We’ve heard enough about the 1 M, haven’t we? Well, maybe not yet. Since I haven’t driven the new 1 Series M Coupe, and probably won’t for some time, I’ve decided to instead take to Forza Motorsport 3 and see what the game has to say about it.

They don’t offer the 1 M in the game, as of yet. But I went and bought a stock 135i and modified it to be as close to the 1 M as possible. I added a new Hamann rear bumper and a BMW Motorsport front bumper and side moldings, but also some horsepower, wheels, tires, brakes and a new driveshaft.

Overall weight came out to be 3,297 lbs, with the horsepower getting a bump to 335 and the torque as well at 335, versus┬á the actual power and torque numbers of 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque with a 37 lb-ft overboost. I unfortunately couldn’t get exact numbers in everything but I tried my best. Wheels on the 1 M are 245/35/R19 up front with 265/35/R19 in the rear. The best I could do in the upgrade shop of Forza 3 was 235/35/ZR19 up front and 265/35/ZR19 in the rear, because there was no 245 option up front. So it’s not exact, but good enough. Wheels are simple BBS RS-GTs that took off some weight, but added a more ///M-like appeal. Oh, and I tried to match the Valencia Orange Metallic the best way I could.

According to the Benchmark tuning area, the 135i/1 M project car turned out about where I expect the real car to be. Sitting pretty doing a 4.4-second 0-60, with 100 mph covered in just over 10.6-seconds. Top end is around 177 mph.

I say again, nothing was 100% exact. It’s all to get a simple measure of how good the 1 M may actually be.

The challenger for this little event? None other than the 1 M’s bigger, badder brother, the E92 M3. A bone stock M3. Now here’s where Forza gets things a little twisted. Even though I’ve upgraded the 1 M to be like the real thing, which is still measured at being less than the M3, they still rank the RawAutos 135i/1 M car 4 points higher… Weird, right? Anywho…

The setting for this matchup? One of my all-time favorites, Road Atlanta. I did the shortened, 1.77 mile long course, just because I enjoy it a little more. I wanted to see how well each car would fair against the other with a decent mash-up of straight-a-ways and tight corners. This was a best of 3 laps, so no trying to keep going…

First up, the 1 M. The first lap, being from a standstill, was around 1 minute and 12 seconds. The second lap was just under 1:07, and the final lap, the best of all, was a 1:06.613. Not too shabby for a car with a small inline-6 and only 335 hp.

Now it’s the M3’s turn. Am I sweating? Not really. I figure this car’s got the Forza 1 M beat, but who knows…?

The first lap, a very surprising 1:14… This is not starting out very well, if I’m honest. But I get my stuff together and pump out a 1:05 and some change for my second lap. Good, but not quite good enough. I cross the line for the third time, happy with my final time. A very well done 1:04.607. A full 2-seconds faster than the 1 M.

Keep in mind, this was the short course, which I did on purpose to try and make sure the 4.0-liter, 414 hp V8 didn’t have enough straights to make it a single car race. On the longer Road Atlanta, turn 5 doesn’t lead to section 9, it leads, obviously, to turn 6. Now what I was worried about was coming into sections 8 and 9, where they are just one long, slightly curvy straight that takes you to a hard braking portion, followed by a left handed corner, quickly into a tight right (10a and 10b), and then leading you back to the start/finish line. With that 8-9 section, the bigger V8 would have shown its true worth against the smaller 6-cylinder engine. Even if it does have two turbos.

So on this day, in this game, with me at the triggers and sticks, the E92 M3 was victorious. You can expect more of these battles to play out sooner than later to see which is quickest around other racetracks. ‘Ring anyone? Hopefully the real 1 M is this good. Until the next time, stay classy.

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