After endless teasing, BMW finally rolled out its long-awaited 1-Series M. The car was first announced last year in July 2009 by BMW M Boss Kay Segler. Over a year and a half later, the car has appeared. Introduction of an M model for a car this late in its life cycle was unexpected.
While the 1-Series was first introduced in the United States in 2008, it has been on sale in other parts of the world since late 2004. In the U.S the car has been viewed as a successor to the 3-Series of the past, with its small size, rear-wheel drive and similarities in appearance. That positioning continues with the 1-Series M, and BMW has embraced the similarity.
The 1 Series M gets significant changes to the exterior over its standard coupe counterpart. The body package is well done, conveying the sporting intentions of the 1-Series M. The front track has been increased by 2.8 inches and out back the increase stands at 1.8 inches. The 1-Series is also larger in every dimension: 0.2 inches longer, 2.1 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller.
Despite larger dimensions, 77 pounds have been shaved off of its curb weight, which now stands at 3,296 pounds. Weight distribution has been extremely well balanced at (51.7/48.3).
The 1-Series M gets BMW’s 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, which uses twin-turbocharging to produce 335 horsepower and 332 pound feet of torque. The engine is also used in the 3-Series and Z4.
While bumped up from the 320 hp figure of the 3-Series, the figures are the same as the Z4 sDrive35is. Increased throttle response can be had by pressing the “M” button on the dash, and the car has an overboost function that will add 37 lb-ft of torque under full acceleration. This is good for a 0-60 time of just 4.7 seconds. Many have complained for more power, but we think that is pretty good, especially considering the car’s size
Suspension components have been upgraded with aluminum parts sourced from the M3. To handle the added power, there is a new, more powerful braking system with internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs. They measure 14.2 inches (360mm) in diameter up front and 13.8 inches (350mm) out back.
Official pricing information will be revealed closer to the car’s Spring 2011 on-sale date. Three colors will be available at launch: Alpine White non-metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic and the 1-Series M-exclusive Valencia Orange Metallic.