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      11-08-2010, 01:55 AM   #1
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M1 Review - CarPoint Australia

Not a bad review.....

http://www.carpoint.com.au/reviews/2010/-22337

"BMW 1 Series M Coupe
Prototype Test
Munich, Bavaria

What we liked
>> Brilliant, back-to-basics handling
>> Truly amazing ride quality
>> Smooth engine has mega muscle everywhere
Not so much
>> Too heavy...Way too heavy
>> Interior a bit plain Jane
>> Manual gearbox only, so no DSG
Overall rating: 4.0/5.0
Engine/Drivetrain/Chassis: 4.5/5.0
Price, Packaging and Practicality: 3.5/5.0
Safety: 4.0/5.0
Behind the wheel: 4.5/5.0
X-factor: 4.0/5.0
About our ratings

Had an influential bunch of now-senior managers not been involved in a 1980s BMW supercar of the same name, this car would have been a natural fit to be called the M1. Instead, the twin-turbo, straight-six pocket rocket, built to open up the M club to younger and less wealthy buyers, will carry the clumsier BMW 1 Series M Coupe moniker.
Yet, if our recent drive is any indication, that won't mean the little dazzler won't drive like the M1 should, because everything, from its footprint to its body size to its sticky rear end, feels like a modern reincarnation of the original M3, with a few notable exceptions.
It's fast, for sure, but it could easily be faster and, at some point in its life it undoubtedly will be. The six-cylinder engine has been taken from BMW's stunningly good 335i and fiddled with and re-boosted until M found 246kW and 450Nm. Yep, it's the identical engine specification to the Z4 sDrive 35is, and about as elegantly named.
Yet, in one of the real disappointments for a car this size, the 1 Series M Coupe will still have around 1500kg to carry around when it reaches Australian shores in around June or July next year.
That's largely because the 1 Series runs the same suspension and chassis modules as the heavier 3 Series and partly because M has steered clear of fancy stuff like carbon-fibre to keep the cost down. Indeed, the car price in Germany will sit about a third of the way from the price of the 135i Coupe to the current M3.
So what will you get for your money? From what we could tell on a day-long drive in the Bavarian countryside, you'll get a nimble little machine that punches hard in a straight line, rides far better than the 135i and handles with an astonishing poise and confidence.
BMW won't fit this car with anything other than a six-speed manual (or so it says...), but it also inherits the M3's clever, multiplate limited-slip differential, so its rear-drive setup rarely wants for grip.
In fact, it's got so much grip that the little jigger is only five seconds slower around the Nürburgring's Nordschleife circuit than the V8 M3 and an astonishing 12 seconds quicker than the superseded E46 M3.
M admits it could have found more power out of the engine, but thought a zero-to-100km/h time in the very low five-second bracket was close enough to the M3, thanks very much. While that seems close to what the 135i already does, we suspect the 1 Series M Coupe is a fraction quicker than that.
In the end, it's got plenty of power for most situations. And it's still a lovely engine, in spite of running different turbos.
It fires up quietly, though with the slight burble of a born mischief-maker. Yet, with all that torque, it's a dream car around town. The clutch is heavy, though, and you'd have hoped BMW might have spent more time making the gearshift a bit nicer, given that you've got no option but to take it.
First gear is easy enough to slot into, but the rest are particularly notchy and clunky to get into at low speeds, especially while the gearbox oil is still cold. The engine isn't concerned by it, though, and will happily get the job done regardless of the gear you decide to leave it in.

