MotorTrend Drives 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

1M | October 9th, 2010 by 26
2012 BMW 1 series M coupe front three quarters door close

This week, BMW allowed a selected group of journalists to drive once again the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. The event took place near …

This week, BMW allowed a selected group of journalists to drive once again the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. The event took place near Munich and almost production-ready prototypes have been handed out for a quick drive.

Here is a short excerpt from MotorTrend:

“BMW has not released many official details about the 1 M (it breaks cover officially in Detroit in January), but during a recent tech-day visit to Munich the engineers let us take a quickie test drive and either admitted to or winked and nudged at the following facts:

Engine: The N54 twin-turbo 3.0-liter six is closely related to the one in the Z4 sDrive35is. Spooling out 11.6 psi (increasing to 14.5 for up to seven seconds of overboost), the turbos help produce roughly 340 peak horsepower, with torque registering near 370 lb-ft. To spare you the math, that’s 74 fewer horses but 75 more pound-feet of twist than the M3’s peaky V-8 makes. With weight said to remain nearly equal to the 135i’s, that should give the 1 M a weight-to-power rating equal to that of the previous M coupes with far better weight-to-torque than even the M3.

2012 BMW 1 series M coupe front three quarters door close 655x409

Transmission and driveline: A six-speed manual will be the only transmission offering, and we expect its ratios will be shared with those of the M3 stick. The M3’s Variable M Differential lock rearend is also part of the deal.

Chassis: Almost all of the M3 bits have been adapted to the 1’s closely related platform, with only minor tweaking to account for the 1’s nearly 200-pound lighter load. This includes the aluminum suspension links, the big vented and cross-drilled brakes, and the M3 competition package’s 19-inch Y-spoke wheels, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2’s of the same sizes (245/35ZR19 93Y front, 265/35ZR-19 98Y rear, inflated to 44 psi front/35 psi rear on our prototype).

Body: Fender flares widen the car by 3.1 inches to cover the huge tires, and new fascias accommodate the engine’s increased cooling needs in front and the quad exhaust pipes out back. The 135i’s rear lip spoiler is retained, and all bodywork will be steel to keep the cost low. Paint choices will include Alpine White, Jet Black, and Valencia Orange Metallic.

2012 BMW 1 series M coupe rear in motion 655x409

So how does it run? Matching the last-gen M3 Competition coupe’s weight-to-power ratio with more torque than today’s V-8 M3, the 1 M moves out smartly indeed with zero turbo lag and a healthy snarl that’s dominated by mechanical and induction noise. Servotronic steering retuned for the 1 Series M Coupe relays plenty of road feel with ideal levels of effort. The chassis’ broad stance and high level of control permit cornering that seems impossible outside the virtual world of Sony’s Gran Turismo. Those oversized brakes erase big speeds just as smoothly and effortlessly as the twin-turbos produce it. BMW claims its Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time falls just a bit shy of the M3’s, and that seems plausible.”

Full review at MotorTrend

26 responses to “MotorTrend Drives 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe”

  1. MegaBMWM6 says:

    a true winner this car is amazing

  2. plaxico says:

    oh my God , look at that interior, goodness gracious its like 1981 ,for the love of God
    look at those buttons ha ha
    the whole car is so outdated, interior ,exterior.Shame. Every fruitcakes dream tho…

    • wazon8 says:

      To which 1981 interior do you refer? Since I know only classics from 1981 and neither of them has similar interior, I guess you have to refer to something else.

    • Daniel Hoang says:

      Once again Plaxico, you only care about the looks and whether its a Benz or not. Take a car out to a track, turn off DSC, and race a few laps. After that, you will have the right to bash and smash the car. But for now, Its pointless.since you havent done it.

    • wazon8 says:

      Yes, I would love to drive it, since design is not the primary point of this car! It’s supposed to be something between M3 e46 and M3 e92 and it seems to fullfil this task. So, if the pleasure of drive in it is as great as I expect it to be, I would go for this car for sure. I don’t used to stand outside my car and say to myself or someone else “look how great exterior design it is”, I prefer to drive it and then design is far from being important. The interior is pretty good as for 8 years old car which 1-er is right now.

    • wazon8 says:

      Are you swark or what?

    • anonymous says:

      Interior isn’t finished yet, that’s been said at Paris already.

