BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe is certainly special, a one-off offering from the M-division that has raised suspicion from purists and excitement from badge fans. But what exactly makes it so unique? Is it because by being based on BMW’s entry level 1-Series a new M-car is more affordable than ever before? Or is it because of the 1M’s turbocharged engine and M3-borrowed running gear? Or maybe because it will be built for just one model year with only 14 units making their way to NZ? Or does it just go totally hard? Car and SUV had a chance to pilot the new 1-Series M on a rapid-paced voyage of discovery for the answers.

It hasn’t been an easy birth for the 1M, some have labeled it a parts-bin car because of its extensively shared components with others saying it’s cheapening the M range with its budget 1 Series donor body. But neither of these accusations is accurate. True the 1M is the new lightweight of the M Division stable but it’s quick, feisty and can throw a heavy punch when provoked. Continue reading “BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review” »

BMW M Division shifting to smaller turbo engines

March 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

BMW M3 2009 fq

With new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards coming in the future, most automakers are in the process of developing engines that strike a balance between ultra-efficiency and high-performance. Well aware of the hard road ahead, BMW has begun development of the next generation 3 Series and 1 Series, both due for a new model in 2013.

According to Ludwig Willisch, BMW’s M division CEO, new turbocharged engines are on the horizon for the next M3 and 1 Series M.

This will see the M3 return to six-cylinders albeit turbocharged, replacing the current 4.0-litre V8, although BMW hasn’t decided if it will use a straight-six or a V6 powerplant.

Willisch said the new engine won’t be based on the current 3.0-litre inline six currently employed on the 335i and 135i, and it’s still too early in the development process to say which configuration will be used. BMW realises the inline-six’s light weight is a benefit when chasing fuel economy, but limited bonnet space may required the use of a V6.

Either way, the next M3 will be wider, but Willisch states, “Engines don’t need to be more powerful for the next car. As long as you have less weight, you have better performance.” The hardcore BMW purisits may gawk at the idea of a V6 powered Beemer, but there is a growing acceptance of the importance of weight reduction.

As for the 1 series, there won’t be an M version as such, but BMW’s in-house tuning division wants to relive the glory of the original E30 M3 by creating a smaller, lighter coupe to enter the range below the next M3. A twin-turbocharged four-cylinder will likely power the new coupe, and according to Willisch, the automaker is aiming for something that puts out around 300 hp and is lightweight.

Traditionally, the M variants arrive about a year after the new models are introduced, so expect the next M3 and 1 Series M to debut sometime in 2014.