• Dec 8th 2009 at 6:22PM
  • 32
BMW 1 Series Tii Concept - click above for high-res image gallery

Audi has the mid-engined R8 (now available with a 525-horsepower V10). Mercedes-Benz now has the AMG SLS (with more power than the R8 – 563 horses). BMW has... a 500-horsepower V10 in a 4,000 pounds M6. Not exactly competitive in the supercar department these days. Well, according to everyone's favorite British Buff Book (EVO), BMW will be releasing a new supercar. Probably something resembling a mashup between the M1 Homage Concept and the Vision EfficientDynamics Hybrid Concept. However, it might not be called M1. Or, it might be.

Here's the thing – BMW is also believed to be working on a buffed out, super version of the 135i (based on the Tii Concept) that semi-logically could be called the M1. Check out the supposed stats on this little puppy: a reworked twin-turbo 3.0-liter motor good for 400 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque, a 150 pound weight reduction, seven-speed dual-clutch tranny, the M3's suspension and torque-vectoring rear end. Where do we sign up?

The issue is that some people within BMW feel the semi-sacred M1 moniker should be reserved only for a car that replaces the 1978 M1, the first car BMW's Motorsports Division ever made (even if Lamborghini played a roll). They do have a point, as among us gearhead types the M1 is a pretty reverential piece of machinery. However, what would you call an M-caliber 1 Series?

Autoblog's advice is this: nothing's sacred. Call the hopped-up 135i the M1. No one cares except for a few old timers within BMW and a few fanatics on the outside. Besides, the aforementioned old timers have sat idly by as the fabled M Division has arguably diluted its once lofty rep by releasing the X5 M and X6 M. It's all water (and money) under the bridge anyhow. And by freeing themselves from this false dilemma (because really, who cares?), BMW is free to name the new supercar the M8.

Failing that, just name the mighty 1 Series the Tii (confusing almost everyone) and reserve M1 for a proper supercar. We don't really mind, as long as both cars go on sale. And no matter the name, it sounds like the range-topping 1 Series should see the light of day in 2011 and the new supercar – which will pair BMW's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with two electric motors – should come online around 2012. Color us excited.

  • BMW M1 Family Tree
  • Left to right: BMW M1 Hommage, BMW M1, BMW Turbo concept

[Source: EVO]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been saying the same thing all along. To hell with the past, call it an M1 but M8 is kind of a dumb name for a BMW supercar.

      From what I heard, was that BMW was going to change up its naming sequence to be odd numbered series were sedans, and the even numbered series were the coupes based on the preceding odd numbers' platform. Hence the 3-, 5-, and 7-series would be sedans, the 6-series was a 5-series based coupe, and the 3-series coupe would've technically been a 4-series. I understood this went to hell because BMW thought the 3-series name had too much cache and therefore called it 3-series coupe and called it a day.

      If this naming convention would've persisted, the current 1-series would have been the 2-series, and they wouldn't have a problem right now.

      The best part of this "might be true, might not be" story is the irony. BMW sacrificed logic and a working convention for the sake of name recognition, and in doing so, they've created another problem for the sake of name recognition.

      Obviously if BMW had done away with their nostalgic reasoning, they'd have been clear of both of these issues.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd get excited about the M130tiiCSi, except... I'm trying hard to avoid owning a dual-clutch car for as long as possible and wouldn't buy this one without a proper manual trans, and -- more importantly -- given BMW USA's insane margins on M-cars, it'll probably be priced over $50k and that much money buys an awful lot of car from any number of non-Roundel-badged sources these days, what with laid-off bankers still trying to dump their toys. I know of a sweet DB7GT that got bought for $50k not long ago... hm, gorgeous and daily-driveable 440 hp V12 exotic? Or this hot little BMW? Tough choice, and there are dozens of other great new and lightly-used choices out there (CTS-V, anyone? Or maybe spend some time checking out the used-Porsche market?).
      • 5 Years Ago
      With a turbo engine, a 1-series should probably be a 135 CSi, or a 135 M-Sport. Or just keep 135tii. The bigger tradition is that M_ cars have been equipped with high-revving naturally aspirated engines.

