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by Brett Davis

It’s been an agonising past year for some enthusiasts as BMW has constantly teased and tortured us with the unveiling of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe. But it’s finally been exposed in all its glory, including all technical details.

Firsty, this car is going to be excellent simply by glancing at one little fact: it is capable of doing the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds yet the package returns an EU test cycle fuel consumption rating of 9.6L/100km. This proves, straight away, that this car is designed with no compromise in mind, either way. It must be fast and it must be efficient. It almost sounds impossible.

Not many other cars currently on the market, apart from some Lotus models and some electric vehicles, are able to return such ‘best of both worlds’ figures.

The new M Coupe is packed full of technology to help it achieve post-21st century efficiency. One of the main elements to help the car remain so efficient is the inclusion of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics system. It comprises of regenerative braking technology, Stop Start, direct-injection and needs-based control of the auxiliary components.

Leading the efficient technology front is the regenerative braking system. In a normal car without regenerative braking, every time you hit the go pedal, some of the engine’s power is sapped to turn the alternator to constantly recharge the battery. In this, it works in a way so that the alternator does not put demands on the engine during acceleration, only deceleration. So the alternator recharges, predominately, under braking or at any time the accelerator is relieved. (If the battery is running low, the alternator will engage, obviously, regardless of accelerator position)

The other important factor to this car’s efficiency is the 3.0-litre ‘TwinPower Turbo’ BMW M engine. It outputs 250kW of power and a maximum torque of 500Nm, when the overboost function is initiated (full throttle). As much as 450Nm of torque is almost always available though, from as little as 1500rpm. That amount of torque at such little revs puts this car above most V8s in terms of low-end torque. The engine is also supported by the latest direct-injection technology.

Moving on from the technical aspects aiding efficiency, the car is also relatively lightweight, tipping the scales at 1495kg – as previously predicted. The suspension components, including the front end’s double-pivot MacPherson strut and the rear end’s five-link independent system, are almost made entirely of aluminium. Other features such as the stabiliser bars and control arms are made from forged aluminium, while the shock absorbers themselves are made also of aluminium.

Out on the road, the 1 Series M Coupe promises to fulfill every enthusiast in terms of performance driving. It features a traditional M differential at the rear, which provides up to 100 percent lock under extreme circumstances. This means acceleration and engine power will never be wasted away by a single-spinning rear wheel; both wheels are variably given power using a number of on-board sensors, and power is directed according to which wheel (left or right) has the most traction. If there is no traction, both wheels lock together, rotating at the same time.

Deceleration is provided by inner-vented 360mm grey cast iron discs at the front and 350mm discs on the back. Both discs are mounted on a floating basis, as per traditional M cars. It basically means heat has a hard time hanging around the braking surfaces and is dissipated quickly and efficiency, thus repeated heavy use of the brakes may be used without hindering stopping performance. The floating setup also helps eliminate the chances of the discs becoming warped under extended use as the disc is literally floating, meaning it can expand and contract freely as surface temperatures change.

Inside the car, it’s traditional BMW fare with loads of creature comforts such as an optional wide-screen (8.8 inch) sat-nav and multifunction LCD screen, leather trim and a Harman Kardon surround sound stereo system.

The interior is also accented by discreet M sporty details such as exposed red stitching between the leather, Alcantara-wrapped instrument cluster and a bespoke M steering wheel with the traditional M button. This button sets the car (suspension and engine) up in its most sporty setting in one touch.

So, it looks like the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe truly is a BMW M car in tremendous proportions. Now we just have to wait for the Australian release. CarAdvice spoke with BMW Australia about the local release date, unfortunately the company said it is too early to be specific at this stage but expects it to be around the third quarter of 2011.

Pricing is also yet to be confirmed.

  • Well……….

    Sooo, BMW have made a car for those who REALLY want an M3?
    It’s just a little small… and a little ugly, no-thanks.

    • Nick01

      Not everyone can afford an M3!!! Snob!!!

      • Well……….

        Call me a snob if you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s been purposefully designed to look awful when compared to the sleek M3…

        There are better options available for the kind of money BMW will sell these for, especially in Australia with it’s horrendus mark-up on euros. I can’t believe what you Aussies are paying for these cars, it’s ludicrous considering your local cars are so well made.

        To bad GM screwed-over Pontiac all these years, because that Pontiac GXP you guys made is one heck of a fun car to drive & amazing value considering it’s sticker price of US 30K.

        • bangel

          We are talking M series here not bogan GM pontiac , not even remotely any where near this cars potential .

          • Well……….

