 167 inches (through 2003) and 176 inches (2004-2006). On horsepower, it's no contest: 230 for 128i, 300 for the 135i, vs. no more than 170 for the 2002 (excepting the 2002 Turbo). 1 Series specs. 1 Series engineering draws from the three- and five-door 1 Series models sold in Europe since 2004: steel unibody, aluminum (mostly) double-pivot spring MacPherson struts in front, independent five-link suspension in back, standard dynamic stability control (DSC), standard dynamic traction control (DTC). BMW claims 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 5.3 seconds for the 135i, although testers have noted the heavier 335i gets there in 5 seconds or less, so maybe the 135i is really capable of a 4.5-second 0-60 blast. The 128i is naturally aspirated with a magnesium-block displacing 3.0 liters, as on the the 328i; the 135i has twin turbochargers and is the same as on the 335i. They can be had with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. A USB jack offers connections for iPods and other music devices. iDrive comes only if you order navigation.