      This car is a dream. Greatest thing BMW have built for enthusiasts since the M Coupe.

  3. Auday says:

    “weight-to-torque”? now thats new from MotorTrend.
    the “torque” of the engine is probably the most abused term in the cars industry. you could make any engine generate 1000 ft-lb by simply putting a little gear between the crankshaft and the flywheel. This indicates that the torque number simply means nothing.

    • wazon8 says:

      How is then that a car with more torgue gains better perfromance than the car with lower torgue, despite having the same power and gear boxes? Since such situation obtain in most cases due to displacement differences, car with higher torgue gains better performance despite being heavier also. It’s really hard to argue that torgue means nothing.

      • Auday says:

        A Car with higher torque number usually means it has a wider Power band, and if the car doesn’t have enough gears or the gears are not setup for racing then the a wider power band would make a difference. But that’s rarely the case for sport cars.
        Torque means everything AT THE WHEEL not at the Crank, … at the Crank what you care about is the HP along the power band.
        Generally if an engine has high torque generated at low RPM it means that it has a wider power band which makes it easier to drive, i.e you could accelerate from any RPM without having to downshift, and that is good for city driving but means nothing on the track or for sport driving where you are always on the right gear.

        I think I’m beating on a dead horse here, … If you are willing to read some technical scientific writeup about this subject I could give you some links.

  4. paul says:

    again bmw pushing for electric power steering when everyone that reviews the thing says its the only thing that lets down the car (reviews of 5 series, new X3, all gen Z4 etc). Why bmw, Why??? guess ill keep my csl for a while longer

    • Auday says:

      Totally agree, … one of the biggest problems with E92M3 is that power steering. Driving the E46M3 and E92M3 back to back, you could see how big the difference is. In E46 you feel fully in control of the heavy steering wheel to the level that makes you forget about it as if it’s part of your muscle system, in the E92 the resistance change unexpectedly sometimes you even feel that the wheel tries to force you the other way and also the feed back from the tires is far from the great feedback of the E46.

      • paul says:

        coudnt agree more. i have a csl but test drove the new m3 a few times in track days and bmw´s training in nurburg and despite beeing an awesome machine the heavy nose and the steering makes it a worse car than the previous gen, despite the power inccrease. I just dont understand bmw as a manufacturer. I mean in my line of business if a customer makes a complain u try ur best to fix that, not call the customer stupid and keep doing things the way they think is right. from my experience and from every review i have read of recent and past bmw cars, the electric steering as always been critisized, ever since first introduced in the Z4 and so have run flat tires yet bmw, against the vast majoritir of customer, ignores them and presses on….doesnt someone from bmw read these posts???

  5. anonymous says:

    Love all the guys trying to argue over small technical points, these are the sort of guys that led BMW astray into building heavy big hp cars.

    BMW don’t listen to the fools, real enthusiasts want a step back, smaller, lighter cars with plenty of feel. Not some lardy status wagon.

    The 1M Coupe cannot come out fast enough!

    • wazon8 says:

      What? Who did let BMW to producing heavy and big cars? Enthusiast who could drive M3 GTS as their everyday car? Or statistical customers and whole market direction toward luxury?

    • Auday says:

      I agree with Wazon, BMW enthusiast are more tech savvy than the average muscle car power hungry street drag racers.
      We all want lighter cars even with less HP, i.e. we all want another E30M3. But you know, this 1M is not the answer we all waited for.

      When you compare this 1M with E46M3, the E46 is still lighter, wider, lower (by observation, I could be wrong), less cramped interior, better steering feel (assuming the 1M steering is similar to E92M3), and most importantly has the real S54 engine that is one of the jewels of the M division versus an N54 twin turbo that doesn’t even come close to the thrill of the S54.
      So if you take all these factors in consideration BMW is going astray and actually backward now with this 1M. The only thing that I would give them credit for is selling this car for cheaper (well, I hope).

      You want purity? have this car stripped out with lighter manual seats, manual windows, carbon fibre parts, hydraulic steering assistance, S54 engine, with weight at 1300KG or less and lower centre of gravity. We would all love that and I wouldn’t think twice about it, … but with the current specs, the E30 resemblance is nothing but a marketing hype.

  6. Rob says:

    Roundel just reported this month that the 1M coupe would be a 350hp N55, not the N54, so who is right?

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