December 10th, 2010

Unboxing: BMW 1 Series M Coupé

Ladies and Gentleman, I would like to introduce to you the much anticipated BMW 1 Series M Coupé. Yesterday we got to see the last part of BMW’s baby M-car stiptease, but now we have the full low down on the entry level car from BMW’s motorsport division and boy does it look tasty.

The M Coupé has already started to get a mass following as putting big power into small car and then handing it over to the boys at BMW’s M division doesn’t happen very often. But this pocket rocket has more hanging over it than a normal car as enthusiasts want it to go back to the roots of fast Bimmers. With cars getting heavier and more technologically advanced, there has been a large cry for some of the DNA from BMW’s of old to be injected into a new car. People want the character of cars like the 2002 turbo and E30 M3 to be somehow inseminated into this 1M.

Lets get to the facts. Up front is BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six, pumping out 335 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque. Thankfully cogs are swapped in the traditional sense by using your left foot in combination with your hands. It is strictly a six-speed manual at launch, but there are rumors that possible twin-clutch DCT box may be dropped into the car in the future. The car’s ECU has been remapped and has an overboost function that provides an additional 37 lb-ft and comes with an M button to tighten everything up when things get frisky. This all combines to a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and an electronically limited top end of 155 miles per hour.

With all this extra grunt and testoterone pumping around under the bonnet the exterior has also had more than a workout at the gym. The new Coupé features a high-strength steel unibody, with masively widened fenders and rear quarter panels to house the substantially widened track. It also features a metal roof panel which saves about 15kg compared to BMW 1 Series models equipped with a moonroof.

There is a new front fascia that houses three large air intakes which help take more air to the boosted engine. Round the back there is an aggressive bumper which helps with aerodynamics and four baked bean can sized exhausts out the back.

You can get your M Coupé in three colours; non-metallic Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic and Metallic Valencia Orange. Valencia Orange suits the car as it works a bit like the fake tan that body builders (and Jersey Shore characters) use to make themselves look ‘hench’ to impress the ladies. Personally, I would opt for white with M motorsport colour pin stripping, but I guess it is down to taste.

To improve handling the 1M’s chassis has been significantly upgraded from the standard 135i’s. There is a 71mm wider track at the front and a 46mm increase in track at the back.The ride height has been lowered by 20mm making the M-car look like a squat second-row rugby player.

Sitting on the kerb it will weigh 1495kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 224bhp per tonne. That is 34bhp per tonne less than its older M3 brother and just 14bhp per tonne more than the 135i coupe. Stopping power is a hand-me-down straight from big brother M3, with 360mm vented and drilled discs up front and 350mm vented and drilled discs at the rear.

With a price tag of £39,990 (which can be specced up to £45k), it slips in nicely under the M3 and above the 135i. It could be seen to be a bit too nicely/strategically slipped in between the two and our only query is that it could have done a little bit better on the power to weight over the 135i.

There is no doubt that this is sure to be a special car with only 450 cars bound for the UK. We won’t be able to say whether it has been artificially inseminated with an E30′s genes until we have had a go in one. But until that day comes round we can drool over the pictures - and so can you.