The BMW 1 Series (E81/E87 and E82/E88 models) is a small family car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is unusual in its class as it features rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension. It is currently BMW's second best-selling automobile worldwide, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the total sales in 2008. The 1 Series was launched globally in Autumn 2004 and shares many structural, chassis, powertrain, hardware and electronic elements with the larger 3 Series. The model was started to provide a lower point of entry into the BMW range as the 3 Series moved gradually up-market. Initially launched as a five-door hatchback, a three-door version was also launched in July 2007. The 1 Series is priced between the MINI and the current E90 3 Series. Because the coupe is the only rear wheel drive vehicle in its class, it is often considered the successor to the BMW 2002.