            Why don’t you check some slalom times etc of the Pontiac GXP, then compare the times with an M3 sedan? The M3 is faster, but not 100k worth.

            You do realise that the sticker price on an M3 is 60k in the US, right? What do you guys pay $160k? And if your not buying an M3 for it’s performance, then why buy one? Is the badge really worth all that money, think about it.

        • Ezz

          Yes the BMW is a most desirable car, but for alot less you can get enough to satisfy the driver in me and have enough left over to spend on more practical things. We truly get ripped off in this country and I don’t think you can blame taxes and tarrifs on it entirely.

          If the local car industry died today, would Euro mobiles be cheaper tomorrow? No, but some will still pay overs for them just as they do with real estate to get a glimpse of water.

          There is alot of money to be made from these muppets.


  • MaK


    Very impressive list of info and numbers there.

    Should be a quick little car! – Watch out RS3!

    I wonder though if the twin turbo engine will have the symphony of other naturally aspirated M models…

    • KinFungL

      I’ll take the RS3 over “1M” just becaure I like hot-hatch ;-).

      Can’t call it M1… are BMW just going to put “M” at the back of this car like in the pictures? Too many 320i doing it on the road already…

      • Qikturbo

        I like hot hatches but I think this M series will out class the RS3 in the performance stakes.

    • Mikey_94

      BTW Mak,

      ‘TwinPower Turbo’ is not a twin-turbo by mu understanding. It is simply BMW’s terminology for a twin scroll turbocharger :)

  • KinFungL

    My guess is it’ll be about the same price as 335i…
    Hmmmmm… “1M” or 335i… I think I’ll take the 335i. (Mind you, a modded “1M” will be a perfect track car, but on road it’s just too “M3 want-to-be”.)

  • Jules

    OMG *drool*

  • Krish

    Cant wait for this to come out! The 135 is such an awesome drive as it is, this thing should be a friggin animal!!!

  • yowza

    the “normal” 135i was already enough…

    Its pointless, I think only hard core BMW fans who cannot afford an M3 but in the market for a car around the 90K-110K price range…

    Too be honest, and I think many will agree, the 135i didnt have too many good looking angles, save the back view it looks too pudgy… but the engine specs was very good for a 70K-75K car.

    But a 100K car that looks like this?
    Again hardcore BMW fans who cant afford an M3… but doesnt want a more suitable 335i… will buy this.

    Basically for the price…
    Its not very good looking..
    It is a tad small..
    Not practical…
    Not a convertible..
    Nor is it your typical svelt coupe…

    It has a nice engine output…

    buy the 135i, save yourself 30K

    or spend an extra 15K and you get the ISF…
    or if you must have a smallish car but with power… buy the RS3.. its more practical.

    It also steals away from the M3 and M5’s aura..
    that combo is enough!

    Im sure the BMW nut huggers will give me bad feedbacks.. but who gives a %^&*.

    • daveh

      M Coupe looks great..you’re entitled to your opinion..& what a long-winded opinion it is.

    • Billionaire Bot

      Cool story bro

  • Spike

    This would be a great track car!

  • katyperry

    seems like the new designer is too scared to alter bangle’s design…

  • charlie74

    i guess the ladies are ready to ruin it again and make it a hairdressers car….looks too girlie to me — you can dress it with fancy frillies but you can’t compare it to the legend BMW M3 E30 which is a proper man’s car with motor racing heritage.

  • bangel

    The whiners are out in force today , probably never sat in let alone driven a BMW ,this is one brilliant effort .

    • Well……….

      I’m on my 2nd M3… the 1 series is uber ugly, fact.

      • Mario Silva

        I just bought one of this for 85K euros here in Portugal, full extras. I’m 22, single, on my third car (last was a golf GTI) and I wanted a small practical…for me and my gal… drivers car. Considered both AMG and M division products. Considered waiting for an M5 or CLS AMG but didn’t. For a rather novice driver this 1M is already a lot to take into consideration! Besides, smaller is a good thing for a novice! About the same size of the golf so no need for readjusting my mind to parking it!
        Well, you are an M3 lover and even though 1M is ugly and even rather old design (with “old” creature comforts…)it’s not as ugly as that bulge on the M3 and it’s air vents on the bonnet.
        Sorry M3 is ugly to to my eyes. The C63 AMG is a lot nicer and would be my pick between the two. Besides it has fog lamps…But as I intend to use it everyday the fuel consumption and the hassle of filling up every two days…no thanks. The hassle is a bigger issue to me than the price of fuel.
        For last: not everyone buys an 1m just because one cannot buy an M3. I paid mine in one go, no credits, no loans. Couldn’t you think that people didn’t want to lease this car or take advantage of so many credit schemes like many do on an M3?
        Your attitude gives reason to the bad rep of the M3 drivers get, man. Sorry but you look like a …k with your attention seeking comments. Be an enthusiast, not a prophet of the M3 god.
        This car is until now better than the GTI. A wilder animal for sure but more enjoyable! The big test will be the summer holidays with all the luggage. The golf was a class act.

