BMW 1-Series M Coupe unveiled

Monday, December 13, 2010, 13:11 by Auto Correspondent

After months of speculation, leaked photos and tantalizing glimpse of portions of the car, BMW has finally revealed official details the new BMW 1-Series M Coupe to the world.

Starting with the name, the reason why BMW went for the somewhat uncomfortable sounding 1-Series M Coupe moniker, is to avoid any confusions with the legendary M1. The smallest and most economically priced model of the M family is based on the 135i Coupe. And don’t be fooled by the fact it’s a 1-series – it has received a healthy attitude adjustment from the guys at BMW’s M division.

The 1 Series M Coupe receives BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, and while early estimates had the car producing some 350 horsepower, the final numbers are: 335 bhp and 332 pound-feet of torque – the same as you get out of the identical engine in the current Z4 sDrive35is. The engine’s mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox—no automatic or dual-clutch transmission will be offered.

bmw1 series m coupe photo

Photo: BMW 1 Series M Coupe to burn tarmac in 2011

The car’s electronic brain has an overboost function that provides an additional 37 lb-ft of twist at full tilt — this extra shot of boost is good for up to seven seconds at a time under full throttle conditions. BMW says 0-60 will happen in just 4.7 seconds. Top speed is a self-imposed 155 miles per hour, though BMW might offer the option to remove this limit.

The new BMW 1 Series M Coupe has been developed for near-perfect balance and a large, square footprint. It is 1803mm wide – 122mm wider than its 1988 M3 ancestor — yet only 33mm longer at 4379mm long.

The new 1 Series M Coupe weighs in at 1,495kg. The coupe features a high-strength steel unibody, with unique, widened fenders and rear quarter panels to house the substantially widened track. It also features a metal roof panel which saves about 15kg compared to other BMW 1 Series models equipped with a moonroof. This weight saving — at the tallest point of the vehicle — provides a corresponding drop in the center of gravity, which contributes to improved driving dynamics and helps maximize headroom.

Providing sure-footed handling presented numerous challenges. The result is an aluminum suspension originally conceived for the current-generation M3, and tuned specifically for this model at BMW M’s Nurburgring test center. And as ought to be expected from a M model, the car has a near-perfect front/rear weight balance of 51.7/48.3.

Moving on to the chassis upgrades, the baby M model features new aluminum suspension parts sourced from the M3 as well as a more powerful braking system with internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs. The rack-and-pinion steering is fitted with the hydraulic power steering system called Servotronic, which regulates boost in relation to road speed.

The exhaust system of the 1 Series M Coupe has been tuned by M specifically for this new model. Acoustic engineering gives the car a unique personality in all phases of operation. The M exhaust system is easily recognized by the presence of its four signature exhaust pipes.

The M-specific cockpit developed exclusively for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is designed to facilitate focused, sporty driving. High-quality, dark Alcantara with orange contrast stitching covers the door panels, door pulls, instrument cluster binnacle, dash panel, and gearshift and handbrake lever boots. The driver’s attention is focuses on an M-specific instrument cluster with gray dials, classic M red pointers, and white backlighting. An M driver footrest and M entry sills round off the unique interior.

The 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe will be available in limited quantities and with a limited range of options at Authorized BMW Centers in spring 2011. Final pricing, packages, and options will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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