EVO’s Chris Harris loves the BMW 1 Series M Coupe

3-Series | November 3rd, 2010 by 36
bmw 1m coupe by jonsibal j 750x500

Well-respected and known journalist Chris Harris had a chance to spend some time behind the wheel of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe. As …

Well-respected and known journalist Chris Harris had a chance to spend some time behind the wheel of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe.

As always, Harris goes through a deep analysis of the “baby M car” and shares a checklist on what the attributes of an M model should be.

Before jumping into the video, here are some of the key points of the new, exciting 1M.

Despite its looks closer to the 135i Coupe model, the new 1 Series M Coupe is almost an entirely different car. Almost every suspension part is different. The springs are stiffer and the dampers have less travel, the bushings of the trailing arms are changed from rubber to joint balls and some rubber ones are stiffer.

bmw 1m coupe by jonsibal j 655x491

Rendering by Jon Sibal

The suspension cannot be adjusted – also to keep the cost down. The front axle carrier is the same as in the 135i, but in the rear the one of the M3 is used.

The body is lowered by 10 mm (0.4 in) and the track is approximately 30 mm wider up front and between 30 to 40 mm wider at the rear. The brakes are completely different from the 135i Coupe with M Compound brakes.

BMW 1M is powered by an engine based on N54 twin-turbo delivering 340 horsepower. Engine is matted to a six-speed manual.

The new M makes its world debut at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show and it will be available in three colors: Alpine White, Jet Black and Valencia Orange Metallic.

36 responses to “EVO’s Chris Harris loves the BMW 1 Series M Coupe”

  1. Andrew says:

    godd stuff, chris harris is one of the few journalists you can trust about sports cars

  2. Nice! I always enjoy Chris’s reviews and input. Great journalist.

  3. aChinese says:

    1M = 135i + JB2 + M Sport Package + $$$…….ha ha ha. Come on BMW fanboys, be furious.

  4. plaxico says:

    he has put on a few pounds and it seems like hes going bald a bit sooooooooooooo yeeeah ,better get that 1M Chris

  5. FreudeKing says:

    “BMW 1M is powered by an engine based on N54 twin-turbo delivering 340 horsepower.” The use of that engine is enough to turn most customers away as we all know the trouble that these engines are giving their customers!!! With the HPFP failing as soon as 2000miles for some customers with regular failures even after replacement, I would stay far away from BMW’s first turbo charged engine N54 (after decades of absence from the turbo technology). Till today, they have not been able to fix the manufacturing and design defects.

    • FreudeKing says:

      … leading to massive lawsuits against the company as their cars are now unreliable. You wouldn’t want BMW to grant you a software update (which they have been doing to current customers) that will impair the performance of your 1M after a few months of purchase so that you do not notice the defects would you???

    • wazon8 says:

      Happy to live in Europe, we don’t have problems with HPFP, most likely because we use high quality fuel for new cars, not something like ethanol included E15. It’s not design defect, it’s fuel quality problem. There is no need for recall in Europe, if it was design problem, it would appear in Europe also. The main problem with this engine comes not from itself, but from users who refuse to use something better than E15. If you understood the nature of problem, you would know that HP technology can cooperate only with high quality fuel. We had similar situation in past, when common rail technology was introduced for diesels. Some customers couldn’t understand that they should start paying attention to diesel quality, because their cars’ components became sensitive to it. After paying one bill for pump and injectiors they understood that savings on fuel are illusive. Similar story goes here, although BMW decided to take this problem on their own. Something that perhaps can be explained by specificity of U.S. market and something that wouldn’t take place in Europe where you fill car with fuel chosen by you on your own responsibility. Since U.S. customers are reluctant to use such high quality fuel, the only thing engineers can do is to make pressure lower in order to face low quality of fuel. Contrary to situation in U.S., in Europe people take fuel requirements really seriously and it’s partial reason why according to ADAC N54 engine is reliable one! The question is: who should take resposibility for not obeying fuel requirements by customers? In my opinion, cumstomers themself. Would you cry for engine replacement, if damage was caused by using not approriate oil engine chosen by driver? I guess not, so why is it so hard to uderstand that times when fuel quality doesn’t matter ended?

