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      09-21-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
tach9
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Rookie 1M BMW Owner Review

Hey All,

I have a V.O. 1M...and it's my first BMW. It has every option offered by BMW at the time of purchase. After driving it for 3k miles (have a total of 13k), I thought I'd post my review of the car. First I have to tell you that I am no stranger to performance vehicles, been racing SCCA for 35 years...kinda gets in your blood if you know what I mean? I have several cars, but before I bought the 1M, my daily driver and track teaching car is a 2003 Miata. The Miata is set up well with Ohlins DFV etc....so much of my personal performance comparisons is based upon how the 1M performs vs. the Miata. Weird I know, but the Miata truly is a fantastic handling car given the proper suspension set up. It's a pure handling machine, with limited power (120hp...LOL!!!). It really teaches a person how to drive...

The looks of the 1M is subjective, but I find that it just different enough that is really sets itself apart from all of the BMW product lines. People know that it's different, even if they do not know what a 1M is. So far the fit and finish of my 1M is very good. No major fitment issues at all. Unfortunately the previous owner did not invest in a "Clear Bra" so there are some minor rock chips on the front valance. I plan to repaint the valance and install the "Clear Bra" after the paint has cured. I find the interior well laid out and the seat are fantastic!! I'm not one for the "Luxury Cruiser" interiors, I prefer functional with nice amenities, which IMHO, BMW has done a nice job with. My only real complaint is it has taken a bit to get used to the functions of the instrumentation. Things like working the monitors, NAV and such are to me, not intuitive, but certainly not imperative. It just takes some playing around. Once the initial confusion was over for me, I find it natural now to adjust what I need and program away as I drive. Did I mention I LOVE the seats!!!!

Issues that I have had so far are minor. The most major was the driver's side head light went out. There is a retaining clip (wire bar) on the back side of the light that the plastic snap had broken off of. This allowed moisture to get into the head light causing the light to fail and the adaptive head light module to fail. It was fixed under warranty without any issues. It did take about 3.5 hours to fix though as the reprogramming of the adaptive module/sensor had to be done. The second issue I had was the front fender liners rubbing. When I had the stock size tires on, there was no rubbing, but when I went to 255-35-19's the tires started to rub the liner. BMW replaced the liner under warranty, and while it is a bit better (less rubbing) I find that they still rub. It does look like the "new" liners have a deeper scallop where the outer tire would make contact on full radius turns, but it still rubs a tad. Nothing major, I can live with it and I figure as the tire wears, there will be more clearance so that the rubbing will decrease. So far that is all the issues I have had. very minor indeed!!!

Power: The 1M is the first car I've owned that I plan not to modify power wise. It's an amazing torque monster and it is more than adequate for my purposes. The "M" button is sooo addictive...love that button!!! To me the power is seamless, and there have been no instances where I have said, "Gee I wish I had more power!!!" There is more power to be had with some bolt ons etc. but I find myself not wanting them, nor needing them. It's a strange conundrum for me as I have always modded my cars. Right now the power levels suits my needs well. I also find the stock exhaust system very pleasant...meaning it has a nice sound, you hear it when you get on it, and it's quiet enough from the interior that you can actually have a conversation. I have a 2003 Mach 1 with a Borla Stinger exhaust set up, and while it sounds awesome, you can't hear your self think when driving the car!!! The stock 1m exhaust does have a spot in the RPM band where it drones slightly, it's not bad, but a bit annoying at times. I've read what others do, I just drive a bit faster to get out of the drone zone...no biggie. I find it's just loud enough, has a nice tone, and looks pretty good for a stock set up. One thing I wish though, is since the main muffler kinda hangs low and it can be seen from behind, I wish it were made like the Magnaflow mufflers...meaning stainless polished steel. OK, it's a bit of bling, but it would go well with the chrome exhaust tips. I have found that the transmission is simply the best tranny I have ever shifted. Yes there could be a slight improvement of the shifter itself, but the tranny works extremely well. No matter if it's cold or hot, it shifts perfectly with always the same feel...fantastic!!! The shifter mechanism could use a bit more positive feel. I suspect that a short throw shifter would take care of that, or a bushing upgrade. It's not enough of a problem though to impact my impression of the tranny. Clutch actuation is very good. Light pedal pressure and positive engagement. Flawless so far.