  • John

    Does it have a mechanical LSD?

    The article above states it has a traditional M differential, however autocar is quoting “Also included as part of an enhanced driveline is BMW M division’s electronically operated M differential”.

    I would also have liked to have seen a dual-clutch gear box.

    I was thinking about buying this car, but after all the hype it was a bit of a let down. You can get better power and torque with an ECU upgrade from the current 135.

    PS bangel: not a BMW hater. Have also extensively driven (over 2000km each) the 135, 335 and X5.

  • Nick Car

    Looking forward to the 1 Series M.
    What the article doesn’t mention is that it is fitted with a 6 speed manual gearbox, which is great to see. The RS3 is dual-clutch only.
    From the press release for the 1 M; “”Transfer of propulsion power from the M TwinPower Turbo engine in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is taken care of by a 6-speed manual transmission. This newly developed transmission features dry sump lubrication and is operated by means of a very short M gearshift lever. With its precise control and short shifts, the obligatory manual transmission perfectly underscores the purist, sporty character of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.””

  • Hung Low

    Great mechanical package but the car is absolutely hideous to look at!
    I would rather have that old E30 M3 in that picture anyday thanks!!!


    it’s not a bad car at all it’s just, too expensive (in australia) and too heavy. for such a small car 1500k is going overboard

    • Karl

      So true. It weighs only 10 kilos less then a vt, which is a large car with a cast iron v6!

      • Devil’s Advocate

        …and A LOT less body rigidity/crash safety etc…

  • MF

    When it comes to BMW people just suddenly become blind. SERIOUSLY! I am just talking about the look here…ITS HORRIBLE! Here is a tip, get yourself a cheaper 1 series or a 3 series to avoid being laughed at on the street!

    • Devil’s Advocate

      If you are so shallow as to only like something because of it’s looks, then you are missing out on a lot of great performance cars as well as other things that aren’t related to the automotive world! Then again, it is your loss and our gain…

      • Swank

        “If you are so shallow as to only like something because of it’s looks”

        Are you serious? We are talking about a car, not a toaster. Goes to show what kind of people are reading these reviews, obviously NOT car people.

  • Nightshifter

    I don’t understand you ppl. I think the 135i is better looking than any other cars in the current BMW lineup including M3. This 1M is just even better. I know look is subjective but to bash it this harsh? I know I’ll be enjoying one and wouldn’t care a word what the haters would be saying.

    Btw, pricing is actually out. Look at the certain number addicts site!

  • DB9

    The one saving grace of driving this new BMW: when you are driving it you won’t be able to see it. Christ is hideous.

  • The Realist

    This is one little beauty. A little tweaking and you’ll have an M3 beater.

    Good work BMW.

  • freddo

    use to think the 135i was bmw’s ugliest model..but over the years it’s grown on me to the point that i like it very much..a design that ages very slowly…on this m coupe tho, the front guards are a touch too wide.

  • MD

    The bottom line is I wouldn’t buy one anyway on principle. When are aussies going to wake up to the car rip-off and stop buying cars that cost half the price overseas. An M3 costs $160,000 here and $80,000 (40,000 GBP) in the UK. I’m fed up hearing the luxury car tax explanation when it’s clearly rubbish if you do the maths.

    Do yourself a favour, contact a BMW dealer in London who will organise finance and shipping for you and save yourself thousands. The best bit….. import tax is 11% on the purchase price and as you paid GBP thats nothing. Drive the car for a year and sell it for a handsome profit.

    BMW, Audi and Mercedes are all laughing at how stupid aussies pay a third of the cost of a mortgage for a car every three years!

    • Devil’s Advocate

      Gee the UK gets ripped off by BMW as well considering an M3 sedan is around US$55k (approx AU$55,820 at time of writing) over in “the land of the free”. Especially considering how much closer the UK is to Germany than the US… 😉

  • Swank

    Would anyone actually consider buying this ugly thing if it didn’t have a BMW badge on the hood.

    • Devil’s Advocate

      Why would they put the BMW badge on the roof? Plus it doesn’t look like the M version in the above picture is a convertible and I haven’t heard about them planning on making one yet… 😉

      • Igomi Watabi

        good one, DA! I laughed

      • Swank

        Ummm… a hood is another word for bonnet, and a cars “roof” is called a turret btw.