There's just so much torque on offer at low rpm that the 1 Series M Coupe will pull sixth gear from as little as 60km/h and less than 1000rpm without even a hint of complaint. It just keeps doing its smooth thing until it gets to the point, at around 1700rpm, when the turbos begins huffing and then it pushes harder and harder until you're hitting the limiter at 250km/h. Well, officially 250km/h, anyway -- BMW admits it's really about 259.
That's one easy way to circumvent the clunky gearshift. The other is to drive a bit harder and fling the lever through the gates with more vigour. Do that and you find the crunching has gone and so has the awkward baulkiness. It just flies through from one gate to the next with a meaty, metallic feel and a strangely satisfying heft.
It's even better coming down the gearbox, especially because BMW has given the 1 Series M Coupe the perfect pedal positioning for heel-and-toe downshifts. It's just the gentlest roll of the foot on the brake pedal and there's a perfect blip to smooth out the load on the driveline.
All the time, the straight six is transitioning from smooth midrange gristle to smooth top-end power, pulling 7000rpm with a howl that never loses its composure. If there's a fault with it, it's that it's a fraction too sweet and too quiet and that doesn't quite match up with the menacing muscle under your right foot. It's like being threatened by a choir boy.
But the engine's not the best part of the 1 Series M Coupe. The handling is.
The body is 80mm wider than the 135i at the rear end, mostly to accommodate the 19-inch Michelin tyres that are, pointedly, not run flats. And where the M3 can be tricky to get the best out of, with its relatively high rear roll centre giving you the disconcerting feeling of the bodyshell moving up, across and over the rear axle if you change the line mid-corner or strike an ill-placed bump, the 1-Series M Coupe is not.
The smaller two-door just hunkers down on long corners, squeezing the weight down on the outside rear tyre and belting its way out again with blistering precision. It's a far more-composed operator than its big brother, and its electro-mechanical steering system (a first for M, which has traditionally stripped it off donor BMWs and replaced it with hydraulic systems) starts to make sense as you go faster.
That's just as well, because at low speed, it's about as intuitive and fun as the gearbox. It's oddly light just off centre, then gets overly quick as you wind on more lock. At speed, though, that all changes and it feels instead like it's one, completely integrated part of a focused unit.
It's a joy to fling, actually, and plenty of people will prefer the 1 Series M Coupe to the M3 just because of the accessibility of its handling. The surprise is that it runs exactly the same ride height as the 135i Coupe.
It takes about 10 seconds in the 1 Series M Coupe before you realise just how easy it is to get at its depths and the little sucker begs you to brake later and turn in harder. It communicates back to you every little thing that's happening underneath it and gives you enormous warning when it's running out of grip.
It feels like it corners with a flat stance and it's so beautifully damped that even big mid-corner bumps don't shake your confidence in its ability to hang on, even when you've got all of its grip already committed to the battle. Indeed, its balance is so good that you can stand it on its nose under the strong brakes and fling the wheel and expect it to bite.
You can also swing it through direction changes at high speed at a rate that belies its short wheelbase and I defy anybody to fling it through second gear sweeps without giggling.
It does all of this while imparting a calmness to the driver; a feeling that it's got your back covered while you're extracting all the fun it can give you.
One of the keys is its ride quality, which is far softer than anything you can get in any 1 Series and approaches 5 Series levels of comfort on vertical bump strikes. It's ridiculously comfortable, especially given what it can achieve mid-corner.
It gets this done with one suspension setup (there are no tricky electronic damper maps here) to match its one gearbox philosophy. The back-to-basics thing is in evidence, and there are four fat exhaust pipes at the back and massively flared guards at every wheel.
BMW insists the Leipzig-built 1 Series M Coupe will only ever be a coupe, ruling out both convertible and hatchback versions, and insists that, even in the US, manual gearboxes will be all it ever uses.
Inside, there's a piece of black tape over the still-secret Sport button, which will overboost the turbos to give the 1 Series M Coupe even more power and torque. It will also tighten up the steering and the throttle response. That's one notable addition on the ultra-fat leather steering wheel.
The rest of it will receive the mildly updated dashboard from the 1 Series facelift (hence the timing of the 1 Series M Coupe's launch at the Detroit Motor Show in January)."
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      11-08-2010, 02:23 AM   #2
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I believe this has already been posted. See http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448423
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      11-08-2010, 03:16 AM   #3
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[quote=AlpineM3E92;8295187]The body is 80mm wider than the 135i at the rear end, mostly to accommodate the 19-inch Michelin tyres that are, pointedly, not run flats.
[quote]


A BMW with no run flats. Is this true? The M3 has non run flats?

These guys obviously did not know much about the original M1, to think this car should be call the same.
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      11-08-2010, 03:42 AM   #4
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@Rob: Yes, it is true. There is no RFT tyre option for an M3. And there better not be for the 1M either! The X5 and X6M offer RFT, no other M ever has.
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      11-08-2010, 04:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmDrei View Post
@Rob: Yes, it is true. There is no RFT tyre option for an M3. And there better not be for the 1M either! The X5 and X6M offer RFT, no other M ever has.
And no other M ever should.
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      11-08-2010, 04:44 AM   #6
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Fuc....ng runflats are mistake for all sporty cars like 135i, after all.
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      11-08-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Too heavy...Way too heavy..
that explains it. Wish this car was lower in weight.

Quote:
It's a far more-composed operator than its big brother, and its electro-mechanical steering system (a first for M, which has traditionally stripped it off donor BMWs and replaced it with hydraulic systems) starts to make sense as you go faster.
Good.

Quote:
One of the keys is its ride quality, which is far softer than anything you can get in any 1 Series and approaches 5 Series levels of comfort on vertical bump strikes. It's ridiculously comfortable, especially given what it can achieve mid-corner.
Interesting..
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Last edited by Evice; 11-08-2010 at 10:22 AM..
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