      • FreudeKing says:

        I don’t know why you are saying that this HPFP is not occcuring in Europe. From what I gathered, it is also a huge problem in Europe. BMW have admitted the manufacturing defect and design flaws. So your attempt to put all blame on the customers using poor grade fuels is not well supported as those in Europe are also experiencing massive problem and I am sure many customers in the US is also having the same problem even though they are using better quality fuels.

        • wazon8 says:

          There is no recall in Europe. Period. BMW North America recalled 150.800 cars and issue became world-wide because of recall by BMW Australia Group. Problems with HPFP are too rare in Europe, too make recall. Still the difference in fuel quality is explanation.

          • FreudeKing says:

            Nonsense. No recall does not mean no problem. The recall in the US may be due to the fact that they are more likely to be successfully sued than in European countries. I urge European customers to take legal action as this is clealy (and BMW admitted to this) a manufacturing defect. HPFP failure are not rare in Europe, nor are they rare in Aisa/South Africa and they should all be recalled as there is clealy a major problem, NOT JUST IN THE US!

            Your fuel quality explanation is NOT the only contributing factor to the failure, the most important underlying reason for the failure (which BMW admitted to already) is the manufacturing defect. STOP pretending that BWM did nothing wrong and is doing this out of goodwill.

          • wazon8 says:

            You’re getting to be boring, man. You fixed on an idea that the there is design problem and cannot think otherwise. If there was need for recall in Europe, it would appear, but you’re more likely to think that BMW is ducking responsibility in Europe. That’s not the case, you’ve got ur own recalls, if they are needed. If the problem was as popular as in U.S., there would be law suits against BMW eighter. But the facts, which you constantly try to ignore, are that according to customers (not BMW) reports and sarveys made on them world-wide, 86,7% of reported HPFP failures come from U.S., another 7% – from Canada, which together gives 93,7% reported HPFP issues in North America only. Since BMW in whole Europe sell similar amount of cars as in U.S., you cannot explain on the ground of your theory why customers in Europe don’t complain on HPFP during interviews. That’s why I put on fuel quality to which high pressure fuel injection technology is sensitive. You need not to be a genious to know that ethanol is rather bad thing to have in fuel when you drive new car. According to you theory, the fact that 93,7% of HPFP failures are in North America is simply mysterious, because somehow design problem do not reveal in Europe.

      • Alich says:

        I love a good argument. Wazon8 you are wrong. As an owner of an N54 engine that has seen three sets of injector’s and two HPFP’s the problem is squarely BMW’s. They released an engine into a market where the best fuel is not good enough for the N54 engine. I have used premium quality branded fuel and still experienced injector failure and HPFP failure. There may not be a design flaw to your definition but the engine should not be sold in the US where 91 octane rating fuel with 10% Ethanol is the best you can buy.

        • R.T. Elkin says:

          I use 93 octane fuel & live in the US…it’s available at most every gas station (w/the exceptions of CITGO & Getty, which only offer 92…[Sunoco seems to be the best quality 93, but that could be my imagination]

          So I’m wondering why you say “91 octane w/10% ethanol” is the best we can buy here in the States? A bit of luck, a loving car, & 93 octane’s got me 210K drive-it-like-you-stole-it miles out of a 4.6L mustang engine notable for throwing rods [casting PsOS] before 100K…

          • Alich says:

            In Colorado all I can find is 91 octane with 10% ethanol. I only move here recently from Chicago and it was increasingly difficult to find 93 octane gas there. When I travel for work I find that 91 octane is the predominant fuel in the states.

  6. XC says:

    Now I am more excited!

