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BMW finally previews the 1 Series M Coupe

By Rigval on 12 Dec 2010

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BMW has finally released official photos of the long awaited BMW 1 Series M Coupe. The car, scheduled for its official debut at the upcomming Detroit Motor Show looks sweet indeed.

While the 1 Series M has the same twin turbocharged straight six 3.0liter engine in the already sweet 135i Coupe, it gets a nice fat boost in power. It now runs the same specification as BWM's Z4 sDrive35iS. This means it now has 335bhp and 450Nm to play with instead of 261bhp and 315Nm. More than enough to run rings round a standard 130i and a whole lot of Porsche Boxsters too. If that isn't enough, the 1 Series M gets an additional 63Nm more torque courtesy of an overboost function when the driver fully presses the throttle pedal.

All of this horses and torque allows the six speed manual equipped car to hit 100km/h from a standstill in 4.7seconds and to an electronically limited maximum speed of 250km/h. Right now BMW have not announced a dual clutch gearbox for the car but there have been rumours stating that BMW may do so eventually. Somehow, I don't see why not as there is a vast market for those who find it hard to operate a clutch and a gearstick manually, especially in traffic congested cities where most find it more convenient to buy an automatic.

The 1 Series M also comes with that (now common in 'M' cars) M Drive button that improves throttle response, but this does not release any extra power like in the M5 (which I thought is pretty dumb since you do want 500bhp in an M5 most of the time). There is also a M Dynamic Mode button that lessens the effects of traction control systems and other forms of electronic nannies so that the driver can take control and exploit the car's handling.

When compared to the 135i coupe, the 1 Series M Coupe is a few millimeters longer, about 5.3cm wider and 1cm taller. But major changes make the front and rear tracks a good 7.1cm upfront and 4.6cm at the rear. It also weighs in at 1,495kg or 35kg lighter than the 135i.

Aside from the above, it also gets M specific suspension and it rides on 19inch wheels. 245/35/19 upfront and 265/35/19 at the rear. The interior gets an M steering wheel, badging and sportier front seats. The exterior gets the usual 'specific to a performance model' mods - larger front bumper/intake, rear bumper, wider arches, bootlid spoiler and side skirts. The car looks like a Hot Wheels toy car with those extremely large rear wheels under a smallish looking car.

This is a BMW which I feel is worth the wait. It is small, powerful and fast. Much like the original E30 M3 from a long time ago. The original M3 was a fabulous small sized rocket with handling to match. Every other M3 since then added weight and somehow did not feel as pure as the original. I hope this 1 Series M Coupe brings back a hefty dose of nostalgia and a large dose of performance too.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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