We’ve already driven BMW’s upcoming 1-series M coupe and spoken at length with those responsible for its development; about the only thing we haven’t done is seen the car sans camouflage. Put that complaint to rest, oh ye faithful.
Even the appearance of the 1-series M coupe seen here holds few surprises, as the cars we drove previously wore only light camo. Multiple massive intakes in the front fascia ensure that the engine will never hunger for more air, and the gnarly fender flares look even more menacing in paint than they did covered in paisley-print vinyl. Tucked inside those flares are M3 Competition package wheels, and behind those wheels are M3 brakes. Supporting all of that is M3 suspension with an M3 diff in the rear—noticing a trend? Sadly, there’s no carbon-fiber roof like that on the M3, but the 1-series M will make up for it by not offering a sunroof, as it would add weight and raise the vehicle’s center of gravity. Only three colors will be available: black, white, and orange.
Turbos Instead of RPM
Under the hood, which notably lacks the signature power bump sported by all other M vehicles, from the M3 to the 5400-pound X5 M, is the great differentiator. Where the M3 packs its screaming 8400-rpm V-8—and where screaming, high-rpm engines are supposed to be an M trademark—the 1-series M coupe is powered by the twin-turbo inline-six of yore. Don’t be too disappointed, though, as output has been ratcheted up to 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of nominal torque. As in the 335is, an overboost function makes 369 lb-ft available for brief spurts. Zero-to-60-mph sprints should take about 4.3 seconds.
Inside, black leather is trimmed with Alcantara, orange stitching gives the car an appropriately sporty look, and the leather steering wheel boasts an M button that is programmable to the driver’s preferred chassis, powertrain, and nanny-system settings. The only transmission is a six-speed manual.