According to the magazine, the smaller, lighter BMW 1 Series M Coupe is actually faster than the current model BMW M3 around the track. Sport Auto clocked a lap time of 1:14.1 minutes in the 1 M around Hockenheim, and a time of 1:14.2 in an M3 coupe fitted with the DCT transmission on the same day.
The 1 M's 3.0-litre, 250kW turbocharged straight-six engine, it seems, is a great match for the larger 4.0-litre, 309kW V8 used in the M3. Both cars also sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and go on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h (test results do vary).
Despite recent criticisms that the new 1 M Coupe is too 'tail happy', Sport Auto says this is a good thing as it returns back to the BMW M car heritage. The reviewers said,
"It’s good to know that not all cars are tuned in to understeer for safety reasons."
Some of the speculated reasons for the quicker lap time of the 1 M include it being lighter in weight (1495kg versus 1680kg [DCT]) and because it offers more torque than the bigger M3 (the 1 M offers a maximum figure of 500Nm compared with the M3's 400Nm).
The little 1 M Coupe not only beats the M3's lap time around the famous Formula One circuit, it also beats the BMW E60 M5 V10 which has previously clocked 1:16.5, and the BMW M6 which has clocked 1:14.4. The only M car it can't match around the circuit is the BMW E46 M3 CSL, which has posted a lap time of 1:13.5.