Good news: BMW has confirmed the price, power and availability of the stunning 1 Series M Coupé. Bad news: only 450 will come into the UK.
Yes, after many months of teasing, BMW has finally announced the price and spec of the much anticipated 1 Series M Coupé. But the announcement may curb the enthusiasm of some slightly because, as well as being strictly limited, it will cost £39,900.
First deliveries are in May 2011, with production ending in December. However, if you miss out on this one, fret not, for a source at BMW told us that a new 1 Series M Coupé could be announced as early as next year. The new 1 Series model will be officially unveiled towards the end of 2011.
Let's get this one on the road first though, eh. It has 335bhp (meaning our pre-production drive
estimate was correct) and 332lb.ft from a 1,500rpm nadir. An overboost function raises that to 369lb.ft briefly. The 0-62mph dash is done with in 4.9 seconds, top speed is 155mph (limited) and combined economy is 29.4mpg.
Those stats are care of a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with twin turbochargers. Just for reference, BMW boasts the newcomer is 70bhp more powerful than the original M1 supercar, and is expected to tackle the Nürburgring 'significantly faster' than the previous generation E46 BMW M3
But the M Coupé is far from a 1 Series with a big engine stuffed in it. Performance enhancing measures include a specific dual-mass flywheel, a new engine cooling system, a custom gearbox with a 'very short shift' and a bucket full of parts originally developed for the latest M3. Most of them tinkered with in some way, of course.
The suspension components are 'almost entirely' aluminium - double pivot at the front and five-link at the back - and the brakes use perforated discs milled from an 'M-specific compound' and incorporating anti-fade and drying functions.
All kinds of electronic assistance measures aid traction and handling, including a Variable M differential to apportion torque left or right across the rear axle, as required for maximum corner exit speeds.
Dynamic Brake Control, Anti-Slip Control and Cornering Brake Control all come as standard. The track is 55mm wider than the 135i Coupé's
Drivers can press the MDM button to activate M Dynamic Mode, which loosens the grip of the electronic aids for a purer experience. Heck, the M Coupé even has a hydraulic steering rack, for better feel than is possible with an electric one.
Despite the seriousness of its performance credentials, subtlety is king in the looks department. The quad tailpipes are pure M car, as are the flared wheel arches, but it's otherwise quite restrained. Inside is a similar story, though we're huge fans of the Alcantara trim - especially the instrument cowl and dash insert.
If you want one, what are you still here for? RUN...
Mark Nichol - 9 Dec 2010