Lit­tle BMW 1 se­ries + 254kW = may­hem

The small­est BMWgets the Msurgery. Dave Moore’s im­pressed.

Kapi-Mana News - - MOTORING -

BMW’s per­for­mance arm, BMW Motorsport, first started badg­ing its cars with the mar­tini-striped ‘‘M’’ when its sin­gle-make rac­ing car – the mi­dengined M1 coupe – hit race tracks 30 years ago.

Since then, the badge has built such a name for it­self, even hard-up own­ers of lesser BMW mod­els of­ten dress their boot lids with the dis­tinc­tive chromed char­ac­ter, prob­a­bly only fool­ing them­selves.

Over the years even BMW has wa­tered down the M-brand­ing by al­low­ing non-motorsport cars to use the badge as a sales at­trac­tion, de­spite the cars hav­ing just a set of wheels and nice trim and no work done to the en­gine at all.

Ever care­ful to avoid con­fu­sion with the iconic M1, BMW calls its new high-per­for­mance 1-se­ries coupe, the 1Series M Coupe.

It’s an awk­ward moniker, and it won’t be a sur­prise that even the staunch­est Beemer­philes are al­ready call­ing the car the M1.

And well they should. It de­serves such a sim­ple la­bel as it out­pow­ers the orig­i­nal M1 by some dis­tance and runs even the cur­rent V8-en­gined M3 so close for per­for­mance, you could taste it.

It’s pow­ered by BMW twin-turbo 2979cc six en­gine which uses di­rect in­jec­tion technology and the com­pany’s dou­ble VANOS vari­able valve tim­ing to de­velop a max­i­mum out­put of 254 kilo­watts.

The car takes just 4.9 sec­onds to ac­cel­er­ate from zero to 100kmh, which is very much in Porsche ter­ri­tory, but ev­i­dently drive­abil­ity has been built into the drive-train in the form of a torque curve that sees the car’s max­i­mum torque of 450 Newton me­tres pro­duced from as lit­tle as 1500 rev­o­lu­tions a minute.

The per­for­mance is largely brought about by the car’s 1495 kilo­grams, achieved by ex­ten­sive use of alu­minium.

Ex­ter­nally sim­i­lar in size to the great­est M-car of all, the E30 M3, the sport­ing char­ac­ter of the 1-Se­ries M Coupe – damn it, M1! – is expressed by widened wheel arches, mak­ing it 55 mil­lime­tres wider than a stan­dard 1-se­ries coupe.

It also gets spe­cial 19-inch Y-spoke M al­loy wheels, and dual chrome tail pipes.

A dis­creet spoiler lip and rear apron with side open­ings echo the front valance’s air in­takes, while L-shaped rear light clus­ters with two light banks fed by LED units com­plete the M car look.

Ex­te­rior paint fin­ishes will be Alpine White non-metal­lic and Black Sap­phire metal­lic – pop­u­lar with 1980s M3 buy­ers – and the Va­len­cia Orange metal­lic of the car shown here.

Twin corona bi-xenon head­lamps are fea­tured, and LED po­si­tion­ing lights.

In­side, the M1 has char­coal ‘‘Bos­ton’’ leather with orange stitch­ing, an M leather steer­ing wheel and Al­can­tara fab­ric with kyalami orange con­trast stitch­ing on the door trim, door in­serts, hand­brake, gear lever gaiter and in­stru­ment bin­na­cle cove.

The M logo is also em­bossed in the front of the head­rests.

The en­gine con­trol sys­tem of the car al­lows two dif­fer­ing per­for­mance curves: in stan­dard mode the M1 of­fers a more torque-ori­en­tated, flex­i­ble char­ac­ter to the en­gine’s per­for­mance de­liv­ery, while in M Dy­namic Mode ac­ti­vated by a but­ton on the steer­ing wheel, en­gine speeds rise more quickly al­low­ing what own­ers are sure to call ‘‘track mode’’, for this is where the new M1 may well find it­self be­ing ex­er­cised most of all.

Know­ing this, BMW says the car’s cool­ing sys­tem has been de­signed for con­stant high load, high-speed track driv­ing, through the use of an ad­di­tional sep­a­rate ra­di­a­tor and a spe­cific air duct to deal with the in­creased ther­mal stresses that can oc­cur when driv­ing in a par­tic­u­larly sporty style on the race track.

The BMW 1 Se­ries M Coupe is only of­fered with a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, op­er­ated us­ing a very short-shift M gear lever.

BMW New Zealand has not re­vealed the pric­ing of the M1 here, though it has for Bri­tain, where it’s priced about the same as mid-range Z4 road­ster coupe. That could make the car $110,000, which makes it a sharp value al­ter­na­tive to a Cay­man, or other track-ori­ented sports car.

BMWM1: Next to the fa­mous four-cylin­der M3 of the mid-80s, right, the new­est M-badged car looks smaller, be­ly­ing its six-cylin­der twin-turbo power unit. It has a badge first used by a mid-en­gined sports car, but the new M1’s clos­est rel­a­tive is prob­a­bly the all-con­quer­ing M3 of the 80s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.