BMW’s sort of cut right to the point with their 1-Series M Coupe, so I’m going to do the same.
BMW’s ‘M’ division took the regular 1-Series and tweaked it — adding significantly to the styling and performance of the standard car. It recently topped the AJAC Best New Sports and Performance Car Over $50,000 category, as voted by a panel of professional Canadian car reviewers.
The 1M looks like a big deal. In gearhead circles, arriving somewhere in a 1M is like showing up to a party with your new best friend Brad Pitt. Power comes from a three-litre straight six twin-turbo engine with 335 ponies, which provides very potent acceleration that’ll make the rear end squirm for grip through most of first and second.
Gears shift quickly via a short, tight six-speed shifter, and the sound from the exhaust system is sweet and saturating — even at idle. Stand on it, and the 1M blasts down the road quickly enough to make passengers drop F-Bombs. Even in sixth, squeezing the throttle summons a surge of torque that sends it sailing past slower traffic in a jiff.
There’s no sissy stuff, here. You can’t even get the 1M with a sunroof, fog-lamps, or an automatic. With the quick, heavy steering and track-tuned suspension, you’ve got a car that’s well equipped to chew through straight stretches, corners and everything in between. You can feel everything the chassis is up to when you push the 1M hard.
Unfortunately, this is a car that thanks you for pushing it hard. It’ll get the hearts of enthusiasts pumping faster than downing a family-sized poutine, and the performance is so obnoxious, it’ll make you want to drive like you’re from Montreal.
Watch for speeding tickets.
Inside, the tester got suede trim, a unique instrument cluster, and a mainly black colour scheme. It’s all simple and focused. Wider folks may find the seats uncomfortable, and larger folks will find entry and exit tight. A little more at-hand storage would have been appreciated.
The loaded tester came at just over $61,000 — expensive in light of models that pack plenty more under-hood artillery for similar money, but a hell of a deal, too. For instance, the 1M is 90 per cent as fun to drive as a Porsche 911 GTS, but for half the price.
Put the 1M on your “To Test Drive” list if you’re after a fast, focused, ferocious, no-b.s. performance weapon.