Our friend Steve over at Skiddmark had the unique and exclusive opportunity to see in person the BMW 1M. BMWBLOG was also invited at the private viewing in London, but couldn’t make it this time. We asked Skiddmark to give us their first impressions of the car, along with exclusive photos.
Without any further ado, let’s have a look at some of the major points outlined.
Take an E46 M3 and improve it
Surprised? You probably shouldn’t be. BMW have done this before with the Z4 M – which contained much of the chassis and light-weight components from the E46 M3. Well if it ain’t broke, so those clever engineers at M Division have followed a tried and tested process – take a format that already works and improve upon it. Porsche do precisely the same with the 911 and it hasn’t done them any harm.
To give you an idea of just what we mean, the 1 Series M Coupe weighs 1495kg unladen which is exactly the same as the E46 M3. It has a power/weight of 227hp/tonne or 4.4 kg/bhp, which is pretty well the same numbers quoted for the E46 M3 back in 2002. It uses “a number of key components that were originally conceived for the E46 M3″, including the light-weight front and rear axles, an updated Variable M differential and it wears the same 19-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels that graced the E46 M3 Competition. It even costs virtually the same as the E46 M3 did back in 2002 – £39,990 OTR. So despite BMW’s many references to the E30 M3 when characterising the new 1 Series M Coupe, you’d do well to bear in mind that in many ways it’s a slightly shorter, but wider E46 M3 with a shed load more torque than its elder sibling.
If all this talk of E46 M3 rather than E30 M3 is beginning to blunt your enthusiasm for BMW M’s new model then don’t. For a start, it’s been blessed with the benefit of 8 years more engineering and technical know-how and to quote BMW, “it is expected to be significantly faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife than the previous generation E46 BMW M3.” Move over old man…
One of the best value M cars yet
When BMW’s marketing team sat down and priced up the 1 Series M Coupe they had one criteria clearly in mind – it must not encroach upon the E92 M3s market, so that meant that the new M Coupe had to be priced below £40,000 here in the UK. This has been no easy feat since it comes with an extensive array of standard equipment, including 19-inch Y-Spoke alloy wheels, two-zone air-conditioning, cruise control, BMW Radio Business with MP3-capable CD player and six speakers. It also has a Boston leather interior with Alcantara trim with Kyalami orange stitching in the cabin.
We counted 7 M logos on the car, 2 on the side gills, one on the rear, two on the front seat headrests, one on the instrument dials and another on the gear stick. You’ll therefore be in no doubt that you’re sitting in an M car. You’ll also be in little doubt that you’re sitting in something very special. The standard sports seats in Boston leather feature Kyalami orange stitching and hold you tightly but comfortably. It’s a shame in some ways that BMW chose not to fit a variation on the BMW Performance seats, with their Alcantara trim and more deeply bucketed shape, but then most owners will be running their cars every day and would probably prefer leather trim.
The chassis of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé has been thoroughly developed using BMW M GmbH’s usual Nurburgring development process. Light weight is of course vital and the latest M car tips the scales at just 1,495kgs courtesy of its extensive use of aluminium. The double pivot front axle and the five-link rear axle are made almost entirely of aluminium. Tubular stabilisers, axle links made of forged aluminium and aluminium shock absorbers round off the lightweight construction concept.
With chassis technology derived directly from motor racing, a power-to-weight ratio of 227hp/tonne has been achieved. The footprint of the car is bigger than a standard BMW 1 Series Coupé with it being 55mm wider than the BMW 135i Coupé and the width of 1,803 mm is the result of BMW’s optimisation of the front and rear axle to enhance driving dynamics.
We encourage you to read the full review at Skiddmark.