Written on the 18 August 2011
BMW’S new pocket rocket unites exhilarating performance with luxury, handling and of course, those curves.
Four decades after its birth, the BMW ‘M’ badge still symbolises spine-tingling performance delivered via a proven luxury platform.
The M3 and M5 have always maintained a unique aura, but the hype around the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe (the M1) has raised the bar on the cult following with performance car enthusiasts.
Based on BMW’s compact 1-series, the M1 Coupe features a 3.0L twin turbo powerplant, producing 250kW and 450Nm of torque.
The figures achieved from marrying the high performance in-line six-cylinder motor with a 1500kg luxury compact car are staggering:4.9 seconds will propel you to 100km/h, while combined fuel consumption trickles at 9.6 litres per 100km.
Smaller, lighter and more agile than its big brothers, the real beauty of the new M1 is its handling.
“This is a return to what BMW has always done best: building the perfectly balanced sports coupe,” says BMW Group Australia managing director Phil Horton.
“There would be few cars on the road that could offer as much sheer driving pleasure.”
The chassis technology of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is derived directly from motorsport. Components originally developed for the BMW M3 have been modified and fine-tuned in extensive testing on the Nurburgring.
The double joint rear axle and five-link rear suspension are made almost entirely of aluminium. The lightweight braking system is also derived from race car technology and ensures impeccable deceleration with significantly reduced susceptibility to fading.
The M models have forged their place in performance motoring history with a reputation for matching pure acceleration and dynamic handling with driving luxury.
Standard features on the M1 include professional navigation, voice control, internet, remote alarm system, adaptive xenon headlights, Harman Kardon surround sound system, M servotronic, M Drive, and 19 inch M light alloy wheels.
You don’t have to know exactly what all that means – the point is the 1 Series M Coupe offers among the highest specifications of any performance car available in Australia.
Aesthetically it boasts a wide, muscular stance complete with trademark BMW M design motifs such as flared wheel arches and quad exhausts.
It’s little wonder the first 100 examples have been snapped up in the pre-sale process, but BMW’s Phil Horton says there’s more headed for Australian shores.
The BMW 1 Series M Coupe is priced at about $100,000.