        • Devil’s Advocate

          Ummm Swank… We speak “the Queen’s English” (well used to) here in Australia and the English definition of a hood is “top”, and in the automotive environment in English, and not “American”, a hood has always been considered the roof of a convertible.

          I presume you also use a “sidewalk” instead of a footpath, put something in the “trunk” instead of the boot, polish your “fender” instead of guard, fill your car up with “gas” instead of petrol, “root” for your favorite sports team instead of barrack for them, change a “daiper” on a baby instead of a nappy, sit on your “fanny” instead of backside etc etc etc (I hope you get my point!). It is sad to see the “Americani’z’ation”, sorry, “Amerericanisation” of our language… 😉

          • Swank

            Clearly I was talking about the “bonnet”, just accept the fact you were being smart & failed, mate.

          • Devil’s Advocate

            It didn’t fail, someone at least got a laugh out of it so it was worth it in my book as some people take things a little too seriously! (yes, me too! LOL) I guess a wink means nothing, maybe I should have put TIC after it as well for the people who are a little slower, mate… TIC 😉

          • Devil’s Advocate

            BTW, if you were talking about the bonnet, why didn’t you just say it in the first place then?!

  • Car Fanatic

    Let’s put MD in his place. Firstly car Import tax on cars up to 30 years old from new attract 10% import duty, not 11%. So your $80,000 M3 is $88,000. Then you must pay GST of 10% which is taxed on the Import price, so we add another $8,800. We are now at $96,800. if the price of an imported car exceeds $57,700 or there abouts after import duty and GST, you then incur 33% LCT on every dollar over that. LCT on the difference is $12,900. We are now at approximately $110,000. The actual shipping cost including insurance is between $3500 and $4000. From the UK. So we sit at $115,000.

    Certainly worth the money but still more than MD is suggesting.

    Still cheaper than buying it here, but we haven’t yet put you imported car through compliance. These prices are of course calculated on a weak pound.

  • http://caradvice Insider

    Have had my Bmw Dealer contact me already to get me interested.

    Australia will only have 100 units made available
    Orange,Black and White are the only colors which will be available here
    Black Interior only
    Manual Transmission only
    On road pricing is around $120k

    Good value for what it provides in its performance and will fill the role well of a road and weekend track car…but thank god you need to be inside to drive it so you can’t see its appearance.

  • tommy

    I prefer that black E30 over the m coupe…

  • yowza

    Lol 120K for pudginess!


    Again, BMW nut huggers will fall for it…. pay the ridiculous service fees and still look like douches next to M3s, IS-Fs, C63s, RS3s and RS4s on the road… lol.

    The 135i is a well regarded performer… because its semi-affordable….. this M1 isnt…

    Buy a 335i and call it a day! or an extra 5K for a IS-F… which is bigger, more practical and way better looking than this pudginess!

    • Devil’s Advocate

      Do you mean the ridiculous service fees for a 135i or 335i for example that are cheaper, if you add up all the servicing costs over 3 years/30,000km, (average kms) than a sample of cars like the Commodore SS, Berlina, Falcon XR6, Hyundai i30, Mazda2, VW Golf, Hyundai ix35, Mitsubishi ASX?
      Sure, a single visit to the service department is more expensive, but you don’t have to service them anywhere near as often which in the long run brings them back to the pack, or even below in the case of the above cars. For example, at the end of 3 years travelling average kms, a BMW X1 xDrive 23d costs around $450 less than a Hyundai ix35 and about $640 less than a Mitsubishi ASX (both similar sized vehicles) to service. Even an X5 xDrive 30d is cheaper to service over 3 years than something like the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite by just over $150.

      If you want an expensive car to service in the long term, you ought to try a Mazda!(personal experience) :-)

  • Jack

    Can’t wait to see it in the flesh :)

  • Igomi Watabi

    I adore this car. If someone gave me a bundle of cash and forced me to buy a BMW with it, a 1-Series coupé is the only BMW I would consider.

  • Jack

    Ditto!! :):)

  • Chris Chappell of Randwick

    wheels, performance and flared guards are the only things i like about this car

  • Peter G

    Devils A you are right the service fees are cheap.Under $300 approx every 20 k to 30k.The 1M should be cheap as well.

    A lot of envy In the comments here.

    The question is “Is there a better performing handling car for the money in Oz?”Looks are subjective. eg Some think Porsche look ugly so do I but I would buy one.