2012 BMW 1-series M Coupe – First Drive by Car and Driver

1-series | July 9th, 2010 by 16
2012 bmw 1 series m coupe prototype 11 cd gallery zoomed 750x500

As with the new X3, BMW offered some private testing to selected automotive magazines. Car and Driver slipped into the cockpit of the new BMW …

As with the new X3, BMW offered some private testing to selected automotive magazines. Car and Driver slipped into the cockpit of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe, on the passenger side, and shares their first impressions aboard the new M driven by one of the BMW drivers. The engine figures shared below are also estimates since BMW has yet to revealed the “real” numbers.

“The 1-series’ body and track have been widened significantly front and rear, there is a unique front bumper, the trunklid gets a spoiler lip, and the exhaust flows through quadruple tailpipes. The M-specific interior—which was not installed in this prototype—will feature sport seats, unique trim, and special instrumentation.

The N54’s Last Stand?

While the 300-hp 135i has switched from the twin-turbo N54 to the single-turbo N55 engine, the 1-series M Coupe—like other BMWs recently unveiled with high-powered inline-sixes—gets a more powerful version of the N54, upgraded to about 335 hp. It’s mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox—no automatic or dual-clutch transmission will be offered.

2012 bmw 1 series m coupe prototype 4 cd gallery zoomed 655x400

Segler’s troops still may shave a few pounds off the 135i’s total of almost 3400, but there is no budget for expensive lightweight materials. Zero-to-60 times should be in the mid-four-second range, and top speed will be governed to 155 mph. As it does with other M cars, BMW might offer the option to raise the limit, but we doubt it would go much beyond 170.


Getting the small M into a slight drift seemed as effortless as recovery, and the kick provided by the uprated engine represents a major step above the 135i. Turbo lag is slight and doesn’t significantly detract from the experience. Compared to the M3, you sit lower to the ground, the cabin is more compact, and thus you get a much better sense of speed than in the bigger car.


The 1-series M Coupe began life code-named “Pyrat,” and BMW thankfully refrained from calling it the M1.”

Full article at Car and Driver

16 responses to “2012 BMW 1-series M Coupe – First Drive by Car and Driver”

  1. T says:

    We have officially not released any figures so the journalist is speculating, Nor have they driven the car , Journalists have been driven around Ascari Race track by An M employee , they have not actually driven the car…

  2. Doug says:

    What is the advantage of the twin-turbo N54 over the single turbo N55? Much info seems to indicate that the N55 is the better engine, at least in terms of low-end and responsiveness.

    • Andrew says:

      There isn’t a tremendous difference in the N54 and N55 in terms of performance (just a few hundred RPM’s in terms of the start of the power curve). However, the N55 is more efficient with the same output and one less turbo. The N55 is the first mating of a BMW turbo and Valvetronic. However, I think due to the way an M-derived engine revs – the Valvetronic system would not work – hence the non-Valvetronic N54 serving as the better platform for M to work with.

      • Doug says:

        Interesting. So the valvetronic’s limitations are RPM and also rev speed? It seems like the latter would be easily corrected with a better actuator.

        On the other hand, how much does it matter if the valvetronic can’t keep up? Can’t the ECU know a fast rev is coming and sort of pre-advance the timing?

        Might this suggest that they’ll be increasing the redline on this M-N54 (S54?)

  3. rocky says:

    if u are trying to look for an awesome sound of a turbo engine, look no further. there are people who know how to do it!

  4. Paul says:

    i just hope they didnt f*** the drive with an electric steering like the Z4…it had so much potential and then it turned out to be crap to drive…if it comes with a proper hidraulic i might be tempted to trade my 3…

  5. X5SoB says:

    So, I just got my issue of Car and Driver(paper media, how archaic!), and in it is a three way shootout between the 535i, the M37, and the A6. They didn’t like the electric assist steering either, and as a consequence the 535i came in last. Do you plan to cover this too, or do you crib only favorable articles?

  6. T says:

    I am hoping they do and then post side by side a review by another magazine so you can see the comparison and writing style.
    Interesting they place the A6 first because every test in europe has placed the Audi last , purely because as an Audi it excells on it’s high quality interior and sense of well being. dynamics? not on a level of a 5er although it is marketed to be so.
    Which brings us to the RS and M Comparison. Both put things in but the outcome is very different , BMW state that to be an M car the standard car has to be the best drivers car in it’s segment which then gives a good platform for the M Division to work with. An Audi is never the dynamic car when it comes to a comparison with a BMW competitor. Therefore the platform is not the best to work with.
    Audi may offer an advantage over BMW with more power and more straightline speed but not all roads are straight. And BMW M want you to feel the car when hits the curve , takes that steep bend with aplomb and connect totally with the driver. That is why when you see that the new Audi RS5 , powerful , gorgeous , faster than an M3 but when it comes to which car is better to drive the M3 is chosen because it feels better to drive and communicates better with the driver.
    RS3 will be based on the Audi A3 which uses the platform from the Mrk V Golf against the 1M based on the 135i Coupe a car that has received plaudits and five star reviews. In Europe the Audi at least gets a mention for it’s quality interior.

    When you also read magazines top 10 cars , you can see one Audi the R8 and nothing else comes close , but you see the M3 , 3er and 5er and so on.
    Is the above biased ? maybe so. But in my field I have seen very much recently manufacturers bltantly interpret their cars in the BMW image even though they are not in the standard of dynamics as a BMW.

    • rocky says:

      keep foolin urself and live in illusion (read:past)! bmw is not so special anymore…

      • Doug says:

        This is not much of a response to the points raised by Mr. T.

        If you’re a shill for that other site, you’re not doing a very good job.

  7. viper says:

    he stopped being special somewhere in the late 90’s. that’s how I see it , I still follow the product though now I am a fan of something else.

  8. X5SoB says:

    No.., really? You’re a fanboy of something else? I would have never guessed. Why don’t you be a fanboy at the else site? Stop posting here, you’re irritating, you can’t spell, you have no concept of punctuation and capitalization, and you probably smell bad too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *