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      12-30-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
Robert
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Thumbs up Top Gear Awards 2011: Richard Hammond Picks BMW 1M as Car of the Year

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TG Awards 2011: Richard's car of the year

Nothing else comes close to the BMW 1 Series M Coupe for steerable, chuckable, laugh-out-loud lunacy...

Posted by: Richard Hammond, 30 December 2011

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http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/t...upe-2011-12-30

Annoyingly, Ollie Marriage summed this car up perfectly in one word when he drove it for this magazine. He described it as ‘boisterous'. And that is as exact and precise a description as I could give of it using an unlimited number of words and a three-hour PowerPoint lecture. The BMW 1M Coupe is, yes, a small car, but that's not the full story. A labrador puppy and a fully grown duck are both small and roughly the same size as each other, but only one of them will hump your leg, eat your trainers and chew your finger when you try to pet it. And it's not the duck. So the baby BMW is exactly that, a baby, bringing with it all the potential of larger, fully grown cars, with none of the seriousness and restraint of adulthood. Still small, but what it's got in huge, disproportionate spade loads is character. And it's not a duck.

The 1-Series body has been stretched over the suspension and trick bits from an M3, so the arches are pulled tight over the 19-inch wheels like a wetsuit on a wrestler - never seen that, but you get my point. Visually, it tells you straightaway that while it might be still right now, what it wants to do more than anything is bounce up and down like a mad thing, crap on the rug and tear off with the TV remote in its teeth. Comparisons are made with the original BMW M3 every time this car is talked about, and with good reason. The M3, when it popped up in 1987, was adored for its track-derived focus, razor-sharp performance and fizzing, raucous energy. That, though, was a car built for homologation reasons: BMW wanted to race and had to build a number of road-going versions to qualify. The new 1M Coupe has been built simply because BMW felt there was a market for a modern car with all of those attributes. It could have been a cynical marketing exercise, another example of men in suits telling us what we want. Except they're exactly right - we want it. And it's brilliant. Nothing I have driven comes close for steerable, chuckable, laugh-out-loudable lunacy while always having a sense that this thing might just be, in the right hands, a bloody good track car.

The gearbox is available only as a six-speed manual. It's brilliant: short and snappy. The M differential comes from the current M3 and does its bit not just to help control those big, slidey moments, but also to actively encourage them. Hit the M button on the steering wheel, and the traction control sits back in a deckchair and reads the paper while you go mental. But it's always ready to cough disapprovingly, and rustle the paper a bit to calm things down if you balls it up too badly. The twin-turbo, straight-six sounds like a turbine as it spins out its 335bhp, but it's the huge surge of torque it provides that gives it more grunt even than the M3's V8. It doesn't cosset and protect, it's not there to wave big performance figures in your face and then deny you access. It leaves you to get on with it. Thankfully, the thing is so well thought-out and so well-designed and made that it flatters and helps you along simply by being very, very good at its job.

We filmed one for our TopGear Christmas DVD. I had to drive it though a sort of shooting range, along narrow, twisting tracks past hordes of blokes armed with paintball guns, chasing me on dirt bikes and in a modified Bowler Wildcat. There was even a helicopter carrying more potential paintball assassins. I can be honest here and confess that we had a stunt driver on standby, just in case it all got a bit much for idiot boy and someone got killed. In the event, I was able to slither the thing around with such pace and accuracy that the stunt driver stayed in his car drinking cold coffee. And my point is that if even a numpty like me can extract huge, controllable slides, turns tight enough to rearrange your face, and viscous corner-to-corner blasts out of it, the 1M Coupe has got to have something special. It's expensive, but don't worry if you're feeling tempted to sell the kids and live in a cardboard box, there's not much point because the cars are probably all gone by now. Only 450 will come to the UK. I shall pull over and applaud if ever I see one on the road. It's magnificent and my car of the year.

Link to Hammond's original 1M coupe review: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=542479
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      12-30-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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awesome!
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      12-30-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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I remember him complaining a few times during the Top Gear episode that cost was high for the car. Guess he's changed his opinion since.
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      12-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuned1 View Post
I remember him complaining a few times during the Top Gear episode that cost was high for the car. Guess he's changed his opinion since.
I suppose his state of denial has passed. The car has proven itself over and over, and for this price nothing similar or better can be found.
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      12-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuned1 View Post
I remember him complaining a few times during the Top Gear episode that cost was high for the car. Guess he's changed his opinion since.

Growing understanding

Advancing/progressive insight ...........


Or something like that............
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      12-30-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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"....what it wants to do more than anything is bounce up and down like a mad thing, crap on the rug and tear off with the TV remote in its teeth...."

Sounds like a bulldog...
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      12-30-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/t...upe-2011-12-30

Hit the M button on the steering wheel, and the traction control sits back in a deckchair and reads the paper while you go mental.

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      12-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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I don't think he's considering price. If you look at it for what it is and what it does, very few come close (as from all the reviews and opinions), BMW built a winner.
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      12-30-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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praise after praise, accolade after accolade. Incredible.

Thumbs up BMW
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      12-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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No surprises here... it's a fantastic automobile. The suspension bits of an M3 combined with the mighty N54!
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      12-30-2011, 08:19 PM   #11
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I think his opinion changed after his beloved Porsche took more hits trying to get away fro the "baddies" in Top Gear: Goes to the Movies.
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      12-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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It's seems like someone said not so long ago "I Hate this Car" "It's not Fast, compared to all the 500 HP cars I have been driving"

He must know best right? All the Blokes like Richard Hammond don't know what their talking about!
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      12-30-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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Wow. With so much negativity and doubt before the release of the car, the 1M surely hit the spot with a lot of enthusiasts and the media worldwide.
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      12-30-2011, 08:43 PM   #14
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Wow, a great review indeed.
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      12-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #15
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The Slide Master!

Ha, I just bought this issue of the Topgear mag. I don't get it every month because it's a bit pricey, but this is good enough reason to spoil yourself.

Btw, Clarkson chose the Evoque as his COTY. See, he does like something other than Mercs and Range Rovers.., oh wait, it's a Range Rover
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      12-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HREM3 View Post
praise after praise, accolade after accolade. Incredible.

Thumbs up BMW
It's almost ridiculous, but I like it!
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      12-30-2011, 09:48 PM   #17
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It's stuff like this that makes me wonder how people can say BMW is "overrated". They might not hit on all the cars they make (but they sure do come damn close) but when they do, you get stuff like the 1M that just gets praised everywhere. People need to realize a car goes beyond what the you can just see.
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      12-30-2011, 09:56 PM   #18
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Woo Hoo we made it to the top...
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      12-30-2011, 10:43 PM   #19
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Now... can the M2 follow in it's footsteps..?
This... and then best it
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      12-30-2011, 11:38 PM   #20
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1M all the way
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      12-31-2011, 12:47 AM   #21
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      12-31-2011, 12:53 AM   #22
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Great! I still can't believe that it beat M3 in Autobild test.
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