  7. aChinese says:

    As I predicted, those BMW fanboys can’t think for themselves. If you are gonna buy a 1M later, it will be your choice and taste; hot his. Who cares what he says. And please, N54 engine is not a engine designed by the M department and it’s not a M car, period.
    Don’t get me wrong; I own a BMW and I like it. I just don’t like being called a fanboy who will cheer for any products from BMW; only good one though like M3/M5.

    • wazon8 says:

      What are you talking about? Is X6M M-product? Will next M5 be M-product? Surely yes, although egines blocks come from regular 50i models. Not mentioning that further M-refinement of N54 will appear in next M3 and combustion version of VED. Something is wrong with your criteria of being M-engine and M-car.

      Fanboys uderstand that this car got M3 e92 transmission, wider axles, M-refined engine with higher resposibility, carbon roof, totally new suspension. If it’s nothing more than 135i with 340hp, then something is wrong with your ability to differentiate between cars. Adding 34 hp won’t make 135i above 30 sec. faster on Nurburgring. Man, think about issue again.

      • FreudeKing says:

        In otherwords, if the next recall for this old M54 engine (BMW’s first attempt on turbos in decades) will affect the 1, 3, 5, M3, Z4, X5 and X6. BMW’s second attempt 5litre engine will affect the rest of the M cars (M5, M6, 5, 7, 5GT). Great, so they will recall millions of cars (the entire BMW product portfolio) should another manufacturing or design defect be found. You see how this will damage the brand, just because they want to cut cost and share all their parts with all models.

        • XC says:

          So what? BMW should better make a M Recall Division? “High Perfomance Recall”? “The JOY of recalling”? “The Best Recalling Machine?” lol

          Millions of cars? Do NOT be ridiculous.

        • wazon8 says:

          Don’t be ridiculous! From where did you get that other brands don’t make recalls and why the hell do you insist to exeggerrate this issue?! Man, take a breath and check list of recalls through totality of car-makers. You’re crying because of 150.000 cars recalled with predicted 40.000 replacement. Each car maker has its own recalls and somehow they don’t lose image. Nissane recalled 747.000 cars because of electronics failure, Toyota recalled in October 1,66 million of cars because of brake fluid leaks, Honda recalled 1,5 million cars in October because of fluid break leaks, MB recalled 85.000 E-classes because of steering problem. What destroy image is not recalling, but pretending that there is no problem. Actually, BMW show that they car about customers. In my opinion, they even care more than they should, but that’s not the question. Don’t be mad. Problems appear from time to time, but it doesn’t mean that they are unresolvable.

          • FreudeKing says:

            10 major recalls this year alone to date, highest ever for the BMW Group… A recall does mean that the company is taking responsibility for their breach of contract to supply defect free vehicles and service to customers, but that does not mean that it is improving the brand image. In fact recalls damages the brand image, especially when they are deliberately delayed with intention to ignore the problems.

            BMW knew about this problem since 2007 and only decided to act when groups of customers find their products unsafe with unbearable ownership experice, causing wide spread media attention, leaving BMW with NO CHOICE but to do damage control, hence the immediate recall (according to many many articles and reports). So don’t glorify this into saying BMW recalled because they cared. If you ask customers who have experienced this HPFP failures, they would tell you that BMW did not fix the problem but did other things to try to minimise the indications of the problem.

            As for your fuel arguement: (besides the point that HPFP failures are also prominant in Europe and other countries), if BMW did not think other fuels are suitable for their cars, what did they do to make sure that customers would only use the higher quality fuels? Did customers have to sign a document agreeing to only use high quality fuels? Were there enough awareness? I don’t think so. If this is so detrimental, then they should stop selling these cars in the US as clearly they are not suitable. But we all know the underlying problem is not only caused by fuel grades.

