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      10-12-2010, 11:41 AM   #1
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Autoexpress BMW 1M Firstdrive impressions

BMW 1-Series M
Ignore the crazy disguise. This firebreather evokes memories of the first M3!
Auto Express Car ReviewsText: Shane O'Donoghue / Photos: BMWOctober


MEET the mightiest 1-Series ever! This is the new M Coupť Ė a hot flagship that seeks to deliver the M Sport DNA into BMWís smallest car. It wonít be launched until next year, but we headed to the firmís Munich HQ to put a pre-production
version through its paces.

All the swirly camouflage canít disguise the baby M-carís powerful looks. Itís low and imposing, thanks to an 80mm wider track and inflated wheelarches, which cover huge 19-inch alloys, attached to the M3ís limited-slip diff at the rear. The carís back-to-basics approach means the sole transmission option is the M3ís six-speed manual gearbox, while there will be no adaptive damping, and there is only one setting for the differential.

On the move, the car doesnít disappoint. With two relatively small turbos, the 335bhp 3.0-litre straight-six has lots of punch at low revs, while in the mid-range, acceleration is storming. No figures are available, but weíd estimate 0-60mph in around five seconds.

The rear-drive chassis is up to the job, too. The wide stance aids stability and allows the car to corner quickly, with little roll.

Yet it seems to ride well, too. The steering is super-quick and the nose darts into a corner. It feels very rear-wheel drive, and you really notice the M differential at work. Stopping power is impressive, too, but itís the stability under heavy braking that stands out. In all, itís an engaging car that wonít hold any fears for the uninitiated.

That should suit the intended target audience. The German manufacturer wants to get younger buyers into M-cars, and so it considers the Coupť as a value-for-money proposition.

At an estimated £40,000, itís certainly not cheap, but does offer the same punch as a similarly priced Porsche Cayman S. Standard spec should be quite generous, with the equipment from the current range-topper, the 135i M Sport, likelyto be boosted by unique bucket seats, a new M steering wheel and fresh light-grey instruments Ė at the very least.
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      10-12-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Cheers Footie, been watching their site but hadn't spotted anything yet.

But wait, what's this...........

Is that the same Shane O'Donohue who wrote the Car Enthusiast article?
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