First Ride: BMW 1 Series M Coupe Prototype - VIDEO ENHANCED

BMW 1 Series M Coupe
 Prototype (select to view enlarged photo)
BMW 1 Series M Coupe Prototype Ar Speed; The Auto Channel(Photo by Yoshi Kinura)

BMW 1 Series M Coupe
 Prototype; The Auto
	Channel (select to view enlarged photo)
BMW 1 Series M Coupe Prototype; The Auto Channel(Photo by Yoshi Kinura)

SEE ALSO: BMW Buyers Guide

New BMW 1 Series M Coupe due to arrive early 2011


By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
Amsterdam Bureau
The Auto Channel

Ronda, Spain July 9, 2010; On the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of BMW M3 models, the Bavarian automaker organized a gathering for a small group of journalists at the Ascari race track in the south of Spain. During the event I could drive all M generations that came out since 1985 as well as the stunning GTS.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Dr. Kay Segler, Managing Director M GmbH outside Albert Biermann, chief of development M GmbH
A real surprise was the unveiling of a prototype of the 1 Series M Coupe; No it's not an M1 which will be used exclusively for the historical model, the only one with a mid engine, that was built from 1979-1981. Another pleasant surprise was our ride on the race track with Albert Biermann, development chief of BMW M GmbH. Although both Mr. Biermann and division boss Dr. Kay Segler were not able to give us all the details of the upcoming 1 Series M Coupe , it is clear to me that the company aims at younger customers who can only dream of the M3, that with its price it will often remain a dream, But many may soon turn their M dream into reality with the M1, with a price more accessible for the younger generation....

Mr. Biermann told our group of journalists that, "the 135i is already a fast car, but we have to bring real M genes into the smallest model of M vehicle range.

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The basic structure of the 1 Series will be left untouched, but we expect its weight to be brought back by some 80 kg. The cars relatively wide track will suit larger M wheels with wider tires. The prototype sits on the same wheels and same size of rubber as the M3: 245/35 ZR19 up front and 265/35 ZR19 at the rear."

And that was it for the details, so for now we are still kept in the dark about the engine and the M1 other specs. Although earlier this year there were speculations about a modified six-cylinder twin-turbo engine delivering 350 hp. Insiders expect the acceleration figure from 0-62 mph to be just under 5 seconds.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

First Ride; We were told that we would be able to take the passenger side for a lap around the Ascari race track. I was the first to have the honor but the car was not really warm when Mr. Biermann took me along so I was offered another full lap later during the day. The engine sound is impressive, both from outside as well as from inside the car. Even on the passenger seat, you are immediately aware of the agility of the fastest 1 Series in the making. The input of my host at the steering wheel seems very direct and the engine is more than willing to perform: aggressive indeed.

The car will undoubtedly get the M body treatment and a M cockpit as well. We expect the concept of the M1 to bow at the Paris auto show at the beginning of October and the production version to be ready in time for the show in Detroit or Geneva at the latest.

In answer to my question about customer availability, Dr. Segler told me that the BMW 1 Series M Coupe will hit the market in the first half of 2011 and but that will not be as early as January. I think it cannot be soon enough.

BMW 1 Series M Coupe
; The Auto
	Channel (select to view enlarged photo)
BMW 1 Series M Coupe Prototype; The Auto Channel(Photo by Yoshi Kinura)

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