BMW 1 Series M Coupe coverage continues with a new review published by Car Enthusiast. The UK magazine gives us a a rundown of the driving experience behind of what it said to be one of the most exciting M cars in the last decade.
While the 1 M sounds much like the 135i at idle (perhaps a little louder), as soon as you first turn the steering wheel it feels quite different. It’s noticeably wider while negotiating tight parking spots, but that matters little when you hit the open road. Then it gets really interesting.
In essence, the 1 Series M Coupé takes the best bits from the Z4 sDrive35is, the M3 and the 1 Series Coupé. The straight-six, twin-turbocharged engine is based on that in the Z4, and though the final homologated figures have yet to be released, we believe peak power is 335bhp and torque is about 340lb.ft. That last figure is significantly more than the M3 has incidentally, and it’s what defines the power delivery. It’s creamy smooth and urgent from low revs, with a distinct rise in accelerative force as both turbos deliver their best in the mid-range. Our only minor criticism is that it runs out of steam towards the redline so it isn’t a car you’ll be hitting the rev limiter in regularly.
The six-speed manual gearbox is lifted from the M3, so it retains that car’s slightly springy action, but is swift and slick enough. As mentioned, the rear axle, incorporating the M differential, is also borrowed from the M3. It doesn’t look like any customisation of its setting will be available in the 1 M, but it’s still effective. Our relatively short drive revealed instant turn-in and a playful rear end – though it moves about in a safe, predictable manner. In fact, the overriding impression of the car is one of unflappable stability. That’s particularly true under braking and over mid-corner bumps. It features standard fixed damping and steel springs by the way, and adaptive damping will not be offered. Two different throttle maps and various stages of traction control will be the extent of driver customisation available.