      However, a range topper, halo car, should not be M1, either. M10. Or at least M8 or M9. Higher number, higher series. 1 is not a higher number.

      M1 was an M1 because it was the first example of what the Motorsports division could do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree 100%. Name the high-end 1-Series the M1 and call it a day. It logically fits with the naming scheme established with the M3, M5, and M6. And it's been 30 years since the original M1. Few people remember, let alone care. Calling it the M1 is certainly better than something stupid like 135tii sDrive.

      I'd avoid calling the new supercar the M8 though since it sounds too much like "mate". Come to think of it a BMW supercar would be a rolling phallus.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Autoblog's advice is this: nothing's sacred. Call the hopped-up 135i the M1. No one cares except for a few old timers within BMW and a few fanatics on the outside. Besides, the aforementioned old timers have sat idly by as the fabled M Division has arguably diluted its once lofty rep by releasing the X5 M and X6 M."

      Finally we agree with something, BMW whored out M just like Mercedes did with AMG. Whatever happened to making cars fast that were worth while? Who wants a 4500lb pig with 500 hp?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll take one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should just name it the "1xx M Sport", like they've done with some of their other models. And just reserve the M1 name for a proper mid-engine based car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Call them what you want just put a real transmission in both instead of that dual clutch crap. (yes I know they shift faster but all driving skill and experience is gone. Plus it's still automatic)
      But I think the the super car should have the M1 name if they are paying homage to the classic one. If BMW was only coming out with just the 135i "M" and not the super car then yes the 135i should have the M1 nameplate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ditto on the transmission choice. I will purchase one if they offer a manual. No manual offered, I'll keep my current BMWs 'til I find something else.

        I don't care how fast these dual clutch transmissions shift. I want to do it myself. That's part of the fun. Stop trying to convince those of us who like manual transmissions that these "compromise" boxes are a viable substitute. They're not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow u stole my pic and my former name... I say 135tii and the M1 keeps its name.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Call the M version of the 1 series an "BMW M1"

        and call the supercar just... well... "BMW M "

        and therefore, its supercar namesake will be reverberated through the rest of the M series cars...

        The end all be all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nothing is sacred - except an established brand. The 'M1' is a brand, cheapening it by attaching the moniker to the 1-series seems like a waste of a good name. Just look at the Impala. Yeah, that was an amazing car--then Chevy tried to ride the coat-tails of its good name by attaching it to a bread-and-butter sedan. Impala means nothing now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tradition bah. Tradition left BWM years ago and I don't see it returning anytime soon. I'm glad some at BMW relish the M1 name and lineage but BMW has been taking a trail down the forest that I don't want to follow.

      That being said, isn't the X-6M/X-5M selling really well.

      Perhaps they know something we don't....

      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed, the M line lost a ton of credibility when the abomination that is the X5M or MX5 or whatever mish-mash of letters and philosphies combined to create BMW's latest abortion of a vehicle.

      I disagree with the notion of naming the souped up 135 a M1. The M1 should be a statement car. A car that evokes the history of BMW with a look to the future. A jacked 135 is not that vehicle.

      If you want to soup up a 135 the most logical naming system is a return to a old BMW convention- the CSi nomenclature. I know I know that's pretty much the daddy of M, but this CSi suffix would be akin to Audi's mid level tuning line and would have been perfect for the x5, x6 etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, be kind. "MX-5" is a great moniker...

        for Mazda!
      • 5 Years Ago
      When the 1 series came out, I didn't like it. Perhaps if it were closer to what the 2002 was and was (much) lighter, cheaper, and had a really great I4 (turboed or not, I don't care) then I would like it better, but whatever. What bothered me more was the inevitable M model which should logically be called the M1. And just like Autoblog stated, I felt that it just wouldn't be right to compare the two M1s. However, since the 1 series debuted in the US, the M division has created 2 SUVs that don't even come with a manual. The Porsche Cayenne has one, was it that hard? Anyways, times are changing so go on and call it an M1. Better to produce a decent, or perhaps amazing, car than to not make it at all just because a bunch of fanboys would get butt-hurt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually, I think I read somewhere that the M version of the 135 would be called a 1M.
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