BMWBLOG 1M: Still a head turner

1M, Featured Posts | March 21st, 2012 by 26

Back in June 2011, I took delivery of one of the most sought BMWs in the past 10 years: the 1M. After a one in …

Back in June 2011, I took delivery of one of the most sought BMWs in the past 10 years: the 1M. After a one in a lifetime experience in Europe, the 1M crossed the pound to once again connect with its enthusiastic owner and our life together began with a trip from New Jersey to Chicago, IL.

If you live in the Midwest or own a TV, you probably know how dragging the Chicago winters can be, but luckily this year, we were fortunate to have some mild weather with barely any snow. So while the 1M didn’t get its daily walk, I still managed to squeeze in a ride or two during the week.

Fast forward a few months later and now in March we’re getting to enjoy some summer-like weather with temperatures in the low 80s.

BMWBLOG 1M: Still a head turner

First item on the agenda: a good car wash to take out the “evil salt” and give the 1M a nice shine that will enhance the beautiful Valencia Orange paint job. Armed with a DSLR and some GoPros video cameras I headed into the beautiful Downtown Chicago which was heavily celebrating the St. Patty’s Day. With the M button activated and a shinny orange armor, while wearing my M hat and aviator shades (not in a douchey way), I ventured onto the crowded streets of Chicago to see how the 1M behaves when curvy roads and open tracks are a long-time memory.

The 1M with its high-rev 3.0 liter turbo clearly loves the race track more than the bumper-to-bumper traffic, but in a weird way, it doesn’t shy away from the attention is getting. Sprints are still fun, even though they last from one stop light to the next one, and the engine’s growling sound turns many heads. Or could it be the attention-seeking Valencia Orange?

BMWBLOG 1M: Still a head turner

The sportiness and driving dynamics of the 1M come in handy when having to avoid the popular Chicago potholes, and the steering wheel designed by the M engineers make me wish that my other favorite bimmer, the 5 Series, would have received the same treatment. The short shifter continues to amaze me and the M3-imported brakes gives me the confidence to stop just in time before hitting one of the thousands of green travelers that came to celebrate St Patrick’s day.

In a city where BMWs are almost as common as Yellow Cabs, the “baby-M” is one bimmer that gets the most thumbs up. In a weekend of driving over 200 miles of road, the 1M was greeted by many with thumbs up and even by spy photographers using their iPhones to snap a shot of one of the 740 units sold in the United States.

But the 1M is more than just a weekend car. I used the car for various shopping chores, transported some luggage and even two passengers, and never felt the need to go back to my garage and pull out the X3.

The more I spend time with the 1M I realize that the car will go down in the history as a BMW classic and even a future M2 will not take away its prestige and uniqueness, one of the last real driver’s car built by BMW M.

BMWBLOG 1M: Still a head turner

Thanks again to Manny Antunes and JMK BMW for making this dream possible last year.

  • Frank Yang

    Dude get over it and stop the self back patting. 1M is old news and that orange is nice in brochures but hideous in real life. Might be why you think you’re getting attention.

    • Horatiu B.

      Thanks. In the mean time, I’ll just keep the 1M, it’s pretty awesome.

    • Manny Antunes

      Go troll somewhere else Frank…

    • Johnparke

      Looks like someone is mad they had just bought an M3, or hell even a 335i.

  • Cosmin

    Felicitari Horatiu!
    Ma bucur enorm cand vad ca un roman a facut un site asa de frumos despre BMW!
    Super articole scrii, le citesc cu placere.
    Tine-o tot asa.

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  • Daniel

    Great photos Horatiu and thanks for the personal angle on this article. I missed the boat on the 1M and I regret it every day. It is an amazing vehicle and even that Orange suits it well.


  • Jose D.

     I live in Cali and have an Alpine White 1M. Fantastic automobile! I can totally relate to your experience. As much as I hate to use the joy word, that car does give me joy.

    P.S. It seems like you have “some fans” here :)) ignore them, not worth feeding the online trolls.

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  • SoCal

    hey horatio, I also live in chicago — I had the previous gen (E series) 335 AWD with sport package and found the ride unreasonable harsh (on lakeshore going 45 mph hit a pothole and damaged the headlights – $1500!! single car accident) – how harsh is the ride on the 1M in comparison?

    • Horatiu B.

      The ride is def harsh. A combination of the M suspension and run flat tires.

      • SkyShark

        You have run flats on your 1M?

        • Horatiu

           No, I meant to say low profile tires. got carried away

      • Em/1

        I have VO in Chicago also and would say ride not harsh, actually feels a little more gentle than my (previous) E90 M3 despite transplant.  Just firm, but never crashing and I find perfectly good (make that great!) as a DD, but put more miles on GTI just cuz want to keep this very cool car in good shape as long as possible!

  • Endras BMW

    Just when we thought we couldn’t drool over the 1M any more than we already had… 

  • Anonymous

    Horatiu, I envy you so much. I was considering trading in my E46 M3 for the 1M but it was too damn expensive and the dealer mark up was crazy.

    You’ve got an amazing care. I have only seen one around here. This thing is going to be really rare in the next few years, like you said it will become a true BMW classic

    You can tell I am really jealous. I hope sometime in the future I can find one used somewhere. 

    • Horatiu B.

      Thanks :)

      I was fortunate to have Manny at JMK BMW work a deal with me, so I went to an NJ dealer rather than Chicago.

      It’s a great car, and very rare in Chicago also.

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