BMW’s baby M car, the 1 Series M coupé, has been the talk of the internet all year – finally full details are now revealed.
Powered by a 335bhp twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, the new BMW 1 Series M coupé promises a brilliant drive. With pumped up looks and a £40,000 price tag to match, it could be the compact performance car you’ve been waiting for.
BMW 1 Series M coupé: performance technology
With enormously wide 19-inch wheels, aggressive bumpers and wild wheelarch extensions, the 1 Series M coupé looks like a cross between a child’s toy and a roller skate.
But the visual enhancement is there for a purpose – this car is 55mm wider than a regular BMW 135i coupé because much of the underlying drivetrain and chassis technology is borrowed from the latest BMW M3. This includes the clever rear Variable M differential, designed to maximise traction and performance.
It also boasts lightweight aluminium suspension components, a bespoke BMW M specification braking system and Dynamic Stability Control complete with various settings designed to enhance the driving experience in every conceivable circumstance.
335bhp twin-turbo M power
All this technology is important because the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine under the bonnet produces 335bhp.
Together with a maximum 369lb ft of torque (pulling power), this endows the 1 Series M coupé with a 0-62mph time of just 4.9 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. Claimed fuel economy is 29.4mpg, with 224g/km CO2 emissions.
The engine features two driving modes to alter the characteristics of its performance. The standard setting emphasises flexibility and pulling power, and should prove more relaxed, while the M Dynamic Mode, accessed via a button on the steering wheel, is aimed at more spirited driving and encourages higher revs.
Again, the changes to bodywork serve a purpose, as vents at the front of the car feed an additional radiator, installed to insure smooth running even in the most extreme driving conditions. BMW has built this car to withstand heavy use on track days, so it should take road driving very much in its stride.
Sports interior with orange detailing
Since the M coupé joins the 1 Series line-up as a range-topping model, standard equipment is reasonably generous.
Alongside the 19-inch alloys and unique bodywork, the exterior benefits from LED lighting front and rear, and the expected M badging. The interior is dominated by dark alcantara and leather, with contrasting orange stitching, and features sports seats, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control and six-speaker stereo.
The engine drives the rear wheels only via a six-speed manual gearbox; no automatic is offered. The 1 Series M coupé comes in Alpine White, Black Sapphire or Valencia Orange only.
£40,000 limited edition
The BMW 1 Series M coupé goes on sale in the UK in May 2011.
It is priced from £39,990, including VAT at 20%; that makes it a whopping £9,315 more expensive than the present 135i range-topper in M Sport specification, which is currently priced at £30,675 (at 17.5% VAT).
This may seem expensive, but BMW has announced that just 450 right-hand drive examples will be made available for sale in the UK, and we rather suspect that demand will outstrip supply.
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