So the new press release for BMW’s 1 Series M Coupe (God, could they have made the name any longer?) is over 2,700 words… and that sucks. But luckily, good, ole’ King Lewy is here to set you straight in around 1,000 words.
The car packs a hell of a punch at 3,296 lbs, preliminarily. What that means, basically, is what they believe it’ll weight when it goes on sale. So it may be a little more, it may be a little less. So it weighs roughly 119 lbs less than an E46 M3 and 77 lbs more than an E36 M3 did when they first debuted.
Power comes from the same S54 twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6 as the 335is and Z4 sDrive35is. So on the horsepower side, nothing has really changed; it’s still got 335 hp at 5,900 rpm and 332 lb-ft of torque from 1,500-4,500 rpm, with an overboost function at higher engine speeds that pumps out an additional 37 lb-ft, for 369 lb-ft total torque. Redline is a pretty decent 7,000 revs-per minute.
Now a lot of you are screaming, “Why so little power?! I thought BMW had been touting 345?! And what’s with all that weight?!” Okay, I hear your complaints, and I’ll raise you the previous generations of the M3. The E9x Series M3 has been touted as one of the best handling, driving, most charismatic sports cars of all time. And while I agree with that, I also agree that the cars have gotten a bit out of control in the weight department. 3,704 lbs for an M3 coupe? Yikes… So the 1 M (BMW calls it the 1 Series M Coupe, but I’m sticking with my 1 M. Some say 1M, and that’s incorrect. Get it right, dingle-berries…) goes into battle with roughly the same horsepower as an E46 M3, but with less weight, two turbos, and as a baby-current-M3. BMW has even said that their 0-60 tests have shown consistent 4.7 second launches. That’s the same that the E92 M3 does it in, according to BMW. The current M3 will actually hit 60 in 4.1–4.3 seconds on a pretty regular basis. The E46 M3 could hit 60 mph in just 4.6s, so if we can get the 1 M to do that, I think at a mere $45-grand (personal guesstimate), that’s not too shabby; that’s what an E46 M3 would set you back.
Realistically, with what BMW has done, you’ll see the 1 M hit 60 in around 4.4 seconds. That’s brilliant. The quarter-mile should pass you by at a mere 12.8 seconds.
This 1 M comes with something BMW has never offered on a road car, and it’s called air-curtains. It’s the same aerodynamic technology that’ll be offered on the F10 M5. Basically, the slats at the front and rear bumpers help to channel air in particular ways that allow it to basically move through the car, instead of around it. And basically, as the the car goes faster and faster, air provides turbulence, like you feel in a plane. And the best ways around this are to allow the air to pass along the sides of the car smoothly, instead of hitting the front tires and bouncing around. It forces the air to move and pass around the tires, not right on top of it. Tricky, I say.
The 1 M is only offered in three color, Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, and the color shown, Valencia Orange Metallic. I’ll take mine in black. The interior is colored in black Boston leather as standard, with alcantara and anthracite covering most surfaces, which is sexy. The seats and most of interior are stitched in the same Valencia Orange, no matter what color you get, however the inner rim of the steering wheel is still stitched in the signature ///M colors of light blue, darker blue and red.
Now something that’ll really upset the bunch that have gotten too used to the accoutrements and luxuries offered in an ///M car is the fact that, at least according to pictures, the 1 M will not be offered with automatically adjustable seats. Manual seats only. I’m actually excited about this.
What would an ///M car be without that little M-Drive button on the steering wheel? Well, this 1 M has that. What this does is, upon setting up your optimal settings for spirited/track driving using iDrive, you can push this button at any time to make the car go in to your personal taste settings at the touch of one button. It also means the throttle becomes sharper, as well as the engine performance. And to add to this, you have the standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), MDM (M Dynamic Mode) with a rear limited-slip differential.
Braking is supplied by the M3, with vented, cross-drilled discs at all corners measuring 14.2 inches front and 13.8 inches rear, respectively. And to go along with the braking: Are you tired of having your break linings checked at different intervals to see how much wear you’ve got left? BMW has taken the drivers’ guess-work out of it and installed an electronic read-out on your dash that will tell you how much brake lining performance you have left. Okay, now that’s pretty damn cool. The wheels are also M3 sourced, as the Competition Package and CSL style wheels that are 19 x 9 inches with 245/35/R19 low-profile tires at the front and 19 x 10 inches with 265/35/R19 tires in the rear. Just look at those rear wheel arches! Talk about channeling its inner E30 M3.
And with most all talked about, it’s time to shed some light on the chassis and suspension. Now it’s hard to actually give you just the facts about this, because this part is pretty specific. So I’ll let BMW tell it:
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.
Both the front and rear axles feature hollow anti-roll bars optimized for their function and weight. Incorporating two additional longitudinal reinforcement bars, axle kinematics are perfectly tailored to the overall street and track character of the car.