• BMW Confirms N54 power for 1 M Coupe and 6 speed only in interview - Huge Letdown

      Now before the N54 fans get in a tizzy, the letdown here isn't the N54. It is that BMW is just taking the same motor they already have and just giving it some slightly different programming and calling it an M. The N54 was not an M caliber motor when placed in the 335 but now it is all of a sudden? BMW produced the N54 before the S65 yet they never would have felt a higher boost version was M worthy. How times have changed at BMW M.

      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.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: BMW Confirms N54 power for 1 M Coupe and 6 speed only in interview - Huge Letdown started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 33 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        I thought the motive behind the M's were smaller displacement, high revving, lightweight vehicle?
        Once upon a time, yes.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        It seems as though they are turning away from just about everything that made it an M in the first place.
        Yes, and no one is saying a damn thing about it.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        So basically, besides being a bit wider, all i have to do to a basic 135 is upgrade the suspension, throw a tune in it and slap an M badge on it, which people already do?
        Yep, you nailed it. Except you would have to wait for the aftermarket to copy the body parts so you could get the cool front and rear bumpers Click here to enlarge

        How about that, people have already been driving around 1 M's and they didn't even know it!
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        Fail.
      1. D335i's Avatar
        D335i -
        At least we know a mild tune is not a problem for the engine and is BMW approved although m1 is conservative another few PSI should be ok.

        I was expecting more...M badge with HPFP and waste gate problems, imagine that.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by D335i Click here to enlarge
        I was expecting more...
        We all were, I'm still sitting here thinking there has got be more.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by D335i Click here to enlarge
        At least we know a mild tune is not a problem for the engine and is BMW approved although m1 is conservative another few PSI should be ok.

        I was expecting more...M badge with HPFP and waste gate problems, imagine that.
        didnt even think about that one.. M owners are probably less tolerable of multiple failures.. i wonder if they have come up with something we dont know yet...?
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        This car woulda been sick if they put a 300 hp version of the N52 in it and lightened up by 300 lbs.

        his high revving all motor I6 in a compact package, like an e46 of sorts but with newer technology.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        This car woulda been sick if they put a 300 hp version of the N52 in it and lightened up by 300 lbs.

        his high revving all motor I6 in a compact package, like an e46 of sorts but with newer technology.
        Back in the day they would have done something like that. This is way cheaper for them though, they don't have to go to that expense or effort any longer.
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Well, I may be in the minority on this one but I am actually happy it has an N54 for a couple of (selfish) reasons. I am no longer really compelled to swap out my 135i for the 1M.

        The second is that if I do decide to swap out the the 1M, I can unbolt my mods and drop them into the 1M while still getting a lighter, wider, better handling car with a factory LSD. If there is a substantial amount of weight reduction, this sucker could very well be a high 10 to very low 11 second non-notrious daily driver.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
        I am no longer really compelled to swap out my 135i for the 1M.
        Your car already is better than the 1M.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
        If there is a substantial amount of weight reduction, this sucker could very well be a high 10 to very low 11 second non-notrious daily driver.
        Now you are dreaming.
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Here is my rational.

        My car currently runs 11.5 @ 123 right now on race gas and DRs. Working under the assumption that I can bolt on my current mods to the 1M lets take a look at the "math".

        Lets subtract 300 lbs (250 from factory and 50 moving from AT to MT) from the equation, now we are at 11.2 @ likey around 125mph. This is using the common theory that 100lbs = .1 second and close to 1 mph in the 1/4.

        Now let's drop an LSD into the mix and superior M suspension and that is likely good for .005 on the launch (pure guess here).

        So, my thoughts are on race gas + DRs and assuming my current mods are portable we have a car that should run 11.115 @ 125 -127 mph.

        On pump gas and street tires my car runs 12.3 @ 117 mph (this was done pre-meth). Now lets factor in the previous math and add in meth and I can easily see this car running 11.9 @ 120-122 mph.

        Could this be dreaming, perhaps, but I dare to dream Click here to enlarge
      1. Doug007's Avatar
        Doug007 -
        I'm not surprised by the N54. I never understood why they would mess around with N54/N55 hybrids when tuning the N54 has been so successful on the Z4 sDrive35is and the 335is. We've seen in the initial tuning of the N55 that it has trouble holding high boost at high rpm while the N54 does not have that issue.

        The 1M is mostly about putting a M3 rear axle and M3 track dimensions on a 1 series.

        My biggest question is what have they done to address the cooling issues for track use of the N54? I'm hoping for a 1M oil cooler solution thats an easy swap onto my 335i someday for Texas trackdays.
      1. alextremo's Avatar
        alextremo -
        Sticky - you sure are passionate about the M brand! I agree completely - this is a let down and would have been better branded a 135iS. The unfortunate part is if this really becomes a trend with M. Makes you wonder where the innovative performance technology will come from (ALMS cars?) going forward if they are just tuning existing hardware.

        That aside, it does speak positively for the N54 engine if BMW feels confident enough to up the HP/TQ boundries and still manage potential warranty issues...
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Although I am happy about the use of the N54 I do agree that its use throws a bit of a question mark into the M approach. I can understand the arguement that this really does water down the brand and would suggest a corner cutting approach. For the M purist, this is not a postive step.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        In the interview he says the price will be closer to the 135i than the M3 which leads me to believe they are going to allow these corner cutting measures translate into a lower price than we have been expecting. I've always believed that the F20 1 series M will be a full blown M division effort but that the E82 1 M Coupe was more of a development platform that will enable them to make the real deal that much better.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alextremo Click here to enlarge
        The unfortunate part is if this really becomes a trend with M.
        This is my main concern, but it seems it will be the trend.

        Not to mention now BMW is also going to make the gap between regular cars and M cars even smaller by offering ECU tune solutions. These turbo motors allow them to maintain their hierarchy just by limiting boost based on how much you spend.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        In the interview he says the price will be closer to the 135i than the M3 which leads me to believe they are going to allow these corner cutting measures translate into a lower price than we have been expecting. I've always believed that the F20 1 series M will be a full blown M division effort but that the E82 1 M Coupe was more of a development platform that will enable them to make the real deal that much better.
        You make a good point here. But shouldn't an M car be as good as it can be? I think we all agree the E46 M3 with the S54 was pushed to the limit. The S14, S38, same thing.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        Strange how the mini reviews flowing in are not in agreement about some key points. eg steering feel and top end power

        you know, this car might be similar to what the u.s. e36 m3 was - a damn good car, but lacking some of the finer details that make it GREAT.
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        If the 1M is going to use an N54, why expect any performance gains with aftermarket? We already know the limit of the stock turbos. So they threw an LSD in there and some suspension, great; why didnt they call it the 135is and not have to piss over the M brand.

        The ONLY way BMW will impress me at this point is if they have some N54 variant that is VERY different. Like single turbo N54 with some larger turbo and variable turbine guide vanes or some sh1t. Then I can say it truly is a different motor.

        Just sticking the N54 in this car and tuning it to 340 hp is garbage, come on; its basically a 335is motor. M is supposed to bedifferent, dont care if it's NA or FI, just be ahead of the game and different; thats what M means.
      1. Fuerza's Avatar
        Fuerza -
        Did the interview say N54 or 3.0 liter twin turbo? Yeah I know the N54 has those same specs but let's at least wait until the official release.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        Just sticking the N54 in this car and tuning it to 340 hp is garbage, come on; its basically a 335is motor. M is supposed to bedifferent, dont care if it's NA or FI, just be ahead of the game and different; thats what M means.
        Exactly.