So here it is, the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe fully uncovered. And we want one, badly, right now! Who would have thought the ugly and rather disappointing 1-series could spawn such a magnificent car. Kudos to guys over at M division who, by the looks of things, managed to turn water into wine!
BMW is adamant the 1M Coupe is on the par with the original M3 E30, with the same sort of raw performance, simplicity and awesomeness. They call it the “Eigenwillig,” a German word meaning “self-willed,” “individual,” and “determined to go its own way,”. So this car cut down on those electronic nonsense which made all the other M cars feel like a laptop. This one even has a proper manual gearbox with no complicating settings at all!
This performance oriented machine is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six you find in other is-badged bimmers, but despite the early rumors it hasn’t got 350 hp, and has to make do with 335 hp (250 kW) at 5,900 rpm. Nominal peak torque is 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres, while CO2 emissions are at 224 grams per kilometre.
But that should be enough to give you, as BMW says, goose pimples! 335 hp in a compact car with a wheelbase of just 104.7-inch (2659mm) and dry weight of just under 1,500 kg is a recipe for fun, without loosing control.
Like other M-powered cars, the 1M Coupe features an M button, an electronically-controlled overboost function to briefly increase torque under full load by another 37 lb-ft (50 Nm). This temporary torque peak of 369 lb-ft gives the car a substantial increase in acceleration. We still think it’s wrong, why the car isn’t in M mode all the time? Who would want to deliberately reduce his car’s power?!
With the M button pressed, the car goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (0-100 kmh in 4.9 seconds). The standing quarter-mile mark comes up in 13.2 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph (250 kmh).
A close ratio 6-speed manual transmission is used for power transmission to the rear wheels in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. It was specially designed to interact with high-torque engines and has been fitted for this purpose with a dry sump cooling system. An upgraded flywheel for high-torque applications is installed between the engine and transmission. The transmission is operated using a very short M gearshift lever. Final drive ratio is 3.15: 1.
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe is fitted with a variable M differential lock. This generates lock-up torque on-demand and variably, thus providing for optimum rear-wheel drive traction on all road surfaces.
The best thing about the 1M Coupe is not its engine, but the chassis. BMW has been endlessly testing and adjusting it on N?rburgring Nordschleife to arrive at near perfect weight distribution, to arrive at the best compromise between handling and comfort.
Virtually all of the front-end components are aluminum, including the front struts, swivel bearings, central subframe and an additional thrust panel below the engine serving to maximize lateral stiffness of the entire front section.
At the rear axle, the subframe, transverse arms, track arms, and wheel hubs have been reconfigured by M for ideal kinematics, geometry and stiffness. Virtually every detail on the five-arm rear axle is made of aluminum and is new for this generation of BMW M vehicles, including the aluminum dampers.
The new BMW 1 Series M Coupe has been developed for near-perfect balance and a large, square footprint. It is 71 inches (1803mm) wide – 4.8 inches (122mm) wider than its 1988 M3 ancestor – yet only 1.3 inches (33mm) longer at 172.4 inches (4379mm) long.
The new 1 Series M Coupe features a high-strength steel unibody, with unique, widened fenders and rear quarter panels to house the substantially widened track. It also features a metal roof panel which saves about 35 lbs (15kg) compared to BMW 1 Series models equipped with a moonroof.
A suitably powerful braking system for a car with this much performance was originally developed for the current-generation BMW M3. The internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs measure 14.2 inches (360mm) in diameter at the front and 13.8 inches (350mm) in the rear.
The 1 Series M Coupe is equipped with the M-specific, light-alloy cross-spoke wheels from the M3 Competition Package and limited-production M3 GTS. They measure 19 x 9 inches with 245/35/R19 low-profile tires at the front and 19 x 10 inches with 265/35/R19 tires at the rear, and are silver in color.
The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe includes such elements as the Antilock Brake System (ABS), an anti-slip control function (ASC), the brake assistant Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), a hill-hold assistant for starting off, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), a brake fade compensation function and a brake drying function. In the wet or on slippery surfaces the DSC intervenes discreetly to limit oversteer.
We are so sold on the 1M Coupe’s performance that we almost forgot talking about its design and interior! The car is based on the 1 series coupe, but with a full M body kit including the massively buffed up fenders, wider tracks and of course new bumpers and skirts, it looks totally different.
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe features standard Xenon Adaptive headlamps. The twin circular headlights are truncated in the upper section by an LED-fed “eyebrow.” This is what creates the focused look of the 1 Series M Coupe.
There are three exterior paint finishes to choose from for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. In addition to Alpine White non-metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic, Valencia Orange Metallic is available exclusively for this compact high-performance sports car.
The M-specific cockpit developed exclusively for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is designed to facilitate focused, sporty driving. High-quality, dark Alcantara with orange contrast stitching covers the door panels, door pulls, instrument cluster binnacle, dash panel, and gearshift and handbrake lever boots. The driver’s attention is focuses on an M-specific instrument cluster with gray dials, classic M red pointers, and white backlighting. An M driver footrest and M entry sills round off the unique interior.
The black sport seats in standard Boston leather have orange contrasting stitching and an M logo embossed in the front of each headrest. Seat heating is available for both front seats. The orange contrast stitching is also echoed on the rear seats and on all design elements featuring Alcantara. The leather M multifunction steering wheel features the now-ubiquitous M Button for spontaneous activation of the sharpest throttle response and M Dynamic Mode of DSC.
BMW 1 Series M Coupe is the perfect sportscar for the current time. It’s compact, rather efficient, practical, fun, and above all, accessible for a lot of people. The car which will makes it debut at the next Detroit Motor Show, is said to have a based price of around $50,000 USD. That’s a good price, considering the car you receive in return.