BMW 1M, the over-achieving little brother

BMW 1M in a drift

The BMW 1M is causing quite a stir in the automotive world as I had hoped it would. You see I am not the biggest fan of the current generation M3 because the way I see it, its too big, too heavy, too soft, and it has the wrong sort of engine. It has become too much of a Grand Touring car, a segment I really love but not for the M3, and this current generation just doesn’t do it for me like the previous ones do. A BMW should always be comfortable, but there is no need for half the conveniences they put in the M3 nowadays. Look back at the E30 M3 and how focused a drivers car it was and you may see what I mean. Yes, I am aware that the current M3 is still a blast to drive, as it should be, but something about it for me has just been all wrong, its nice but I wouldn’t buy one.  

1M and the great E30 M3

BMW have evidently realized this issue because they have made the 1M exactly the car I had hoped the M3 was going to be back in 2008. A small, light, nimble, car with a wide track that would have a boosted inline six and would make use of a clutch pedal, it would have to be a sharp, engaging drivers car where the DNA from the E30 M3 on up could be seen. As it sits, this is the BMW 1M to a tee. By all counts it is fantastic and extremely satisfying to drive, and I am going to do everything I can to get behind the wheel of one as soon as possible to see for myself. As far as weight is concerned it is even slightly lighter than the E46 M3 but with more power and much more torque. So it will surely move with great haste should you ask it to.

Check out the stance

Looks wise the 1M loses much of that annoying “cuteness” that plagues the normal 1 series. It is graced with a fantastic widebody kit and all of the vents make the car look extremely aggressive. The 1M also has one of the best “stances” I have ever seen from a factory stock automobile. The whole car just looks right when you look at it.

1M interior

The 1M has also been proven to be under rated when it comes to horsepower output. From tests I have seen it produces its claimed power figure at the rear wheels (335hp) so that would put the engine’s power around 380-400hp in actuality. So its really in the same league as the M3 in terms of power and it destroys the M3 in the torque department. Furthermore, if you consider the fact that this car is turbocharged and will make large power gains with simple modifications it becomes much more attractive than the M3s stubborn naturally aspirated V8. Surely some diverter valves and a chip will put the 1M past the M3’s 414bhp with ease for just a few hundred bucks.

BMW 1M

This begs the question of, why would you still buy an M3? The M3 is 10-20 grand more than the 1M depending on the options lists, and isn’t much better for it if at all. The 1M starts in the mid $40k range and tops out in the lower mid $50k’s, this makes it an outstanding value in my opinion because it is as good as an M3 in almost all ways, and its not heavy, bad on gas, or too big. Some people have complained that the 1M doesn’t use a special “M” engine, well with the sort of power its putting out and the further power potential it’s motor has, I say those who are complaining are just trying to hard to find something to hate about it. The 1M may in fact be the best M car to come out in years, according to much of the respected automotive press. In my opinion the 1M renders the M3 obsolete at this point, and I hope many people buy 1Ms so that I can get one second hand in a few years with out much hassle. What a fantastic car!!!

-Nick

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