Every once in awhile, a car is made that’s truly more than the sum of its parts. Something truly special. Once such car is the BMW 1 Series M, the 1M Coupe, if you will. And it’s one of the most beloved and revered cars of our generation. In this new video from Carfection, we take a look at why.
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Built by taking an average 1 Series, giving it the engine from a BMW Z4 sDrive35is, the subframes from an E92 M3, a six-speed manual and limited-slip differential, BMW created a masterpiece. When looking at it on a spec sheet, it seems a bit like a Frankenstein car, built from a mishmash of BMW parts-bin bits, so it doesn’t seem like it’d be any good. But it’s brilliant.
Carfection had the chance to drive the BMW 1 Series M from London to Le Mans, a journey for which we commend their bravery as the 1M is painfully stiff over long journeys, and it seems to have been a hit regardless of where it went. As mentioned in the video, Le Mans is filled with rich enthusiasts in some of the most special, exotic supercars you’ll ever see, yet so many of those rich enthusiasts driving incredible cars were intrigued by the 1M, smiled and waved at it. That proves it’s something special.
The BMW 1 Series M is the perfect package; short wheelbase, punchy engine, manual gearbox and razor sharp steering. All of that combines to make a backroad-burner that’s more enjoyable to drive than almost anything on sale today. Then there’s the fact that it’s incredibly rare, with only 450 models being made. So it’s a bit of a collector’s item.
Is the BMW 1 Series M the best M car ever, though? Probably not, to be honest. That title probably lies with either the E46 M3 or E30 M3, but it’s certainly in the upper echelons of BMW M history. It’s in the top five, the M Division Hall of Fame. That’s for sure.