Not worthy of M Badging
This is the first time BMW is simply going to take a base motor, change ecu programming, and toss it in an M car. They have never done this before. The X5 M and X6 M at least get different turbos, intercoolers, and programming justifying the M badging. What exactly separates this vehicle from an upgraded 135? Why isn't it a 135is? No M specific motor, same 6 speed that is already available. Throwing some M3 suspension and brake bits on it makes it an M? We have users here who already have superior vehicles to this by modifying their 135's. The main difference that we see is simply the styling and the dual exhaust. This is a huge letdown.
What should it have been?
It should have been an N55 with N54 heads. A unique platform that would give the best of both worlds as well as justify the badging. M's have powerplants you don't get in the base models. Could you imagine an M3 being a mildly tuned N54? No, and neither could BMW which is why it received the S65. Now they are trying to get away with charging more for basically doing nothing special. Expect all future M models to just be the same thing already available just with some different programming. This is frankly embarrassing, very difficult to be enthusiastic about the future of M products now that they have set this precedent.
This seems like it will be a great car, what is the problem?
Oh yes, it will be a great car just like the 135 is a great car. BMW actually has the arrogance to compare this car to the E30 M3. BMW essentially admits this is a parts bin car sharing M3 pieces. It isn't worthy of such a lofty comparison. They are going to charge more for parts they have already developed and that have been in production for some time. That means they are now cheaper to produce and they are just recycling pieces. This means BMW can now get away with being lazy and taking the "cheap" way out. All the other sites on the net even are patting them on the back for it, unbelievable.
Read the entire "inverview" here from m-power.com. Kind of odd to call this an interview when the website doing the interview is BMW's own hype machine. Consider this a marketing exercise, not an interview:
M-Power.com: Mr Biermann, what makes the 1 Series M Coupé so special?
Biermann: In my opinion, the 1 Series M Coupé is completely in the tradition of the first BMW M3. It is compact, focused on the essential, and presents outstanding driving dynamics. In addition, it opens the door to BMW M – in particular its price will also make it more accessible than our other products.
M-Power.com: Where will the price be then?
Biermann: The price has not been fixed yet. However, I’m sure that it will lie somewhere between the 135i Coupé and the M3 Coupé, with a clear tendency towards the 135i.
M-Power.com: What will the customers be getting for their money?
Biermann: The BMW 1 Series M Coupé is driven by a 3.0 litre inline six cylinder bi turbo engine delivering about 340 hp. This power is transferred exclusively via a six speed manual gearbox. A closer look at the prototypes will reveal many similarities to the chassis, brakes, and rear differential of the BMW M3.
M-Power.com: So what we have is a small BMW M3?
Biermann: To a certain extent, absolutely. Yet, on the other hand, not really. There are parallels between the power and weight of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé (we expect about 1500 kg) and the BMW M3 E46. On the performance side, though, it will be in its own league. We assume that the 1 Series M Coupé will be about ten seconds faster than the M3 predecessor on the Nordschleife. And of course it will have its own particular character.
M-Power.com: Its own particular character is also shown in the first design details. What can we expect here?
Biermann: Of course, we can’t disclose all of the details today. A number of distinctive design details can already be viewed on the internet. In addition, you can expect to find the usual M icons both inside and outside. However, one figure I can give you: the BMW 1 Series M Coupé will be about 80 mm wider than the 135i.
M-Power.com: When can we expect further details?
Biermann: We’ll be announcing all details on the BMW 1 Series M Coupé in mid December. Until then, there is a constant stream of news at M-Power.com. The world premiere of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé will be held at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2011, and vehicles will be delivered to the first customers in early summer.