One of BMW’s modern legends is the BMW 1 Series M. The 1M was a bit of a Frankenstein car, built as a parts-bin special, with several of its bits pulled from cars like the E92 M3. However, the final product was something so special and so engaging that BMW enthusiasts the world over fell in love with it. In this new video from Joe Achilles, we get to take a look at the BMW 1M and if it’s better than the M2 Competition.
While the video isn’t a direct comparison between both cars, Achilles is an M2 Competition owner and has owned his car for quite a long time. So he can easily describe the differences between the two cars. And there are many differences.
In a way, the BMW M2 Competition the spiritual successor to the BMW 1M, despite the two cars being incredibly different under the skin. They’re both small, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupes with six-cylinder engines but that’s really where the similarities end.
The 1M’s engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6, like the M2’s, but the 1M’s isn’t actually an M Division engine. Instead, it’s the engine from a BMW 335i but with some modification from the M Division. Whereas the M2 Comp engine is a proper M engine, borrowed from the F82 M3 Competition. The BMW 1M was only available with a manual transmission, while the M2 Comp is available with a DCT. The 1M also used hydraulic steering, while the M2 Competition uses an electric power steering rack.
So after a brief drive in the BMW 1M, does Achilles — a longtime M2 Competition owner — feel like the older car is the better car? In a lot of ways, yes. The M2 Comp, without question, is more capable, faster, and more modern. It’s the better car to live with on a day-to-day basis. But on a twisty road, it’s almost a guarantee that the 1M will be more fun. More importantly, it’s more fun at lower speeds, which means you don’t have to risk suicide to really play with it. So which one’s better? Tough call but if I had to make the choice, I’m going for the little orange bruiser.