Handling: to me, this was a mixed bag of feeling because I was prejudice on what a Coupe should feel like. The 1M is a coupe that when asked of it, performs like a pure sports car. I find the stock dampeners are well suited to my everyday usage. One of the best "stock" dampeners I have experienced. The ride is firm, but not kidney killing at all. I can press it into the corners and it tracks well and have a blast exiting, tail happy or composed, it's my choice, and not necessarily the cars. The 1M in basic driving mode feels substantial..meaning it has a weight that makes it feel more like a luxury car, but when pressed for more spirited actions, it suddenly feels like a sports car. It would be nice though if it did weight 500lbs less, but I'm not really complaining. It has a very dual personality....sedate when cruising, and more than enough torque to have a lot of fun with when called upon!! The brakes are very good...maybe a tad too sensitive as it makes heel/toe maneuvers a bit bumpy. I takes a bit of practice to do this smoothly, but all it took was practice time. The only true complaint here, is that the stock brake pads dust quite a bit. They act and perform much like Hawk HP+ brake pads. While I love how they work for the most part on the street, the dusting drives me mad!!! The wheels have very deep barrels and cleaning them is a bit of a PITA!!! I find the stock wheels wide enough and good looking enough that I have no plans to upgrade them. I did feel that the stock size tires were a bit too small. The stretched look on the stock wheels performs a function like a race car. Stretching the sidewalls makes the tire perform better due to less flexing of the sidewalls. This also makes the ride a bit harsher as well. I found that the stock wheel rim protruded enough beyond the stock tire size, that the previous own had curbed the wheel. I upgraded to Michelin PSS in 255-35-19 up front and 275-35-19 rears. This put the tire basically even with the wheel rim and gives a slight protection to the wheel against curbing. The upgrade in tires size in no way as far as I can tell, hinders the performance at all. They do give a slightly better ride and going from Michelin PS2's (the OEM tire) to Michelin PSS improved the overall traction (which is interesting as the PS2 have a tread wear rating of 220 and the PSS are 300). Turn in is good and stable, predictable. Could be quicker, but I remind myself the 1M is a coupe, and not a Miata.

Ride Height: The rear of the 1M looks perfect IMHO...it's the front that has a bit of the 4x4 look. However, at the stock ride height, I have zero issues so far of going up driveways or crossing speed bumps. Kinda nice as I always scrape in my Miata. I do find that the front valance "needs" a Spoiler. I think that the spoiler just finished off the look of the front end. I have no plans to mod the suspension. I just plan to enjoy it as it is... for now...

Sorry for the long post, I am constantly amazed at how much fun this 1M is, that I just had to render my feelings!!! 1M is surprisingly comfortable as well. It does everything from grocery getting to spirited driving. I have yet to take it to the track, but that is coming soon. Thanks for indulging me...

Enjoy the ride!!!!

tach9
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      09-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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Nice write up.

Leif W.
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      09-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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Great review, agree with what you say, amazing fun to drive.
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      09-21-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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Thanks guys...I'm really enjoying it as many on here are!!! Even my neighbors who are not "car" folks, realize that there is something special about the 1M. It always attracts a crowd...Fun...fun...fun!!!
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      09-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Very good summary indeed.
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      09-21-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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SWEET! Congrats!
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      09-21-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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BTW I'm still kind of surprised that BMW warrantied the rubbing liners despite running non-stock larger tire size!
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      09-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayao View Post


BTW I'm still kind of surprised that BMW warrantied the rubbing liners despite running non-stock larger tire size!
I have a very good SA at Niello BMW
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      09-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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Any rubbing with those 255s up front?
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      09-21-2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
Any rubbing with those 255s up front?
* Yes, slight less rubbing with the new liners...but yes the 255's rub at full lock. See the thread on the liners. I have posted pixs there.
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      09-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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      09-21-2012, 06:05 PM   #12
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Cliff Note Version: This car kicks ass.

Nice write up, thanks for taking the time. I'm 11 months into driving this beast and am still amazed at this car. I swear I left 2nd gear black marks on the freeway today while accelerating to third. Afugginmazing
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