Opposite Lock: Valencia Orange has 1M Owners Seeing Red

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I don’t own a 1M, nor do I pine to own one. Great car – no doubt about about it – but it never had …

I don’t own a 1M, nor do I pine to own one. Great car – no doubt about about it – but it never had that special factor that made me fall in love. Even after driving it extensively, I was left with a certain indifference to its media-hyped greatness. It’s very quick, and a hooligan in the corners, yet it failed to capture my heart. I think my preconceived notions of what constitutes an M car got in the way – but that’s entirely another topic. The bottom line is: BMW built a limited, special production 1M coupe, it captured the hearts of many, and when they released it, they unveiled a new celebratory colour to fill in its haunches – Valencia orange.

Only three colors were offered when ordering the new 1M: Valencia Orange, black, or white (Well, technically one color, orange, and two monochromes). All 1Ms were produced with matching Valencia Orange interior accents – and this was not optional but standard on all cars (Actually, there was at least one one-off Individual 1M that features blue stitching, but that’s also another story…). The point I’m trying to get at is: Valencia Orange is very special to the 1M – inseparable from it, and hence very special to 1M owners.

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Few cars could show the color so well – the 1M’s gorgeous, voluptuous curves and broad, muscular wheel wells made for the perfect canvas to dance light across. When seen in black or white the 1M is still a menacing, focused-looking vehicle – but in Valencia Orange, its aggression is set loose upon your eyes. It’s borderline intimidating. And for that, we like it. M cars are serious machines and they should intimidate, or at least garner cautious respect at the lights.

This brings us to the topic of the proliferation of Valencia Orange across the BMW lineup. To the best of my recollection, BMW always spoke of Valencia Orange as a special color for the 1M, and it was indeed unique to the 1M at the time of its launch. The fact that the color options were so limited could be construed as an unspoken promise of 1M exclusivity – but to be fair, we never asked.

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Valencia Orange is now available as an option on two cars that are not the 1M – and not even M products. First, the F20 1 series, and now the X1. I could almost forgive BMW for throwing Valencia Orange on the 1 series, because it shares familial ties as the successor to the 1M’s chassis, and it’s an altogether great driving and fun car – but the X1? Hold the train – this is not right.

Something smells of selling-out to sell more. Whatever happened to reverence of the M brand? Is nothing sacred anymore? Painting the X1 in a 1M’s suit is like buying a beautiful pendant for your wife and then buying an identical copy for your sister. It’s no longer special. At all. And you couldn’t blame your wife for feeling a bit deflated.

The 1M will go down in BMW history as a very special, unique car for the brand. It’s too bad its color won’t follow suit.

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17 responses to “Opposite Lock: Valencia Orange has 1M Owners Seeing Red”

  1. Giom says:

    There should have been one more option: I don’t really care that much.

    Though I see your point, and do not disagree, I don’t think it’s worth the effort. Not falling in love with the car after driving it plenty, that’s the real story. And a huge surprise to me. The first such comment I’ve heard from anyone. Maybe you could elaborate a bit more on that, would be interesting.

  2. www.MokhtarChahine.com says:

    I think it should be a 1M color only, But i also think its an ugly color that i can get bored from easily. Its….ORANGE.

  3. E24 says:

     When seen in black or white the 1M is still a menacing, focused-looking
    vehicle – but in Valencia Orange, its aggression is set loose upon your

    Nuff’ said!

  4. E24 says:

    Great article I must say, I’ve always been a huge fan of BMW, but nowadays it’s almost all for money , where’s the supercar we’re all waiting for?

  5. UberMpower.com says:

    It should be reserved just for the 1M Coupe, why..? So there will be a very limited number of cars in that horrid colour ….Yuck….

  6. Great article, superb point and once again – in the case of any big corporation –  it’s a case of money over morals. But the same dilution has also filtered down to the lame ‘M’ kit and badging that can now – at a price – be fitted to any model. VW did this with their GTI brand when fitting it to the terrible Polo. As much as I love my BMW 135i, I don’t buy into the brand as some fan boy. The valencia orange should have been a one off special colour for a one off special car. A 116i..? Please!

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