          • aChinese says:

            I wanted a 335i but can’t make that commitment due to this HPFP issue. As you said, it’s not very 335i has this problem but I have two friends they both had HPFP issue with their 335i and 135i…….As FreudeKing said, it showed responsibility and respect to customers if BMW “FIX” this problem already. Look it’s not fixed yet, OK? BMW waited until CNBC blow the whistle nationwide to take action(Recall) which I don’t think is being responsible.

      • aChinese says:

        Sigh! Put some M-things here and there; then you call it a M-car? How about just stick a M badge on the trunk? I am not denying this 1M being a nice car but stating that too much hype about it and eventually it is not a M-car like M3/M5(I didn’t say X6M, OK?).

        You can modd a Civic to beat many muscle cars but does that make a Civic a BMW????

        I consider a M-car designed completely by the M department from ground up; not things like this 1M with many wanna be things here and there.

        • FreudeKing says:

          This car is made just to make money for BMW, that’s why it is called a 1 Series M and not M(whatever). It is the end of the 6 year old life of the first generation 1 Series and they now want to make a few changes, slap an M badge on it, limit production and charge a huge premium for those stupid customers who are going to buy this.

          The mere fact that this will be old technology as the brand new 1 Series will be out in a few months time should be a good enough reason to stay away from this money milker from BMW, not to mention the well known poor reliability and inherent defects of this engine.

    • R.T. Elkin says:

      A specially-tuned N54 engine powered M3s and Z4Ms for many years…???

    • Brandic2020 says:

      Go back to f—ing China!

  8. Woo Hoo says:

    Yay! Now Joe Public can finally afford a BMW and a (near) M-car to boot!

    I hate that ‘anyone’ can afford BMW badged vehicles now. Hold your nose up really high you 1er owners.

    • FreudeKing says:

      Even the 1 Series is substantially more expensive than a non-premium car like VW. So what are you talking about?? I drive a 1 Series and I think it serves a large part of the population well, especially for the younger people. For example, I think the 1 Series coupe suits me much better than a 3 Series coupe as that (3) is for the older generation, probably people with a family already.

      Buying a BMW is not about walking around with your nose up! It is about appreciation for the superior product and identifying yourself with what the brand stands for. I most certainly do not think less of other who do not drive BMWs as many consider a car to be just a tool to get them from A to B, not a good indication of their status/ career/ financial success.

      • XC says:

        Well, now this a sensible comment…

      • R.T. Elkin says:

        My two cents:

        A. If you only consider cars methods to get from A to B, good for you: that’s just the way you regard cars, nothing wrong with it, and your wallet will be the better-off. And if you go electric/hybrid/etc., the world will be better-off as well.

        B. If the car you drive is a symbolic statement designed to show off your “status/career/financial success,” you’re missing the entire part of precision quality motorsport-oriented motorcars (i.e., M-cars & other trackworthy daily drivers), and also missing most of what it means to have tried to justify your existence to the world. Keeping up with the Jones or making sure you exceed them is so far beyond pathetic as to be almost dead-in-your-shoes.

        C. For some, me included, driving is all that matters, and the more extensive the limits your car will attain (from the factory, with aftermarket tweaking, or ideally with both), the more confident you can be in pushing those limits and improving your own driving skills. The perfect M customer would’ve driven race cars if life had gone differently. [I exclude AMG’s muscular entries by an arguable litmus test: if you cannot purchase a motorsport car with a full manual transmission {i.e., that must be driven heel-&-toe for maximum effect}, you’re only simulating the experience.

      • ARON says:

        Amen! The 3 was a decent drive, but the 1 handles more like a “caged animal.” Just like BMW used to make ’em…

        And I also agree with your statement about the BMW brand. I don’t drive one to feel superior, but because every other car feels inferior. If that makes me an elitist, whatever. But BMW fans bleed blue and white roundels because they truly enjoy the driving experience. Period.

  9. Harry says:

    Oh dear. Another car for the Footballers wifes, hairdresses masseur.

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