Although BMW's 1-series coupe isn't expected to arrive on U.S.-shores until sometime during the 2008 calendar year, an amateur photographer stumbled upon this photo shoot as the sun was setting in California last Friday evening.

Hot on the heels

Although BMW's 1-series coupe isn't expected to arrive on U.S.-shores until sometime during the 2008 calendar year, an amateur photographer stumbled upon this photo shoot as the sun was setting in California last Friday evening. The "garage bag and tape dressing" was just temporary - it was there to hide the details and name badges up until the lighting was perfected - and then it would be quickly removed and beauty shots would be taken. Even though these shots aren't as clear and close as we'd like, they show - for the very first time - details surrounding the C pillar and the rear quarter window. But unfortunately the camera crew involved with this BMW brochure shoot is giving professional photographers everywhere a bad rap: The amateur who shot these, armed with only a small point-and-shoot, was forced to lock himself in his automobile as one of the production crew members started to - as he described it - violently pound on the man's car - both on the sheetmetal and glass! He was lucky to get these two pictures, and to escape without injury! Engine options for the stylish 1-series Coupe have yet to be confirmed, but BMW officials have said they do not plan to offer a four-cylinder engine in America - although we believe they will be available in European markets. But we are expecting a version of the magnesium/aluminium 3.0-liter six-cylinder that is currently found in the 130i, as well as the 3- and 5-series, Z4 Coupe and Roadster, and X3 and X5. There is also a strong possibility the 3.0-liter turbo-charged six from the 335i coupe and sedan could find its way into an M version of the 1-series Coupe. Among driving enthusiasts, there is strong sentiment that the 3-series Coupe has grown too large and luxurious to be a true sports coupe. Many of them long for a smaller, simpler car with the driving dynamics BMW has become known for. The 1-series coupe could possibly deliver on that desire, all the while holding its head high as a true BMW. Footnote: After hearing about the 1-series Coupe and the possibility for additional pictures, we packed up the car at 11 p.m. and drove all night to be at what we were hoping would still be the current shooting location for the brochure. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the car had been moved to a barn - well concealed on the property. We attached a few pictures illustrating how the production crew - using backdrops on rolling stands and reflectors to "blind" us - managed to load the car on the truck without us even catching a glimpse of it!

Be part of something big

SPY PHOTOS: BMW 1-Series Coupe