Uber-geeks (venture capitalists) should skip over this and go directly to the Audi R8 featured here last week. The R8 is a geek’s dream due in small part to its exclusivity (the best geek will buck the status quo, and pull it off with class!) and in larger part to the white LEDs that accent the xenon headlights and illuminate sequentially when fired up.

BMW’s, meanwhile, haven’t been that exclusive since Steve Urkel drove an Isetta on Family Matters (bucking the status quo!).

But the BMW 1 series changes that.

Europeans have had the 1 since 2004, but only in the more practical 5-door hatch configuration. Maybe BMW thought fitting five Americans in a 1 series would be impossible, but for its U.S. debut it elected to deliver sprightly new coupe and convertible models.

The lowly 128i will tap the piggy bank for a sliver under $30,000 (before taxes and other gotchas), but winners will pay the 20 percent premium and go for the twin-turbo 135i which puts out 300HP.

And in a nod to early adopters: all 2008 1-series feature an exclusive start/stop button engraved with “Year One of the 1″. Which will either turn the model into a collector’s item or, more likely, serve as a warning to future used car buyers that whatever quirks and tweaks came in the second and third year of the car are still lovingly there in this one.

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