As with any ‘M’ car it’s never just about the specs alone although, dare I say, they are impressive.
It’s in-line 6-cylinder engine with what BMW calls M TwinPower Turbo and petrol direct injection puts out 250 kW (340 bhp) and up to 500 Nm when the overboost mode is activated. While 0-100km/h will take 4.9 seconds, in gear acceleration should be sizzling right up to the 250km/h maximum speed (electronically limited).
In fact, those numbers are close to the level of performance of the third generation M3 although, the driving dynamics of this new ‘M’ car will be better than the previous car.
Enthusiasts will be rubbing their hands together at the thought of 450 of those Newton-metres on tap from as little as 1500 rpm through to 4500 rpm.
As you can imagine the little ‘M; car is both efficient and green too, with fuel consumption at a combined 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres and emissions down to just 224 grams per kilometre.
Inside, the cockpit is very ‘M’-specific, with standard sports seats in ‘Boston leather’ with contrasting orange stitching throughout the trim including an embossed ‘M’ on the headrests.
There’s also an anthracite-coloured roof liner and Alcantara inserts on the door panels and cockpit scoop. The orange stitching extends to the gearshift and handbrake gaiters, while there’s an M driver footrest and M doorsills to round off the M exclusivity inside the car.
Thankfully BMW has stuck with their hydraulic power steering Servotronic unit, which is speed sensitive and provides phenomenal steering feedback through a perfectly weighted tiller.
The newest M car is equipped with all the usual electronic nannies including, DSC, ABS, ASC, Dynamic Brake Control
(DBC), a drive off assistant, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) an anti-fade and dry brake function. You can also choose to activate the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) for less assistance and more slip.
Standard kit also includes a variable M differential lock, which generates lock-up torque when needed or maximum traction on all road surfaces.
The lightweight braking system is race derived and light weight. Stopping power should be impressive and fade free with 360mm inner-vented front rotors and 350mm at the rear.
There’ll be no mistaking the M3 style quad exhaust tips, flared guards and 19-inch multi-spoked light alloy wheels either. It’s also 55 millimetres wider than it’s closest sibling, the 135i Coupe, which means a wider track for better driving dynamics.
The front apron with no less than three integrated ‘air curtains’ has been employed for the first time on a series production car, and assist airflow around the wheel arches for better aerodynamics through reduced turbulence.
The side mirrors too, have been designed in the wind tunnel and are similar to those on the M3.
Transmission for the 1-Series M Coupe is via a 6-speed manual box with a short M shifter. Sadly, there is no dual-clutch unit available at this stage.
Colour wise, buyers will have three choices; Alpine white, Black sapphire Metallic and Valencia Orange Metallic, as shown in these photos.
The most affordable BMW M car ever will go on sale in May 2011 and is expected to sell for 50,000 Euro. Prices have not yet been set for the Australian market nor do we know what allotment is bound for our shores.
Urban in l/100 km13.6
Extra-urban in l/100 km7.3
Combined in l/100 km9.6
CO2 emissions in g/km224
Tank capacity, approx. in l53
Top speed in km/h250
Acceleration 0–100 km/h in s4.9
Unladen weight EU in kg1,570
Max. permissible weight in kg1,900
Permitted load in kg405
Permitted axle load front/rear in kg940 / 1,030
Cylinders/valvesR / 6 / 4
Capacity in ccm2,979
Stroke/bore in mm89.6 / 84.0
Max. output in kW (hp) at 1/min250 / 340
Max. torque in Nm at 1/min450 + 50
Compression ratio : 110.2
Tyre dimensions front245/35 ZR19 (93Y) XL
Tyre dimensions rear265/35 ZR19 (98Y) XL
Wheel dimensions and material front9.0 J x 19 EH 2 IS 31, cast aluminium
Wheel dimensions and material rear10.0 J x 19 EH 2 IS 25, cast aluminium