Should BMW 1M Return?

1M | April 3rd, 2015 by 7
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BMW 1M was a thing of beauty, an utter performance-oriented small coupe that rocked our world when it was unveiled in 2011. It has been …

BMW 1M was a thing of beauty, an utter performance-oriented small coupe that rocked our world when it was unveiled in 2011. It has been regarded as one of the BMW M cars ever built and to this date, it commends a premium price on the used car market. BMW has yet to officially announce its successor, the M2, which just like the 1M, it builds atop a compact coupe while inheriting some technology from its bigger brother, the M4. By moving up in class, the M2 leaves room for a smaller, fun M car in the existing 1 Series hatchback family.

Yes, BMW is already making a half-M car in that segment, the M135i, which packs a nice punch, looks great and offers unmistakable performance levels in its segment. But, it’s simply not crazy enough.

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In recent years, we’ve seen some pretty remarkable hatchbacks coming to market. For example, Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is a performance model aiming at a younger demographic, filled with aggressive design lines and nifty performance; the sales numbers say it’s a pretty popular Benz these days. Then we have the Audi RS3 which has always been a thorn in BMW’s foot, with its all-wheel Quattro drive, highly tuned turbo engines and plenty of performance to go along with that. The recent reveal of the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS, brings power, performance and visual appeal in a single package, showing that the market is is hot for “a hot hatch” – no pun intended.

All these reasons make for a valid case for the return of a BMW 1M in a different body style.

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We’ve come up with eight reasons why BMW should return the 1M to its lineup, considering what the current BMW M135i lacks.

1. BMW M Engine

The engine in the BMW M135i is the N55 turbocharged direct injection straight-6 DOHC piston engine which has been in production since 2009, being initially launched in the BMW 535i Gran Turismo (F07). The engine delivers 326 horsepower and lots of cornering performance that comes with it. But it is not an M engine. BMW currently offers a “pure M engine” in the new M3/M4 and it’s rumored to do the same in the M2. Fitting a six-cylinder engine in the new 1M hatch would be overkill though, so we believe a four-cylinder, highly tuned to around 320-340 horsepower would make for a fantastic car. It would be lighter, packing the same power while offering sharper throttle response. .

2. An M bodykit

A new BMW 1M needs to look the part. The beefier and more aggressive body parts is what’s missing on the current M135i and that’s what we’d like to see incorporated. The flared wheel arches, larger front bumper, a set of side skirts and a rear diffuser, all wrapped up with a decklid spoiler and generous use of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) is what this car needs. BMW M Performance upgrades would really put this car over the top.

3. A Proper LSD (Limited Slip Differential)

This goes without saying – the BMW 1M needs a proper, mechanical LSD (Limited Slip Differential) to provide the much needed grip and cornering performance. Coupled with a powerful BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, delivering plenty of power and torque, the BMW 1M would greatly benefit from a track-focused setup. Combine that with a low weight, near perfect weight distribution, amazing agility and this would definitely be a fun car to toss around.

4. BMW M Suspension

The BMW 1M was always praised for its great handling and cornering performance overall, but very few people know that its suspension came from the E92 M3. The BMW M135i, albeit a great and fun car as well, doesn’t provide the crisp and direct cornering the 1M does. A proper M suspension would go a long way in a new 1M hatch, giving its smaller size and compact body. Talk about a fun day at the track!

5. M Interior

The BMW M135i has a great interior. The only upgrade compared to the potential 1M is the introduction of bucket seats. Something we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in the other M cars. These seats would provide ample support in high cornering speeds and would be cool to look at also.

6. High Performance Hatchback

Either BMW accepts it or not, but the truth is they need a high-performance hatch. It won’t be an expensive development and it would fit just right in the lineup. If the M235i can coexist with the M2, so the M135i and 1M. With the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, we have seen a healthy increase in sales for that segment. People simply love the high-performance hatchback idea and historically the car market has always accepted such models.

7 responses to “Should BMW 1M Return?”

  1. JRobUSC says:

    Are you saying there should be an M version of the upcoming 1-Series? Or an M version of the existing 1-Series? Because making a 320-340hp 4-cyl M version of the existing 1-Series when there’s already a 326hp 6-cyl M135i doesn’t make a lot of sense. The next 1-Series, however, which won’t have the 6-cyl, could use a 4-cyl M version with 350+hp and all-wheel drive. That would line up perfectly against the CLA45 AMG and RS3.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      It doesn’t really have to be more powerful, it just needs some more M DNA. We know for sure an 1M on this platform won’t happen now, in the next generation? Maybe.

  2. Chris Llana says:

    Adding lightness to a car gives a lot more improvement (in performance, handling, braking, efficiency) than adding power.

  3. Joe Gregory says:

    The M2 has a lot to live up to… In my opinion the 1M brings the magic back from the E30 M3 it’s light, powerful, good looking and relatively affordable (compared to other M cars) It is the ‘ultimate driving machine’ that since 2011 has been my favourite M car and I don’t see that changing unless BMW put the same magic into the M2, the M2 needs to be somehow balanced, it should corner well and go fast up the straights just like the 1M. BMW, please make it as light (if not lighter) then the 1M and don’t give it a crazy amount of power, it needs to be balanced and should be the ‘ultimate driving machine’

    Oh and there won’t be another BMW named the ‘1M’
    1. The M2 will be its successor
    2. The name 1M is rather unconventional, but because there was so much need for the 1-Series coupe to be in M car form BMW had to… But couldn’t call it an M1 because it clearly was not a successor of the original M1. BMW will avoid using the 1M name

  4. bagster8660 . says:

    The M2 will be more refined, better riding, more sophisticated and faster than the 1M. But…it won’t replace the 1M, it won’t have that slightly unhinged, grin inducing manic feel, it won’t have the individuality that a skunkworks project has, it won’t have the steroidal looks that the 1M is blessed with, it won’t have hydraulic steering. It will be a great car but corporatised by necessity…it won’t be a 1M.

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