It’s day three of our European Delivery experience, and we finally had a chance to sleep in.  I know what you’re thinking: how could one possibly sleep in with the key to a lightly used 1M lying on your bedside table?  Hmm.  On second thought… I wish I would have woken up for an early morning blast.

After grabbing breakfast near our hotel, we jumped on the Autobahn and made haste for the Nurburgring.  A beautiful trip through the countryside followed with rolling hills, towering wind mills, old churches, and far off castles crowning the skyline.  Spending several hours on the Autobahn has shown us the car’s highway character.  Its suspension is compliant enough over bumps that you are not thrown around or beaten up over bumpy roads, although it is responsive and tight enough to make you aware of every bump and undulation in the road surface.  This is a compliment of the highest order, because from a sport driving background you both want and need to feel the intricacies of the road surface.  To this end, the 1M is second to no other M car – perhaps the M3 GTS which we have not had the opportunity to drive yet.

On the way to the Nurburgring we stopped in the town of Karlsruhe for a photo shoot.  Winding up a switchback road, we climbed above the city to capture the 1M in its element.  Blocking off the roadway for a few photos, we garnered both friendly and less friendly looks from passers by.  In the 1M it takes more time to photograph the car on location than it does to arrive at said location, I cannot say the same of many other cars.  As much as I enjoy photography, I would really rather drive.  Of course, in the interests of bringing you the latest photos from our European road trip, I mustered every ounce of my self control and frequently pulled the trigger.

After becoming accustomed to the dimensions of the generic 1 series it is surprising to see how much wider the 1M is while driving down narrow streets.  There are plenty of the aforementioned in Europe, and Karlsruhe is no exception.  This only serves to boots the 1M’s appearance because it looks so muscular and broad shouldered driving through the narrow lane-ways.

A flattering moment found us on the Autobahn as we overtook two gorgeous sports cars.  The first was an Aston Martin Vantage, the second a BMW M Coupe.  While passing the Aston from the fast lane the driver looked over at us and smiled approvingly.  Then, he presented a bold, confident ‘thumbs up.’  This from the driver of a sports car priced 3 times the cost of our 1M.  A few hundred meters beyond, the driver of the M Coupe gave a similarly enthusiastic smile and thumbs up – unsolicited, besides driving the brightly painted Valencia orange sports car down the roadway.  There is a reputation that transcends the price tag of BMW’s 1M.  Drivers who know how to drive, will find it irresistible.

Finally reaching the foot hills of the Nurburgring, we were surrounded by precious metal.  A Porsche GT2 RS blew our doors off and sang a full bodied warrior cry near redline in the process.  It was highly enjoyable.  A Ferrari F50 made a brief appearance; the brevity secondary to its speed.  A measure of intensity was palpable as we approached the racetrack; as much as lapping the Nurburgring has been near the top of my ‘bucket list’ for many years, I did not anticipate such feelings of excitement based merely on proximity.  This ‘Green Hell’ really does have an effect on you, it is a special experience just to be here, trackside.

Next, it is important to mention the amount of attention our 1M has been gathering from the sidewalk.  Entire groups of young men and women literally turned their heads in unison to admire our passing M car.  The last time I garnered this much attention in a car – I was driving the Rolls-Royce Drop Head Coupe.  Once again, it feels the 1M is swinging above its league.

After checking into our trackside hotel, we enjoyed the opening festivities of “M Fest,” held by BMW in an auditorium beside the race track.  The best of German foods were served, and quality German Lagers flowed like water.  We were treated to live music (from a band whose lead singer is Brian Watts, the Global Sales and Marketing Manager of BMW M) in a fun yet relaxing environment.  Xbox 360s were set up with steering wheels and foot petals to demonstrate Forza Motorsport’s 4th version of their driving simulator game, featuring the new M5, of course.  Several laps of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race circuit only wet my appetite for the racing yet to come, and we are eager to watch the race while providing you with live coverage and updates from pit wall.

Speaking of the M5, it made a dinner appearance along with the new BMW M3 CRT.  Under coloured lights with dry ice fog surrounding, it was stunning to behold these two M cars for the first time in the flesh.  Please enjoy our breaking photos in the photo gallery below.

We’re back in the hotel, and we’re winding down our night.  Tomorrow is another busy day full of motorsport, adrenaline, and cheek stretching smiles.  Thus far, European Delivery has been worth every moment of our time; we at BMWBLOG look forward to bringing you updates from the race throughout the weekend!

Special thanks to Manny Antunes at JMK BMW for setting us up with the 1M.