At $47,010 (including destination), the 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe isn't exactly cheap. Still, Matthew Russell, BMW product and technology PR rep, says it's "the most affordable M BMW has ever sold, adjusting for inflation, including the original E30 M3." That car cost around $34,000 when it was introduced in 1988. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Russell is more than right: $34,000 in 1988 had the same buying power as $62,885 in 2010.
With rumors of BMW getting into front-wheel-drive cars, we asked Dr. Kay Segler, president of BMW M GmbH, if M could do a FWD car. Segler said, "I haven't thought about that," and went on to remark that he couldn't see doing a sub-1-Series M car. Russell elaborated with, "There are rumors about what is coming, but those aren't from us." As to other rumors about whether the coupes will be limited or capped in number, we were told categorically, "No." But that was amended with, "But they will be hard to get."