The rumors of a new BMW M1 have been going around for quite some time now, but no solid reports have been ever made nor confirmed by BMW. Today, British magazine Autocar reports that BMW greentlights the development of an M version of the 1 Series Coupe.
The new M1 is rumored to come equipped with a revised version of the N55 twin-scroll turbo six-cylinder engine producing around 350 horsepower and north of 300 lb-ft of torque. Sales are expected to begin in mid-2011.
The decision to put the car into production has been attributed to an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” to recent customer clinics, according to at least one high-ranking BMW official. The demographic is said to be younger customers craving for BMW performance and the M1 will be the most affordable M in the line-up. It is also considered to be a direct competitor to the future Audi RS3.
Autocar speculates on the price point, around 38,000 British Pounds and it will be slotted beneath the M3 Coupe.
The upcoming modular platforms from BMW allows them to build more cars within the class and still maintain a relatively low price point.
“With the modular production processes in place at BMW, it is possible to create performance cars that customers can not only dream about owning but also realistically afford”, says Dr. Kay Segler, BMW M boss.
The final name has yet to be finalized, but we believe the iconic M1 name will be restored due to its resonance and prestige. The 2012 BMW M1 is said to be inspired from BMW’s tii Concept revealed in 2007.
For the new M car the engine will re-adopt a twin-turbocharged layout, although the new system is said to differ quite dramatically from that used on the older engine; it’s likely to get a new turbo and a more efficient intercooler arrangement.
No confirmation on the transmission options, but expect something similar to other M cars.
With a kerb weight of not much more than 1500kg, its 0 to 60mph performance should be around the 5 seconds mark.
EfficientDynamics will continue to play an important role in future BMW products, so expect to see a stop-start and brake regeneration systems in place.
The underpinnings of the 1 Series Coupe – MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension – will remain the same, but M engineers will introduce new suspensions, springs and dampers. “We’re aiming to make it a lot more dynamic than the standard 135i,” said Segler.
Exterior design will get the special M treatment, deeper front spoiler, flared front wheel arches, chunkier sills, a rear deck spoiler and a deeper rear valance with four chromed exhaust pipes.
Production is set to begin at the Leipzig factory in Germany and as we mentioned before, the new M1 will be unveiled in 2011.
Assembly of the newest M-car is likely to take place at BMW’s Leipzig factory in Germany. alongside standard versions of the 1-series coupé.
[Source: Autocar ]