We’ve heard so much about the 1 M that it’s making some people sick. And while I understand that, I don’t believe we have heard quite enough about this car, yet.
At 8:12 it’s some 7 seconds off the pace of the E92 M3, but 10 seconds over the pace of the E46 M3, and just a little bit faster than the E60 M5 is at 8:13. Yep, that’s right. Two of the most beloved BMWs are slower around a race track than the 1 M.
Now if you ask me, this is nothing at all surprising. The M5 is a brilliant car to drive in a straight line, quite a bit of fun around corners, but nothing like a true ///M car should be. It was too heavy, and the V10 didn’t have quite enough low-end power and torque to pull the heavy beast out of some slower, tighter corners. But to not take anything away from it, it’s still a hell of a car, and has been on the receiving end of some fine engine awards.
The E46 is a different matter. It has similar power to the 1 M, but it weighs a tad more. It’s always been heralded as the ///M car that was right to do battle against Corvette and Porsche. The E92 just took that notion a step further. The E46 M3 is also one of the most sought after sports cars in the used market. The prices at this point are mellowed out, and some cars are truly ripe for the pickin’. That, and the fact that Car and Driver ranked it as one of the best used cars to have under $25,000, makes it a true winner.
At 8 minutes and 12 seconds, this is also, reportedly, faster than the Porsche Cayman S and the Audi TTS. But there’s one issue… It’s not. You see, any lap time with Horst Von Saurma’s name next to it, it’s for done for Sport Auto magazine (Horst Von Saurma is Editor-in-Chief) on street tires and not the optimal tires, suspension setups, etc. that the factory uses for a lap time. So yes, the BMW factory test of the 1 M is faster than Horst’s lap time in the Cayman S. But it’s not faster than the 8:04 set by Walter Röhrl… That’s a tough number. That lap was done for Sport Auto as well, but it was with optional PCCB (Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes) and 19-inch wheels. Plus, Walter Röhrl is a king at the ‘Ring. He bested Horst Von Saurma’s lap in the E92 M3 by 1-second.
The same issues go for the E46 M3 and E60 M5 lap times. Horst Von Saurma did them both with street equipped cars. Not that it’s a big deal, it just means something when one car is tested by the manufacturer and the other is tested by an independent car magazine. We don’t yet know who actually drove the 1 M to such success.
So before we all go running into the streets screaming how much better the 1 M is over the Porsche Cayman S, Audi TTRS that’s coming soon to America, or any other car, we’ve got to drive it for ourselves. Although, I truly believe that it’ll be a great car to drive. And I do think that it will bring a feeling back to BMW’s ///M cars that some people claim has been lost.