2011 BMW 1 Series M

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$46,135 - $46,135
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EngineEngine 3.0LI-6
MPGMPG 19 City / 26 Hwy
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2011 1 Series M Overview

If you have read the breathless reviews and overwritten comparos, you would assume that the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is infused with the second coming of Senna. And for BMW to unabashedly draw a line between the M Coupe and the most holy of holies, the 1986-92 E30 M3, smacks of PRified nostalgia stoking. Call me a contrarian, but I refuse to believe the hype. So as soon as the orange Bimmer landed on my fleet schedule, any and all reading, writing and discussion about the littlest M ceased. I would drive it for a week, live with it as if it were my own and deliver a critical, blatantly unbiased review of Life in the Key of M. Five minutes into my first drive, I immediately pulled into a turnout, sat there for a second, took a deep breathe and realized – dammit – everyone was right. Brilliance is back in a small package. Yes, brilliance. Surprising considering the M Coupe is the prototypical parts-bin special. But then again, when your parts bin is made up of some of the best driver-oriented bits in the biz, brilliance isn't expected, it's demanded. So let's start with the core of any M-badged vehicle, the engine. It's the same twin-turbocharged N54 inline-six fitted to the Z4 sDrive35is and my current favorite non-M 3 Series, the 335is. Three liters of displacement and those duo of turbos put out 335 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 4,500 rpm through the car's only transmission option: a proper six-speed manual. Peg the throttle to the floor and, if the ECU favors the conditions, an overboost function allows the turbo six to deliver an additional 37 torques, bringing the total up to 369 lb-ft. BMW claims a 0-60 mph run of around 4.7 seconds, but I don't buy it. My ass might not be as highly calibrated as other hot-shoe scribes, but there's no doubt the M Coupe is a solid 4.5-second runner – and instrumented testing both here and abroad bears this out. Forward momentum in any part of the rev range is immediate and addicting, devoid of lag unless the needle is on the far left side of the tach. And even then, that minute pause is instantaneously consumed by traction-testing torque, a subtle turbo whine and an exhaust note that's more guttural drone than screaming sex six. Then again, this isn't an "M" engine. It's a chip and a massage. But it simply doesn't matter. What has been pulled from the BMW's motorsports arm are the bits that matter most: everything shoved into the wheel arches and connected to the driver. The front track has been extended by 2.8 inches and fitted with double pivot struts, while the rear has grown 1.7 inches and equipped with the standard multilink suspension, both of which are comprised entirely of aluminum. The rolling stock is pulled directly from the M3 Competition Package, including 19x9-inch front wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot …
Full Review

2011 1 Series M Overview

If you have read the breathless reviews and overwritten comparos, you would assume that the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is infused with the second coming of Senna. And for BMW to unabashedly draw a line between the M Coupe and the most holy of holies, the 1986-92 E30 M3, smacks of PRified nostalgia stoking. Call me a contrarian, but I refuse to believe the hype. So as soon as the orange Bimmer landed on my fleet schedule, any and all reading, writing and discussion about the littlest M ceased. I would drive it for a week, live with it as if it were my own and deliver a critical, blatantly unbiased review of Life in the Key of M. Five minutes into my first drive, I immediately pulled into a turnout, sat there for a second, took a deep breathe and realized – dammit – everyone was right. Brilliance is back in a small package. Yes, brilliance. Surprising considering the M Coupe is the prototypical parts-bin special. But then again, when your parts bin is made up of some of the best driver-oriented bits in the biz, brilliance isn't expected, it's demanded. So let's start with the core of any M-badged vehicle, the engine. It's the same twin-turbocharged N54 inline-six fitted to the Z4 sDrive35is and my current favorite non-M 3 Series, the 335is. Three liters of displacement and those duo of turbos put out 335 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 4,500 rpm through the car's only transmission option: a proper six-speed manual. Peg the throttle to the floor and, if the ECU favors the conditions, an overboost function allows the turbo six to deliver an additional 37 torques, bringing the total up to 369 lb-ft. BMW claims a 0-60 mph run of around 4.7 seconds, but I don't buy it. My ass might not be as highly calibrated as other hot-shoe scribes, but there's no doubt the M Coupe is a solid 4.5-second runner – and instrumented testing both here and abroad bears this out. Forward momentum in any part of the rev range is immediate and addicting, devoid of lag unless the needle is on the far left side of the tach. And even then, that minute pause is instantaneously consumed by traction-testing torque, a subtle turbo whine and an exhaust note that's more guttural drone than screaming sex six. Then again, this isn't an "M" engine. It's a chip and a massage. But it simply doesn't matter. What has been pulled from the BMW's motorsports arm are the bits that matter most: everything shoved into the wheel arches and connected to the driver. The front track has been extended by 2.8 inches and fitted with double pivot struts, while the rear has grown 1.7 inches and equipped with the standard multilink suspension, both of which are comprised entirely of aluminum. The rolling stock is pulled directly from the M3 Competition Package, including 19x9-inch front wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot …Hide Full Review