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      10-12-2011, 10:26 PM   #59
Give '///M' Hell!
b33g33's Avatar

Drives: Einser Rex
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Review on Sport 360:


Oct 13, 2011 0 comments 0

Red alert: The BMW 1-series M Coupe.

Remember when BMWs used to be about driving, and less about status? Remember when they were devoid of electrickery, when the steering connected you to the road ahead, when the stick-shift gave you direct access to the motor, and when the only thing keeping you from certain death or a night in the slammer was a sensitive right foot and your own sense of self preservation?

Well those days are not only, not long gone, but are still here. In these days of mental horsepower figures of 500 plus and enough torque to make the earth turn quicker, a twin-turbo straight-six producing 335bhp and 332lb ft of torque will sound distinctly underwhelming.

But I warn you now, do not be put off, and believe me when I say that is enough. Enough, that is, when you’re talking about a compact short-wheel-base coupe with rear-wheel drive, a very manual short-throw six speed transmission and the whole thing tipping the scales at just 1495kg.

We are talking about the feisty little BMW 1-series M Coupe, and to further add to its intent it’s had a few other transplants: the suspension, brakes, 19-inch competition pack wheels and the smart-alec M Differential are borrowed from the current M3.

Somehow, the promise and potential of this little cracker, overcomes the extreme reservations that have always existed over the sagging molten mess of a stylistic blob that was the 1-series.

Actually, with the better proportions of the coupe, now enhanced by the wider track, bigger, filled-out wheel arches, massive air intakes, quad exhausts and its lowered, more menacing, stance it all contributes to a deeply contrived, but utterly effective sportiness.

It’s lesser sibling, the 135i Coupe is not a bad steer either, but the M takes things up a considerable number of notches and it does so by adopting the Z4’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder with a pair of turbos.

You’re looking at acceleration well into the domain of hard core sports cars, and a typical BMW-limited top speed of 250kph. Once you’re on the move, start exploiting the performance and begin to throw it around. You will do this anyway because it’ll egg you on and then relish your commitment.

Work that crisp but smooth shifter hard to access the power and keep things on the boil and you’ll be rewarded with grip-busting performance. So much so that you’ll see a light constantly flickering on the dashboard.

That’s the traction control, and it’s revealing its presence in the most subtlest of manners, because with the back end of this car kicking about like an eager puppy dog’s tail, you’ll not otherwise notice the silent saviour keeping you on the road.

The harder you drive it, the better you get to know it and understand and appreciate its relatively crude grip and dynamics. And the more satisfied you will be.

You won’t mind that it has a hard ride, which deteriorates even further on rough surfaces, nor will you care about the cramped interior, the awkwardly upright seating position and the dated dashboard.

If your hunting for criticism of the 1M as it’s been popularly dubbed, you won’t find it here. Oh alright then, there is the small matter of the price, for example.

This car should be offered for around the AED 150,000 mark to compete head on with the popular coupes and muscle cars in this market. Instead the price is well past the psychological tip-over point of AED 200k. But, apart from that, this is a little beauty.

Why Buy It

The most fun-to-drive BMW on sale today
A future classic
Fantastic performance
Why Not

It’s expensive
Only available as a manual
Dated and cramped interior
The 1 series M is the most badass, coolest, sickest BMW to debut since the 1988 M3. The E30 M3 finally has a successor. Please welcome the stupidly fast, wickedly tempered, awkwardly named, possibly perfect little son of a benchmark - Automobile Magazine, August 2011

Last edited by b33g33; 10-13-2011 at 07:04 AM..