Recently, a select few motoring scribes fro around the globe got some one-on-one time with the BMW 1 Series M CoupÃ© test mule. When the car was first announced Dr Kay Segler guaranteed goose pimples for us all. So, how did the chaps from Autocar, Inside Line and Motor Trend fare?
Autocar said: “There was sufficient evidence to suggest it will be stiff competition for the current crop of performance coupÃ©s. Changes to the suspension provide a noticeably more fluid feel than the standard 1-series, with more enthusiastic turn-in and added levels of grip. The electro-mechanical steering, for all its accuracy, delivers little feedback on centre but it is quite direct, at 2.4 turns lock to lock.”
Inside Line said: “First impressions once you’ve slotted the key into the ignition and hit the starter button are more than encouraging. The reworked engine is extraordinarily strong within the lower end of the rev range thanks to its solid reserves of torque.
But while its part-throttle properties are truly impressive, it is under boost, when its two turbochargers are spooling up, where the 1 Series M Coupe really comes alive. Planting your right foot at middling revs unleashes a heady rush of acceleration fully befitting its billing as the spiritual successor to BMW M division’s original M3. The reworked engine doesn’t mind being worked hard, either; the delivery remains strong all the way to the 7,000-rpm cutout point.”
Motor Trend said: “The 1M moves out smartly indeed with zero turbo lag and a healthy snarl that’s dominated by mechanical and induction noise. Servotronic steering retuned for the 1 Series M Coupe relays plenty of road feel with ideal levels of effort. The chassis’ broad stance and high level of control permit cornering that seems impossible outside the virtual world of Sony’s Gran Turismo. Those oversized brakes erase big speeds just as smoothly and effortlessly as the twin-turbos produce it. BMW claims its Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time falls just a bit shy of the M3’s, and that seems plausible.”
So, the general vibe is quite positive, but I wouldn’t say the goose-pimple-meter is in any real danger of blowing a fuse just yet. The teasing from BMW will continue until January next year when the proper 1M will make its public debut at Detroit.