The BMW 1-Series, the staple diet of entry-level into the exclusive club of BMW ownership for many years now, on the roads of the UK these things are everywhere, confusing us all with the fact that you can get an M-Sport with a tiny 1.5 litre 3-cylinder diesel engine as well as a stormingly quick 125i variant, this is because BMW in their wisdom allow you to option the removal of the badging which would indicate how rich or poor you really are, all very confusing.

BMW 116i - 7
When I grow up I want to be a 3-series

This confusion leads us to this BMW 116i, according to Jalopnik and Road & Track, this 116i is available for sale in the USA, this is a car that has never officially made it to US shores, let alone in 116i format.

BMW 116i - 9
Photo to scale, the 116i really is that small

Firstly a few oddity’s about this car, the wheel is on the correct side, yes you heard me, the correct side, which is the right of course, even more odd is that this car is still car shaped and not cube shaped given for the US Federal Governments idiotic 25 year import rule, somehow this little 1-series made it all the way to Florida from the wilds of Scotland. If you look, you can still see the UK number plate attached to the rear of the car, talk about not even trying to hide its sketchy origins.

BMW 116i - 2
Nothing to see here, move along
BMW 116i - 5
Loook at it, soooo tiny

This 116i is for sale at Bring a Trailer, which is a good thing as you could buy yourself a ‘1’ off (excuse the pun) car in the US, sporting a 6-speed manual gearbox due to the fact that people from the UK can actually use a manual gearbox, the little 116i sports pretty much no luxuries within its barren looking interior, clearly whomever bought this car new chose to ignore the options list entirely.

BMW 116i - 3
A barren wasteland of nothingness and the wheel is on the correct side
BMW 116i - 4
A barren wasteland of nothingness – Part 2 – The view from the outside

Now the downside of purchasing such a rare car stateside, the car does somehow posses a Florida title, they have been driving it around in the sunshine state for the last 3-years without issue, now the Federal Government would beg to differ on this point, the 116i clearly falls foul of the stupid 25-year import rule, basically you can buy it but then keep a constant eye out for the 25 heavily armed feds that will turn up at your door demanding your new ride.
If you chose to buy this car, I see the story panning out something like this:

116i Owner: Yeah, so I got this BMW 116i import man, it’s so rare here in the USA, it’s a one-off man.

Fed: Sir is this car 25 years old?

116i Owner: No man, it’s like a 2007 with a stick shift and all.

Fed: Keys and documentation please.

116i Owner: No man, that’s so whack, when can I collect my ride dude.

Fed: You can collect your cube at your nearest government cubing centre, good day.

BMW 116i - 8
Please don’t crush me
BMW 116i - 6
Coming soon, the 116i cube edition

You kind of get the picture, buy a super rare BMW 116i, enjoy it while you can as the Feds will likely turn it into a cube before you know it.

 

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